Temporarily Yours

I just finished up a three-month temporary work gig. I’ve temped at other times of my life, and while it’s a great way to fill in gaps when you need it, it can also be stressful: being new and unfamiliar with the organization, not getting enough work, not getting the right kind of work, being ignored and feeling awkward in the break room, etc.

Not this time – this experience was 100% awesome, and, while I’m glad to be moving on to something more substantive and permanent, I’m going to miss it. What made this time different?

  • Connections: I got the gig not through an agency, but through a friend I made in a professional capacity who needed the help due to a vacant position. As a result, there was already a level of trust and respect there that might not have been if I had come randomly through an agency.
  • Tasks: How many of us – as full or part-time professionals – have the luxury of getting a task and then working on it through to completion? Or how often do you have work that doesn’t have a real immediate and VERY IMPORTANT deadline? In my experience, those are both pretty rare things.
  • Brain Food: In addition, I was getting both ends of the task spectrum: data entry and strategic planning. That is also rare – too much of either one can make your brain hurt. As The Temp, I was given things that had piled up due to higher priority deadlines, or nice ideas that no one had the time to purse. What a bonus for me!
  • People: Folks at this organization were very friendly. One, it was made pretty clear that I was there for a very specific amount of time, so no one felt threatened that I was there to take their job, and two, they’re just nice people! They welcomed me, invited me to participate in staff activities, said hello every day and got my jokes. It was a very warm environment.
  • Thanks: People really were grateful for my help, and I was actually helping (which helps!), which made it that much better. But more than that, they made a point to tell me that – by not only giving more to do, but also verbally expressing thanks. That sounds a little silly, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do that.

This opportunity came at a time of transition for me as well as for them: I helped parts of the organization grow while adding to my own professional development; I relieved some of their professional stress, and they offered me some financial stability; I provided some fresh ideas and perspectives on changes and opportunities and they offered support and friendship. I thank them for bringing me into their fold and remain forever temporarily and most sincerely theirs. Have you thanked your temp today?

– Libby Bingham

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