The National Employment Law Project reports that temporary workers fill 2.5% of all jobs in the US. Millions of new college grads, people reentering the workforce or those making career transitions will often have to spend some time in temp jobs. No matter how long the assignment, temp jobs are an opportunity to put your best foot forward and be an impressive employee.
Be a Team Player and Get Along With Other People
The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveys employers annually to find out which skills employers seek from new hires. Teamwork and the ability to work well with others consistently shows up on that list. Be prepared to demonstrate this ability on resumes, in the interview and in temp jobs.
Showing respect for supervisors, co-workers and customers is a good workplace habit whether or not you are working in temp jobs. If there are workplace issues, consult with the staffing agency or your supervisor rather than be disrespectful to colleagues.
Be Able to Manage Time
When working temp jobs, every hour counts. If you are late, not only are you losing potential wages, you are limiting the time you have to learn. New grads especially need to know that the workplace is far more time sensitive than campus. There are not many opportunities to turn in late work or show up late. If you are working temp jobs, you may not get a second chance to make a first impression.
Be Dependable and Show up as Scheduled
Employers rely on temp workers to help their businesses. Temps and supervisors can collaborate on work schedules ahead of time and employers expect temp workers to show up as promised. Not only will you annoy the recruiter who helped you find the job, you’ll destroy any chance of turning the temp job into a permanent opportunity.
Be Willing to Go Above and Beyond
To have success in temp jobs, workers should demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond expectations.
Be an Effective Communicator
Temp workers should develop and use their strong interpersonal and communication skills on the job. Although college students exist in a “sound-bite” and text messaging world, they should learn that a different type of communication is required in the workplace.
Hiding from work is not an option even in a temp job. Supervisors do not want to search for workers who are trying to avoid assignments. Some temp jobs can offer great visibility from company leadership and decision-makers. If you are trying to convert the opportunity to a permanent hire, you have to be visible.
Be Willing to Learn and Be Open to Criticism
Temp workers should keep their supervisors informed of the work they are doing and ask for feedback on their performance. Ask for clarifications of instructions and ask for help when it is needed. Employers much prefer working with people who ask for clarification rather than make costly product mistakes or, even worse, jeopardize their own personal safety or the safety of others.
Be Confident and Ask for Additional Assignments or Training
As new skills are mastered, employers are very open to changing the roles of workers in temp jobs if it will enhance overall business productivity.
If you have done good work in a temp job, you might be able to secure longer term assignments, permanent jobs, good networking connections and even be able to ask for reference letters at the end of a temp job assignment.