To survive your first week as a temporary employee, get all the information you need before accepting the job, be prepared for anything, become familiar with the corporate environment quickly, and more.

Contract assignments are good ways to keep a steady paycheck coming in during a downturn in the economy. But temporary work also allows flexibility; you can choose the job you want when you want to work. But while these positions have positive points, they also have some challenges unique to this type of job. Here’s how to adjust to these jobs and be prepared for your first week as a temp worker.

Understand What You’re In For

One way you can prepare to be a temp worker is to ask the right questions upfront. When the recruiter calls and asks if you’re interested in the position, get the specifics about the job. Ask about the job description and what the day-to-day work is like. What kind of attire should you wear? Who will you report to, and why is the position available? Find out how long the shift is and what time you should report each day. It’s even important to learn where the work is, so you don’t use up all of your pay by running your car across town. Even ask how your time is logged and how often the pay period is. All of these questions will keep you from having a nasty surprise later on.

But Also Stay Prepared for Anything

When you’re a temp worker, you’re often stepping in to fill a gap in the schedule or help out during a sudden influx of work. This means you may be asked to stay late and work overtime. It could mean unexpected job responsibilities you didn’t anticipate. Make sure you take along a pad and paper in case you need to take notes. Also, take the contact information from your recruiter or staffing agent. Take plenty of water and snacks or lunch and have backup childcare in case you can pick up a few extra hours and help the employer out.

Don’t Be Late

The cardinal rule of thumb for any job is to arrive on time. But it’s particularly important for a temp job because they don’t know you. You want to make a good impression; many jobs are temp to hire. When you arrive late, it also looks bad for the temp agency, who may end up not calling on you again. Try to get to work every day about 10-minutes early before you clock in. Be ready to go to work. If you have to be late, call the staffing agency right away.

Ask the Right Questions When You Arrive

Get as familiar with the corporate environment as you can and do it fast. Ask good questions to understand more about the company. Look at the company website and mission statement. When you arrive, watch the employees closely for their attitudes and behaviors that will signal the kind of corporate culture they have. All of these things will help you behave appropriately on the job, blend in, and perhaps even secure a permanent job.

IES can get you back to work in a temporary or temp to hire job. Contact our team about opportunities in your area.

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