How can just one year of temp work improve your career? Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time or reentering it after a break, you can gain a level of comfort by working as a temp. Through the experience of Sarah Brown, an Advanced Resources Temp Associate, we’ve narrowed down what you’ll learn during your first year as a temp to these five things:
1. How to Shrug Off Your Shy Tendencies
As a temp you don’t always have the advantage of gradually getting to know your coworkers. Your time at each placement is limited, so you quickly learn how to be more outgoing. You start out afraid to talk to anyone on your first placement, but soon realize that you get incredibly lonely when you keep to yourself. Our suggestion: eat lunch in the kitchen or break room if there’s one available. More people around the office will start to recognize you and ask about the work you’re doing there. The more placements you go on the more comfortable you’ll feel striking up conversation with new coworkers. You’ll become more outgoing in your personal life too!
2. What Industries You Like (And Which Ones You Don’t!)
To get the best experience you can out of temp work, you should try to be open to placements in any industry. It gives you the advantage of testing out new industries without making the commitment of a regular full-time job. For instance, Sarah never thought she would enjoy working in property management; but her recruiter had a property management placement that would only last for a few days. Sarah decided to give it a try because it was such a short time frame.
The outcome? Sarah ended up working there on-and-off for the next two months while the company needed extra help during a busy transition time. Had Sarah not enjoyed her initial placement there, she would have only worked those few days and would know for her future job search that she would like to avoid property management positions.
One of the biggest benefits of temp work when you’re inexperienced is that you have the opportunity to build your confidence in a low risk environment. Your recruiter won’t send you on a placement you’re not ready or qualified for. With each placement you complete you not only learn new skills, but you gain the satisfaction of completing the job you were there to do. This confidence drives you to continue being successful in your future placements. Eventually you have the confidence you need to shoot for a full-time position.
4. Your Ideal Work Environment
Every company has its own distinct culture. By experiencing these different environments you learn what environment you work best in. You may find that you have a hard time concentrating in an open, more casual office setting. If that’s the case, you know your job search should be focused on more structured environments.
5. Keep a Log of All Your Placements
This is a good practice to start from your very first placement! Tracking each company you work for and what your responsibilities were while you were there will really help you update your resume (which you should do often!). It will also provide you with a good archive to look back and see how far you’ve come from when you first started. Ask for a business card from each one of your placement supervisors to go with your log as well. That way you can connect with them on LinkedIn and expand your network!
Tell us: What did you learn during your first year as a temp? What tips can you give those who are just starting out?