You should never be sitting home while you’re looking for a job. Never mind the fact that it’s not good for morale to be home sending your resume hurtling into the black void of cyberspace—you need to be out there, gaining skills and experience and meeting people who can lead you to the right opportunity. One great way to get your foot in the door is by temping—but not randomly. Don’t just sign up for any agency and take any jobs they give you.
Be Strategic! Accept Only Assignments That Advance Your Plan
Once you know what industry you’d like to work in and maybe even what company you’d like to pursue, you can tell the temp recruiter that you’re interested in working for a specific company or industry. For example, you might say that you’re only interested in working in publishing companies or only at Bank of America.
You’re Inside the Company—Now What?
You’ve gotten your foot in the door, and now you’re where many job seekers would kill to be. You might be a temp, but you have access to everyone in the company! What should you do?
1) Always Put Your Best Foot Forward.
You may have another agenda, but you still need to do a great job at the tasks assigned to you. Ask for help as you need it. It’s a great way to meet people.
2) Investigate the Resources Now at Your Disposal.
Company bulletin boards, list servs, and the company library are all important. But most important are the people, including people in HR.
3) Meet As Many People As You Can Across the Company.
Express your interest and enthusiasm for the company. Suggest coffee and lunch breaks to get to know people. Make it clear that you will always do a great job with your temp assignments but your real goal is to move into a permanent position with the company. Ask those you meet to introduce you to their colleagues in other departments.
4) Offer to Take on Extra Projects.
There’s always work to be done that full-time employees can’t get around to. Volunteer as much as you can but only if you can handle it on top of your other work. Casually let your bosses know what you’re doing.
5) Make an Appointment with HR.
Get the name of your colleagues’ favorite HR people and ask for an introduction. Schedule an appointment to discuss your skill set and upcoming openings. You now have the home advantage!
Tell us in the comments: Have you ever taken a temporary or intern position? How did you take advantage?