Short-term assignments can be an excellent way for employers to supplement their full-time staff with temps and interns. It helps get more done during higher seasons at a lower cost. But, what about the up side for employees?
Short-term assignments are also a great opportunity for a gamut of job types, such as writers, photographers, web designers or administrative assistants – to name a few – looking for work. Job seekers can use short term assignments to test out fields that they are interested in, to see if they are a good fit. Also to make some income while searching for a full-time position, or to just mix things up and boost creativity and learn new skills.
Finding the right Silicon Valley staffing agency that helps fill short-term assignments is an efficient way to meet your needs and maximize opportunities to build your own experience and talents.
However, as short term assignments do not often come with a lot of training, there are some things you need to do to get the most out of your time on the job.
Here are three important ones…
1. Take responsibility for your performance
With short-term staff coming in and out, a company cannot put in a lot of effort to make sure you are settled into your new position. Go into each assignment with the determination to make everyone else’s job easier and help as much as you can.
You can become a fast learner and see what needs to be done by being very observant. Figure out how things work and how you can contribute so all runs smoothly. This can help you adjust more quickly while feeling less overwhelmed and can also help you stand out.
Scenario: Your skills and goals lend themselves to being placed by the staffing agency into that “just right” fit as an administrative assistant at a high-tech company in Palo Alto.
In the beginning, the hiring manager simply had a short set of goals and a long list of tasks for you to complete, but as the days go by that hiring manager sees you are a go-getter and a team player. The hiring manager – with input from the rest of the team – may even decide that your performance shows you could become a longer term asset to their success.
Next thing you know, you’ve got options!
Do not be afraid to ask questions when needed, but figure out what you can on your own. Better to ask than for a job to be done inadequately, but you can learn a lot through observation.
2. Set smart goals for your short-term assignment
You want to be a valuable asset to the team you are placed with, but you can get something out of the temporary assignment for yourself, too. You do this by going in with some smart goals. What do you want to gain most from your experience?
Would you like the position to turn into a full-time offer? Or maybe you want to learn something new? Or you want to put your knowledge to the test through application? Make some new connections, perhaps.
Think about your goals and make sure they are measurable. How will you know that the goal has been achieved? Write the goals down and review them often during your assignment to help you stay focused.
Be sure to write updates as you are achieving those goals and the lessons you are learning as you go. Not only is this encouraging, it can be of great value for future work. You may even have learning experiences that you can add to your resume, so be sure you are keeping track.
3. Make Real Connections
If you are seeking to serve, and make yourself useful, you can make some wonderful long-term connections from short-term assignments. These contacts can be beneficial for the rest of your working years.
A network of connections is valuable on so many levels. See everyone you meet as a mentor, someone you can learn from, even if they are doing a different job from you. Good impression or bad, everyone offers a few lessons to glean.
Also, ask for feedback. Use your journal or notepad to track what your boss or supervising staff is saying about your position and how you are doing. This will help you grow and adjust where needed. This will also show the team you are working with that you care about the work you are doing.
Remember, companies may not always have policies and procedures in place to cover everything related to short-term assignments. Be courteous and patient. Adjusting to any new venture can be challenging at first. To get the most out of the experience, determination and a great attitude are your most valuable assets.
Short-term assignments present opportunity along with the possible challenges. You just have to stay open to the possibilities and set yourself up to be as successful as you can be.