Temp Worker’s 5 “Must Do’s” When Starting a New Temp Job

As a temporary worker, you no doubt have many first days at the office and since a first impression is so important, we put together a list of some of the “must do’s” for any temp worker starting a new temporary position.

Smile – Before anything at all, walk in with a smile on your face.  There is no way of describing what a difference it makes to the temp worker or the employer for the temp to walk in with a smile.  Smiles are contagious, can loosen everyone up and get your new temp position off to a great start.

Introduce Yourself – When you walk in to your new temp job on the first day, (with a smile of course) introduce yourself to the first person you see when you walk into the office.  Many times this will be a receptionist in larger companies and pretty much anyone, even the CEO in smaller companies.  Let them know who you are, what you are supposed to be doing (if you know) and who you spoke to or are supposed to report to.

Find Out Who You Work For – It should be obvious but sometimes temp workers are just thrown into an office and they are expected to get things done.  In imaginary land, we all feel that extra bodies equals more productivity but in reality that is far from the truth.  A temporary worker can’t do anything without knowing what needs to get done.

After your first communication with the receptionist or whoever you spoke to, ask some specific questions.

  • Who is your Boss? – The worst thing for a temp is not to know who their boss is or who the most important person to listen to is.  You don’t want two different people giving you conflicting orders or different ASAP jobs and not know what to do or where to start.  There is always one person who you should be listening to more than others and you need to find out who that person is.
  • Where is your Boss’ Office? – It might be a physical office or it might be a way that your boss likes to be communicated with such as a phone extension, email or an internal office instant messenger.   You don’t want to be in the middle of a task and not know how to continue.

Find Out What Your Top Priorities Are – There is a reason that the company hired a temp and if you know what that reason is, you will be able to do a much better job.  If the receptionist is on maternity leave and you are her replacement, find out what her responsibilities were and how she handled them.  If you can, try to get in touch with her for any tips to make your job easier.

Find Out Who Really Runs The Office And Become Their Friend – In every office, there is one person who knows everything.  I am not talking about someone who knows the financials and sits in a corner office. I am talking about the person who knows where to get a pen, more staples, a good cup of coffee (and sweetener) and most importantly knows everyone’s habits and routine. They are the person you should become best friends with so that you don’t step on anyone’s toes and more importantly, you will know how to go the extra mile to do a great job. — this person can also fill you in on all the other details including where the eating area is, the code for the copier, how to answer the phone, where the bathroom is and so much more.

Bonus:  Pay attention to your surroundings.   When you are in familiar surroundings this gets harder but as a temp worker who is constantly moving around, you have an advantage.  Watch how people work, how they communicate with each other and learn the culture.  Following the corporate culture will make working at that job easier and will get your closer to your co-workers.  Making connections with your co-workers leads to great networking opportunities which can help you down the road.

Do you have any other “must do’s” for a temporary worker’s first day on the temp job?  Leave them in the comments below.

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