Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are over 2.5 million people working in the “temporary help services” industry. This sector is booming with both contractors working long-term assignments and many others working short-field stints as temporary workers.
If you are thinking about joining them – for whatever reason – there are four things that you can do to making this change in work style as rewarding an experience as possible:
- Embrace the flexibility. Being a temporary worker allows you a great deal of flexibility while still allowing you to earn a paycheck. Getting time off for a doctor’s appointment, being able to take an off-season vacation, being present at your children’s school events, or even being able to go back to school part-time are all huge benefits of temporary employment. It is a different lifestyle, and, for many, not knowing exactly what one will be doing week after week can take a little time getting used to. Embrace the flexibility….it can make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling.
- Accept every assignment. It is sometimes true that temporary work means that you may be doing tasks that you think are “less than worthy”. As many of you know, I have worked in temporary positions before – one of which consisted of filing for three days. Whereas, my ability to alphabetize was top-notch at the end of the assignment, it was a mind-numbing experience. However, I completed every task accurately and with a positive attitude, and (at the end of the assignment) I was offered a job. What I did not understand at the time (but do now) is that I was being evaluated on my work ethic, my intellect and my attitude. What better way to do that than by giving me a task most would eschew and then watch how I handle it? So if the assignment offers a chance to learn a skill, grow as a worker or network, you should definitely accept the opportunity.
- Never say that “this is not my job”. Your temporary assignment may be to only do “xyz” and that may be filing or answering the phone. Simply being competent and completing what is asked of you may not be enough to be noticed beyond a “thank you” at the end of the day. However, if you show enthusiasm, competently handle the job, and then ask for the opportunity to help (if possible), you will gain respect and get noticed. Remember, employers look for intangible skillsets, and one of those is being proactive. So, if you are able to capably handle your assignment and more, ask for more.
- Bottom line – stay positive. It can be very difficult working many different temporary jobs. It can be hard to form networking connections if you (and others) do not bother to bridge the gap between temporary worker and employee. However, if you bring a good attitude (and a little grace and humor) to the workplace, you will earn the respect and gratitude of your supervisors and the other workers. This can make for a much more rewarding experience for everyone involved.
It is important to remember that the temporary worker of today is not the stereotype of yesterday. Even the term “temporary” is morphing to “contingent” and contingent workers are making up a larger slice of the workforce “pie” (if you will). Many of us will or have been employed as contingent workers, and the benefits to this lifestyle are sizable. Your opportunities for growth are sizable. Your opportunities to network are sizable, and the network you gain will be those who can speak firsthand about your intellect, your work ethic and your attitude. These are the type of network connections you want, because they will go much further than nebulous online “friends” or “connections”.
So as we enter 2013, I ask that you consider Snelling as part of your job search methodology. We have offices across the nation and a talented staff that is ready to help you find your best-fit opportunity. So visit our Candidate Resource Hub to find out what you need to know to make your next temporary assignment the best possible, and (once you are prepared), find your local Snelling office or begin your online job search today!
By Christiane Soto, Snelling.com
NOTE: A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.