Temporary Employment Dos and Dont’s

To preface this, I spent about 10 years as a temp. I liked the flexibility and I liked the money when I was in between schools or states. I liked learning a lot about different industries. I’m in my current job because I was a temp for 22 months and they decided to offer it to me permanently. Temping is great. However, I’ve recently been reminded of some of the things that annoyed me about other temps who I worked with.

DON’T: Leave the assignment in the middle of the day without telling anyone.
Number of times I’ve seen this happen: 5
DO: Let your temp agency know right away if you don’t think an assignment is the right fit for you. They will usually be very accomodating in finding you another assignment.

DON’T: Lie and say you know how something works when you have no clue.
Number of times I’ve seen this happen: dozens
DO: be honest about your skills and capabilities. You may not have any experience with QuickBooks, but if you know Excel and Access and have experience with some accounting procedures, a hiring manager might take the risk of bringing you on and training you.

DON’T: Stop listening when receiving instructions because you think you know what you’re doing.
Number of times I’ve seen this happen: hundreds
DO: Listen carefully. Different people within an organization will have different processes, let alone different organizations. If you did it A, B, C over at Company X, don’t assume Company Y does it the same way.

DON’T: Spend seven hours of company time a day searching OKCupid for your soul mate.
Number of times I’ve seen this happen: Once.
DO: try to keep your personal life in your personal time. Talking a little bit about your hobbies and family is okay, but on Wednesday morning telling the VP all about the raging kegger and how many times you vomited Tuesday is probably going to get you a one way ticket to “The project has ended early, we no longer need your service” (number of times I’ve seen this happen: Once).

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