You got the call, you’re off on assignment! You’ve taken that breath of relief, some money and work experience coming your way. What a relief! But you’re probably also wondering: How do I get the most out of this assignment? While there are some interim employees that prefer the flexibility of temporary work, the ultimate goal of most temps is to find permanent placement. Those employees look at each assignment as an opportunity expand their skills and network with industry professionals in order to further their career goals.

Here’s some tips culled from online discussions among interim employees on how they use temporary work to their advantage:

Ask yourself, what do you want to get out of the assignment? This is a good question to ask yourself before you start each and every assignment. Start by examining your career goals, take note of the things you would like to improve upon or the new skills you would like to learn, and when you show up at the workplace keep an eye out for opportunities that match your objective(s).  By doing so, you can end each day with a stronger toolbox of qualifications.

Focus on relationships; be a team-player. This is hugely important because when it comes to the job hunt, it is often who you know (and who they know) that can prove the most beneficial. A staffing agency is a great start, obviously, because they are in touch with the industry professionals you want to meet. So when you receive an assignment, that first step is done. But how do you proceed from there? You’re ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and you’re willingness to dive right in and be a team-player are precisely what will make potential permanent employers notice you in a positive light. They won’t miss your eagerness to learn and excitement to be a part of their team, and you can be sure that your name will be in their mind when it comes time to hire or recommend a new hire. So, everyday, dive right in!

Communicate with your recruiter. We often stress that our candidates should keep in touch and for good reason. By letting your recruiter know exactly what you’re looking for in assignments and checking in with them after every assignment to give your feedback, you’ll build a clear understanding of your career goals with them. And stay as consistent as possible. It’s okay that your schedule may change (make sure you let them know) but don’t tell them things you think they want to hear but can’t back up. If you tell them you’re flexible about job locations, be flexible. If you say you can work nights, work nights. If you claim to be familiar with a particular computer program, you should be. It’s important for them to know as much as possible about your schedule and skills before they pick up the phone to put you on assignment. In the end they can be more efficient in assisting you in your career as you’ll get the jobs that will be most beneficial to your growth a stellar employee.

Finally, use your common sense.

  1. Take each assignment seriously. If you want them to take you seriously and possibly consider you as a permanent employee, or recommend you to a colleague for that matter, demonstrate that you are there as a professional, not ‘just a temp.’
  2.  Dress the part, even if the worksite is casual there is still an appropriate dress code to follow (more on that here).
  3. Don’t be late to work. Seriously, don’t.
  4. Be professional and showcase a positive attitude! Company culture is very important to most managers out there these days. Demonstrating that you’re serious about your work ALONG with an enthusiastic approach to all duties, even challenging ones, is extremely impressive to management. It’s what constitutes as ‘the whole package’ to many employers! Here are some tips on how to combat a bad mood at work, if one happens to be creeping in on you.

Hopefully by incorporating these tips you’ll find that your temp experience is enhanced! Just keep in mind that each assignment might be your gateway to permanent employment and approach each one with enthusiasm!

Happy temping!

Jessie Williams, Marketing Coordinator

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