I’m 26 and in the past year, I’ve had 4 temp jobs.
An adult residential college (4 months), a law firm (3 months), a recruitment company (5 months) and now, a tech company in Australia (1 month and counting).
Only the law firm job was classed as a permanent role and I learned the least there.
At the time of writing, there are currently 27,140 temporary jobs advertised on seek.com.au. Why? Because temps are the superheroes of the office. They’re called in when people are sick, when the workload is too much for the permanent staff, when someone suddenly walks out, so why is temp work still looked down upon by employers?
I love temping because you get chucked in at the deep end and told to swim, and I love that challenge. As a temp, I’ve taken over reception when the receptionist walked out. I’ve called a government department so often that the people there recognised my voice. I’ve been the person to create processes when the rest of the team was flailing and I’ve been the person that hits targets with little to no training.
And that is why temping is incredible. You learn such a huge amount in such a short time that you’re always on top of your game, unlike Grumpy Greg who’s been at the company for so long that he doesn’t even know where he put that folder he had the other day with that thing in it. Temps always know where everything is.
At the recruitment company, the consultants were trying to hit targets, upload documents, update spreadsheets, chase criminal record checks and make sure they weren’t screaming at the applicants when they sent through the wrong document for the twentieth time. When I arrived, the manager said “it’s not a sexy job, but it’ll really help us.” In my first week, I’d applied for and chased criminal record checks, uploaded the backlog, created a system on a shared spreadsheet so everyone knew what was happening, and I did it all while making the company owner and directors constant cups of coffee.
When I told my manager that I was moving to Australia, he just looked at me in panic. My replacement came in for my last 2 weeks and when I showed her the job, she also looked at me in panic.
That’s when I realised that I’d actually created almost every process in place. I became the person that everyone asked if they needed help (someone even asked me where the bin was because I’d clearly designed the office, too)
Whenever I’ve applied for a job, the main reason they give for not hiring me is because my CV is too ‘jumpy’. All of the temp jobs I’ve had were initially for a few weeks, and ended up lasting a few months, so that must say something, right?
I truly believe that companies are missing out on incredible people just because their CV doesn’t look a certain way. Think about it.
Sally has been at the same company for 2 years. She’s hitting targets, talking to the same client every few days, looking for the same criteria.
Melissa has been temping for 2 years. She’s worked at 6 different companies, all in different sectors. She’s hit targets, spoken to company directors, customers, government departments, has learned 6 different jobs and has lived to tell the tale.
I know which one I’d rather have in my company, and it’s not Sensible Sally.