First impressions are difficult to reverse, so it is important that you put your best foot forward in your new temp role from the very beginning. You made enough of an impression to land the job, but now is the time to really shine and let your employer know that they made the right decision. You never know… it could lead to bigger and better gigs!
The short-term benefit of a temp job is the paycheck, but you also need to make sure you’re getting the long-term benefit that comes from gaining knowledge, skills, abilities and relationships.
Be Patient. The temporary interview and hiring process can often be fast -- so your employer might not have everything ready for you to begin work. It’s even possible that your desk or computer won’t be set up on day one and that you might not get the typical training and "onboarding" that permanent employees receive (let alone the welcome basket).
Document your accomplishments. Unlike permanent employees, temps don’t get performance reviews, but you should track your accomplishments anyway and turn them into a portfolio of your contributions. Save emails that praise you and note your successes so you have a good case, if the employer decides it needs someone on a permanent basis.
Know who you can’t be. If you are replacing a specific person for a period, you can't be them. Who you can be is the person who is doing that job for a period to the best of your ability. And then, they might ask for you back again later.
Arrive early. One of the first things your new boss will take note of is your punctuality. Don’t just arrive on time; arrive a few minutes early to get a jump on the day and make a lasting first impression.
Ask for feedback. At the end of your temporary work, schedule a time to talk with the manager and get constructive feedback; this will show that you are serious about your career and your contributions. Inquire about the opportunity to work with the organization again, ask for job or other temporary work referrals, and more importantly, get recommendations from the manager and other key employees you worked with.
Take notes. Carry a notebook with you the first few days and take note of policies, procedures, and people. Write down your co-worker’s names and make notes to help you remember them. Your employer will be impressed at your willingness to get to know everyone and become a part of the team.
Follow the 80/20 rule. That is, listen 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent. You will quickly gain the respect of your employer and your co-workers if you exhibit a willingness to listen and learn.
Ask Questions. Some temporary workers avoid asking too many questions for fear that they will bother their manager or appear unknowledgeable.
Be honest. Everyone makes mistakes, especially their first few days on the job. Own up to any mistakes you make and be ready and willing to correct them. Don’t try to cover them up or place the blame on someone else.
Be Engaged. As a temporary employee position yourself as an indispensable, integral part of the team by demonstrating your reliability by coming in on time and working hard. Always check in with your manager before the end of the day to ask if they need anything else done.
The majority of temp jobs are assigned on a probation period. This means you will be under close scrutiny during this timeframe. Put on your best work attire, flash a friendly smile, and gear up for success.