Temporary work is a popular work choice in today’s economic climate. It can be a good way to get your foot in the door to a permanent job or it might tide you over and pay your bills whilst you work out exactly what you want to do next.
Temp work can be rewarding but it can also be a tricky beast! You’re expected to hit the ground running, impress your new boss with your hard work ethic, whilst being friendly, confident and fitting in to a new team. Phew! So how do you do it?
1. Make a Good First Impression
For starters, make a good first impression. Turn up on time, look and behave professionally and impress your new boss. Remember, your new boss is likely to be nervous too, though for different reasons! Even if your assignment is only for a couple of weeks, they will want reassurance that they have not made a mistake in hiring you and and that you will add value to their business. Be professional and friendly. First impressions make a big difference!
2. Work Hard
It might seem obvious, but working hard and showing your new boss what you are capable of is essential. If you are asked to do a task that you feel is too easy or that you are overqualified for, do it and do it well. Remember that, for now they have hired you to do this job even if you know that you are destined for bigger things! If you impress them, you will be likely to be given more responsibility but as I will come to next, attitude is everything!
3. Have a Great Attitude
Whatever you do as a temp, do it with a great attitude! A great attitude is one of the best attributes you can have as a temp. Even if you make a mistake or don’t know something, a positive attitude will help you learn from that mistake or develop a new skill and that is always impressive to an employer. You don’t have to be perfect, but if you are enthusiastic and willing to learn, it will go a long way. Most skills can be taught, but attitude is something that is much harder to teach!
Attitude is also about your actions. Think about what your actions are saying to your boss. It might be that you can use your mobile phone for the occasional text or phone call in your workplace in time but doing this on the first day could make you look presumptuous and unprofessional.
4. Get a Lay of the Land
Every work place has a different culture that might not be immediately explicit. Getting a sense of how the company you are working for operates will help you to fit in and learn the job quicker. For example, though there may be a professional hierarchy, it might be that everyone in the team knows that unofficially you need to go to a certain person to get anything approved. Listen out and get a sense of how things work and who might make your life easier (or harder!) and adjust accordingly!
5. Be Friendly
Beyond being professional and working hard, joining in with the rest of the team pays dividends when you are a temp. If there is bit of banter going on, join in and make an effort to be part of the team. As a temp you often have to fit in quicker than if you were working at a permanent job and getting to know people quickly helps you to do that.
6. Stay Out Of Office Politics
Most work places have some type of politics. The best advice I have is to just stay out of them, especially as a temp! Getting embroiled in the nitty gritty of the workplace won’t do you any favours and may even backfire and end up making you look bad! It can be good to get to know co-workers and maybe socialise after work but also be aware of how it might look to other people, especially if there are already divisions within the team.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
You won’t know everything about your job straight away. It takes time to learn the ropes, let alone remember everyone’s names! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It will show that you are thinking about what you are doing and trying your best to do your job well.
8. Use Your Initiative
It can be extra work for a boss or team to have a new member of staff to train. You won’t be expected to know everything straight away and will need to ask questions but don’t be afraid to use your initiative. This is what employers are looking for!
What had been your experience of temping? Are there any tips you can add to this list?