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Job Interview

Temporary employment has been called the one bright spot of the employment landscape over the last few years. The number of people employed in the “temporary help services industry” – seasonally adjusted – has increased nearly 30%. This compares to a growth rate of 10% for all private sector jobs. Temporary employment is expected to keep growing at a high rate as many companies realize the many benefits of utilizing a temporary workforce.

One of these benefits is the need for flexibility as employers gauge this slow economic recovery and the impact the Affordable Care Act, payroll tax hikes, unemployment taxes and workers compensation changes will have. However, temporary employment can be an excellent solution for workers. It gives them the ability to deal with other interests and concerns – elder or childcare issues, school schedules and simply life.

Temporary work can also be an excellent way to secure an offer for a full-time employment over the long term and to maintain relevancy in the working world in the short term. In fact, the American Staffing Association (ASA) reports that as many as 18% of temporary positions are converted to full-time jobs annually.

“Temping” is a powerful tool that you can leverage in your search for full-time employment. But what makes a good temporary employee? Here are some tips on how to make yourself more marketable as a temporary worker:

  • Do not think of yourself as “less important” than a full time employee – Temporary workers should not think of themselves as second-class citizens, and they should not slack off and not do their best work. In fact, the opposite is true. This is your chance to shine and show what you really can do. No one should be able to guess from the quality of work done that you are temporary.

  • Realize That No Task is Beneath You – When asked by USA Today what she looks for in a candidate, Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, said that it was a willingness to do whatever is needed. Is the candidate willing to take out the trash, because, well, the trash needs to be taken out? No one wants to be seen as the “lowly temp”, but a high-and-mighty attitude benefits no one. Be willing to do anything. Approach every project and task with a positive outlook. A positive outlook creates a positive experience, and it shows that you can be a valuable addition.

  • Go Above and Beyond – If you have finished your assigned tasks for the day, ask what else you can do to help. Arrive on time for work every day, and do not be overly eager to rush out at quitting time. Put in that extra effort. Exceed expectations and demonstrate an outstanding work ethic. Ask the supervisor how he/she likes having things done. Show how dependable you can be.

  • Be Nice – The old adage “it’s all about who you know” is not really true. It is all about who likes you and respects you. The one way that temporary work helps you is that is allows you to truly network. This is different than sitting at your computer and “connecting” with strangers on LinkedIn or “friending” acquaintances on Facebook. These people cannot speak to your work ethic, your ability to work with others, your capabilities, or your capacity to meet deadlines. All they will be able to say is that you posted an interesting article or made a funny comment. People who like and respect you will be better advocates for you. Show every day that you are eager to get to work and be pleasant; you will be amazed at the results.

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