Temping can be a great way to quickly gain a range of new skills for your CV. While assignments tend to be short, there’s nothing quite like a pressing deadline to whip your project management skills into shape. But how to settle into your new role quickly, whilst leaving a lasting impression of your time there, can be a fine art.
Finding your feet in a new job can be tough at the best of times. Temping and contracting roles carry a whole new range of anxieties, with pressure to seamlessly adapt to your new role quickly and efficiently. If you’re about to launch yourself into a new workplace as a temp, follow these tips to adapt to your new environment and leave your mark.
Start planning before you get your foot in the door
Getting your head in the game ahead of time can be a serious game changer. Understanding organisational structure, the state of ongoing projects and objectives of the company will help to give you a head start. Check out the company page on LinkedIn and try to get an understanding of whos who within the company. You can use this research to start an instant rapport with your colleagues when you arrive. Google is your friend!
Settle into the company culture
Every workplace is different. Understanding the lay of the land and your own personal communication style is key to navigating the nuances of any company culture. Is the company super formal and structured, or fun and laid-back? This can help you determine the way you interact with your new colleagues. Does your temp agency have it’s own community guidelines to adhere to? It’s wise to remember the fact that you’re representing your agency as well as yourself.
Maintaining a strong work ethic and a friendly demeanour will help to win the respect of your new colleagues. Being assertive as well as empathetic will go a long way, as will seeking answers and staying curious. Temps and contractors are often expected to hit the ground running with little to no onboarding. Get ready to jump aboard a moving train —without a safety net!
Stay focused and seize the chance to build new skills
Temping and contracting offers the unique opportunity to develop new skills in a short amount of time. The job market is competitive, so your month of ‘marketing communications’ (sending mail-outs) may just give you the edge you need for your resume. It also presents a good opportunity to quickly gain a good employer reference. If you stay focused on your projects and go above and beyond, you’ll leave a lasting impression on the company, ultimately leading to more opportunities and open doors further down the track.
Spark the conversation with these quick starters
Small talk doesn’t need to be restricted to the water cooler! It can help to build relationships with your new colleagues, allowing you to settle into your new role quicker.
- How long have you worked here?
- What’s your favourite thing about working here?
- Is there anything you wish you’d known when you started?
- Are there any insider secrets? Where’s the best place to get coffee?
- Is there anything I should know about this project?
And if all else fails, default to the classics. You can’t go wrong with a little bit of sport or weather chat.
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