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The Temporary Employee’s Solution to Feeling Like Part of the Team

Given the rise in temporary and contingent work in recent years, many people are trying to find job satisfaction and develop career prospects in these new arrangements. How can you get up to speed quickly and collaborate with the permanent staff members who already know each other?

Try these tips for becoming part of the team when you’re doing temporary work.

Person talking to his team in a meeting


Strategies to Use When You’re Choosing a Temporary Assignment

If you have more than one option for where to temp, you may want to pick an employer who welcomes contingent employees on board. Look for these positive signs.

Person attending and listening in a talk
1. Attend an orientation.

If you’re lucky, your short-term employer will greet you with all the information and resources you’ll need. That may include a briefing on the corporate culture and mission, as well as logistics like parking policies and directions to the nearest coffee shop.

2. Clarify your responsibilities.

The temp agency will probably brief you on the general requirements while your workplace supervisor fills in more details. Ensure that your background is a match for the position.

3. Receive training.

Even if you’ll only be around for a short time, you may require training on office procedures or equipment. Enjoy the chance to learn while you get paid. You can take these skills to your next position.

Employee introducing the new person to their supervisor.
4. Introduce yourself.

Your supervisor may introduce you to others. Rehearse a brief pitch that makes you sound intriguing.

5. Welcome feedback.

Input from the staff can enhance your performance, regardless of how long you spend together. Thank them for their comments and make any necessary adjustments.

Strategies to Use When You’re on a Temporary Assignment

Wherever you’re working, you can reach out to others and make yourself valuable. Taking initiative will help you stand out.

Woman raising her hand to ask question in a talk
1. Ask questions.

Everyone benefits when you gather all the information you need to do your job. Speak up if you’re unsure of anything.

2. Take on additional responsibilities.

If you finish your tasks faster than expected, volunteer for additional duties. Your supervisor may be delighted to find out that you can code or proofread.

3. Offer assistance.

Reassure your coworkers that you’re there to make their life easier. Be enthusiastic about helping out.

4. Be flexible.

Anything can happen when you are on a temporary assignment. A positive attitude will allow you to thrive under any conditions. You may discover that the employer wants you to place lunch orders even though the agency said you would be updating the database. Report serious issues to the agency. Otherwise, go with the flow.

Employees helping their busy co-worker
5. Look busy.

Sometimes clients hire a temp without having work prepared for them. If all else fails, help out in any way possible. You’ll look more professional if others see you reading the company’s telephone system manual or the annual report from last year, rather than playing computer games or surfing Facebook.

6. Keep your agency updated.

Check-in with the temp agency regularly to increase your chances of getting assignments. They’ll feel like they can trust you because you show them that you understand the importance of keeping clients happy.

7. Find support.

The trend towards temporary work often involves less income and job security. Take care of yourself with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques. Self-care and developing close ties will help you through challenging times.

Temporary work can have some advantages. Temping may lead to a permanent position or strengthen your skills so you can move on to bigger and better things.

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