Friday, July 17, 2009

Temporary Sanity (real advice)

You know, it’s really not all that bad working through temp agencies. To be honest, I’ve worked through them since my daughter was born. And that was over twenty years ago. I guess I’d have to say that the ‘flexibility’ is what I’ve always enjoyed the most. You couldn’t ask for a better way to see if a particular company was a good fit for you and vice versa; you each get to try the other out before making a commitment. Kind of like ‘getting engaged’. Come to think of it, you and the client are engaging each other on a level of conformity, longevity and compatibility. When I begin an assignment and find associates who’ve worked for that company for a number of years, I usually joke with them saying, “…it’s like a marriage if you think about it. I mean you end up spending a better part of your day here [at the job] and if you’re really committed and in it for the long haul, you take the job very serious and want to make it work. You even tend to want to bring others into the fold so that they too can enjoy the fruits of labor.” Well now that just sounds like I’m talking about a group in Utah with all that sharing going on. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. …LOL… […no offense to anyone…]

Well, anywhooo…to get back to what I was saying. Temporary agencies are, for the better part of being unbiased, great for those who just aren’t sure of their immediate future [in the workforce]. Or for those who just can’t decide what they want to be when they grow up. Whenever I’ve moved, the first place I would go to after settling into our apartment would be a local temporary agency to sign up and find work. First, the agency would have me complete the necessary application/paperwork so they can do a background check and such. Then I’d sit with a representative to interview and then test on their computer system to see where my skills lie…or don’t lie. ‘Cause you can’t fake-out those computer systems. And to be honest, why would you want to try and trick the system? It would only come back to proverbially ‘bite you on the butt’. Besides, I rather enjoy the computer system testing aspects of any of the agencies. It gives me a chance to see how I’ve improved over the years and which skills I need to polish up on. From Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook to some of the more intense data bases like Microsoft Access or any of the other web based data applications out there that might be company specific. Either way it goes, you have a better chance of improving your computer system office skills through a temporary agency that offers not just the initial job placement testing, but also offers you a chance to come into their office periodically to further enhance your computer system office skills. This extra learning opportunity is definitely a ‘win-win’ situation; you get to hone your skills and the agency has a better candidate to offer a client.

Okay, do I sound like a PSA for temp agencies or what? But it’s ‘true’. Talk to anyone who’s worked through a temp agency and I bet they’ll say pretty much the same things that I’ve said here. Now keep in mind, not everyone will have the same results. That’s a given off the top. And that’s just because we’re not all the same. I’ve known other temps […that’s what we call ourselves…”temps”…] who’ve said they’ve had bad experiences on a job and didn’t want to go back to complete the assignment. And in cases like that, I must say that yes there will be times when ‘a fit just doesn’t fit’. But then you have to ask yourself “before” you accept an assignment, “…is this what I want to do right now?” Because the temporary agency does give you a chance to decline an assignment beforehand. And if the temporary agency representative is on the ball and has the complete job description in hand, then you’ll know right up front all that the assignment requires of you. I know, I know…there were times when I’ve willingly accepted an assignment, got to the site and thought to myself, “…WTH!...” or “…AYN!” But then I had to swallow my pride, think of my family and how much we need the second paycheck right now. To be totally honest, if the work is not all that bad then just bite the bullet and get through it. This is the beauty of it all. Once you complete the assignment, barring any moaning and groaning on your part, you come out the other side not only with a much needed paycheck, but [hopefully] with a better mindset of that particular company and you’ll know for future reference to never go back there again.

And always remember to NEVER bad mouth a temp agency or their clients. Because you never know who’s watching you for future endeavors. Would it be any more cliché to say, “Don’t burn any bridges that you may have to cross in the future.”? For all of the self help and positive attitude guru books out there, I say that if you keep the “Golden Rule” in the forefront of your mind at all times, then how can you go wrong.

Take Care!
Mrs. T.A. Pinder-Chambers
Lakeland, FL

(“WTH” = what the heck? )
(“AYN” = are you nuts? )


Sandy said...

Hi! I am moving to Lakeland next month and was trying to find out some information about temp agencies. Lo and behold I found your very helpful post :) I have never worked at a temp agency before, and was wondering if you could recommend one. I looked on Google and there are many to choose from! Also do you sign up at one, or more than one? Thanks, I appreciate it.

terripincha66 said...

Hi Sandy!

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog regarding Temporary Agencies. As I mentioned in my blog, I really enjoy working through the different agencies in the area.

The best thing you can do is make a checklist of sorts of the agencies in the area you plan to move into. Make contact with each by phone to introduce yourself and allow them to suggest your next step; also email them your resume. Some agencies will be open and honest as to what they're currently looking for as far as immediate placement. But don't hesitate to ask what they're currently looking for if they do not offer the information up front. This way you're not waiting by the phone for an assignment because the agency can't place you just yet.

Therefore, apply at multiple temp agencies. They will more than likely tell you to do the same thing because they know about the lulls in placement.

I've had the most success for assignments through either Adecco or Rita Staffing. They're each located on opposite ends of the Florida Avenue corridor; Rita Staffing is on the Southern side while Adecco is on the Northern side.

I wish you the best of successes and Welcome! to the Lakeland area of Polk County.

~ Terri ~