Career Advice

So You Think You Can Temp?

Posted by Sian
min read

There's a commonly held belief that temping is easy. Mostly, that commonly held belief is wrong.

Now I'm not trying to scare you off, or saying you shouldn't temp. I was a temp for people2people’s clients for two years, when people2people offered me a role inside the business.  I obtained a great deal of value from my temping experience.

What I am saying is that temps need to be tough. You need to learn fast, you need to adapt quickly, you need resilience and tenacity. If you can stick it out, go from business to business, constantly learning, constantly adapting, you’ll gain a plethora of skills to put you way ahead of others when you are job searching in the permanent employment market.

Every business operates differently.

Even those in a similar market or industry and they’ll have different processes, different structures, and the people will vary the most. My first temp assignment was for one day, filling in for an unwell employee. I sat in their office for 45 minutes before the manager came out to see me and tell me what they needed of me for the day (filing, of course).  

There was one person in the office who’d been with the business for over 10 years, knew everyone and everything, and was just a wonderful person. I latched onto her like a limpet on a ship hull and spent the day annoying her with every question I had. She wasn’t the manager, she wasn’t the business owner. She was just someone who had the answers and was decent to me. On that day, even though I found my port in the storm, the managers of that business did nothing to make me feel welcome.

I’ll be honest, I was starting to freak out about my decision to be a temp.

After 2 years, I now know there are some disasters you’ll walk into. I once worked in an office where their idea of filing was piling documents along their hallway, which was a fire hazard and WHS (OH&S) disaster. There were also some great places too.

An Accounts Payable Officer with whom I worked in one of my final temp roles, taught me keyboard short cuts that still serve me to this day. An accounts officer in another business taught me a great way to manage incoming customer enquiries to the three inboxes I was managing for the business at the time. The Chief Financial Officer in another business; taught me how to make a mean coffee, and how to quietly go into the office kitchen to vent your frustrations on the kitchen equipment, rather than your team/customers/managers.

The point is, by the time I started working for people2people, I had a range of diverse skills and the ability to quickly form relationships and identify those people who would help me, who I could help, and from whom I could learn. Now, as a temp recruiter, specialising in administration and customer service, I’m not looking for my next temp role, but for people to take up the temp challenge!

So, if you’d like to bolster your experience in the market, and temp for Australia’s fastest growing recruitment agency, please give me a call on 07 3118 0125, because I’d love to talk to you!