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How to make the most of your Temporary placement

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

During the past 24 years we have learned that Temporary workers can be the backbone of an organisation.


Much has been said about the nature of Temporary work. True, it can be difficult moving from one position to another, and planning takes on a slightly different quality compared to planning your future in a Permanent role. It takes a very specific type of person to master the art of Temporary work, and we love working with that person!

You need to be agile and adaptable, as you may be moving from post to post across a variety of different roles and with a variety of different teams. You need to be flexible, able to prioritise and manage your time and work under pressure.

So, what else do you need to think about when it comes to making the most of your Temporary placement?

In this free downloadable guide, we examine how to build relationships and maintain them, how to network, how to make a great first impression (and a lasting impact), and other things you can do during the experience.

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll be more than prepared for your next varied, exciting and rewarding role!

Making the most from your temporary work placement

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Building and maintaining relationships

External vs internal networking

As a Temporary worker it is highly likely you understand the intrinsic importance of networking and building connections outside of work. In a career that offers you flexibility, you have the liberty to work on building your contacts and professional network in and around the free time you may have between jobs.

However, the seriously underrated twin to external networking is internal networking.

If you have been placed in your dream Temporary job and you want to maximise every opportunity you get during this set time of work, it’s time to start thinking about building those connections at work as well. Not only will this benefit you directly, but it can also help the impression you create during your Temporary placement.

Building quick and lasting relationships with colleagues

First stop, colleagues. While it may be intimidating to be new in a company, especially when you will be moving on at the end, your colleagues are a great source of knowledge, support and guidance.

A great way to connect with your colleagues is to recognise them. When people are promoted; send a congratulatory email. When they receive an award or praise from senior management; go over to them afterwards and shake their hand.

Don’t only focus on in-house achievements though. Is it somebody’s birthday? Has someone just got engaged or married? Show your support and celebrate each milestone with your peers. This way you will not only be a valued colleague, but a friend. If you’re not so confident and are really struggling to break ground, lunch times truly are the golden hour. Invite somebody for lunch or a coffee or sit with a new group. Whilst it may seem very ‘school cafeteria’, getting away from ‘business-led’ chats are a great way to identify things in common and build those long-standing connections.

Meaningful managerial relationships

There is a common misconception that employeemanager relationships signify preferential treatment. However, not all managerial connections are that onedimensional. In fact, having a great relationship with your manager is a fantastic way to secure a great reference or referral in the future. Therefore, don’t be deterred, it could be important to your career.

Your manager is a fountain of knowledge. Not only is it their job to support and guide you in your role but they have a great awareness of the business itself. It can be very useful to ask him or her to give you some ideas of other senior members of staff to converse with, that could aid your future goals. These small conversations and instances of guidance are a really helpful method of informal mentoring from which you can benefit directly.

On top of their day-to-day tasks, managers are continuously busy. You may find offering your support or volunteering your time will not only get you some more responsibility and experience but will earn you the respect and thanks you deserve. Making a lasting impression is bound to put you at the forefront of their mind if a Permanent position comes up, too.

Keeping contacts

When your time to leave comes, rest assured that you have made some lasting impressions during this Temporary placement. Not only have you supported and built bonds with your colleagues, but you are likely to have left an imprint.

The key to internal networking is also keeping in touch. Whether you connect on LinkedIn, have a sporadic lunch or send them a birthday message on Facebook, you never know when that great connection can vouch for your professional ability for your next great opportunity.

Making a great first impression, and a lasting impact

Just because you are working in the Temporary industry and about to start a new contract with a different company, it doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels (not that you ever would, of course).

Here’s what to do to make a great first impression, and a lasting impact:

Give it your all

It’s vital to treat each placement as you would a new Permanent role, and demonstrate that you’re serious about succeeding in the role. Only then will you move on to the next role with a greater range of skills, and possibly be asked back to join the team again.

Make sure you arrive on time, or even 15 minutes early, armed with a positive attitude to face the day. If you find that you are able to get through your tasks quickly, speak up and volunteer your help in other areas.

Chances are, you’ll be filling in for someone in the organisation, and their absence might be keenly felt. The more you show your willingness to help, the better it is for you.

Be honest

As the saying goes, honesty is always the best policy.

If you are struggling with a particular task, it’s imperative that you flag it. It won’t do you any favours in the long run if you don’t. Raising an issue not only saves time, but it highlights to your manager that you know your strengths and weaknesses. It shows that you have the best interests of the team at heart in wanting to get the job done.

Take every opportunity to develop your new skills

Take extra steps to learn new technologies, systems, applications or programs – and say “yes” to every training opportunity that comes along. Due to the nature of Temporary placements, the training sessions are likely to be under time constraints. However, that can mean that the knowledge and skills you pick up are actually more concentrated, so use that to your advantage, and absorb as much as you can.

Write it down

Not one you’ve thought of before? This one is just as important as preparing your CV, as you’re essentially keeping it up to date as you move through your placement.

You also need to have a record of your accomplishments in lieu of a performance review, so that when you are interviewing for your next Temporary position, you have a ready-made, fresh set of skills you have drawn on.

Save emails that praise you and note your successes, so you have a good case, if the Employer decides they need someone on a permanent basis.

What to do during the experience

Now that you have secured the job, it’s time to get down to business.

The first thing we would advise here, in terms of how to make the most of your Temporary placement, is to treat the position like an ongoing interview.

If there is a chance of the position becoming permanent, then your placement could act as a trial period; a chance for you, and the employer, to see if you are the right fit for each other. If not, it’s still important to remain conscientious, as it may mean that when the next Temporary placement comes up, you are top of the bill.

A can-do attitude is an absolute must. One of the most interesting and exciting things about the Temporary industry is the potential to learn valuable new skills, arguably in a shorter period of time than in a permanent position. If you show the willingness to participate and perform, the opportunities to strengthen your abilities are huge.

Next on the list is the ability to be a team player. It doesn’t matter that you may only be there for a short time, you still need to be the person the organisation needs. That means using your people skills to create a rapport with your new colleagues, and taking on anything that’s thrown at you, with the interests of the team at heart.

Coupled with being a team player, is using initiative when you’re doing it. Employers love it when someone is able to help them problem solve, increase efficiencies and provide an even better service than they’re already providing. So, if you spot an area that you could improve, say something. If you have a suggestion, raise your hand (you know what we mean). Adding value is worth its weight in gold, and it will make sure you are memorable for all the right reasons.

You also need to make sure you ask for feedback at the end of an assignment. Sometimes a Temporary placement might be quite short, and this may get missed. However, the feedback you get at the end of a contract will undoubtedly influence you in your next role. It’s no different to an appraisal in any other role, and nobody neglects those – so it’s in your interest to learn how you’re performing.

Besides, asking for feedback sends a key message to the Employer that you’re always looking to improve. That sounds like the sort of person that will always be in demand for work, doesn’t it? We thought so.


The world of work is changing faster than ever before, and we have to adapt at the same speed. Working in the Temporary market is arguably one of the best ways in which to experience all that the market has to offer, so if you’re not already in the market and find yourself looking to explore other avenues, it could well be the option for you.

If you are a Temporary worker already, hopefully, this Guide has given you some practical tips on how to make the most of your time with a particular organisation, and ensure you move to the next role with even more knowledge and experience.

We love working with Temporary workers, and we treat them (and interview them) with as much respect and consideration as we would someone who is seeking a permanent position.