Things I have learned from working as a Temp that are actually valuable life lessons

The Temp in its natural state

The Temp in its natural state

Being a Temp is like always being the new kid at school.

Some of you may recoil at the thought, but not me. I love a challenge.

I was often the new kid, as an Expat Brat who moved around a lot, and so I was fortunate to already have many of the social skills needed for this type of situation. (Yay me).

I think we can all appreciate that in any life experience you have (good or bad) there are things to be learned (even if that thing is, don’t lick that hornets nest EVER again, or…don’t pull that Stingray’s tail – I’m looking at you Steve).

And while I have moaned and blogged about the Temping lifestyle, there are actually some valuable life lessons that I can take away from the experience, things that will stay with me when I get my dream job and on the career path that I am destined to have Owner and Operator of a Large Chocolate Factory run by Oompa Loompa’s, ruler of the world, Film and Television Mega Star.

Lesson: Be Nice to Everybody, they may be a Temp today, but who will they be 3 years from now?
Really, you should be nice to everybody straight off. I know people who do things the other-way-around to me. They don’t like anybody until that person does something that impresses them/chanegs their opinion of them, whereas with me, everybody starts out as a potential new friend, and if you do something to piss me off…run.

There are some people who will see you (as a temp) as the person at the bottom of the food chain while you are a temporary member of their organisation. They call you “the Temp” or don’t even really acknowledge your existence. But the funny thing is, I know plenty of successful people who, when I mention that I am currently Temping, say “oh yeaaaah! I temped for a while.” Not all of the succesful peeps you see around you started out on top. Tom Cruise was a bellhop, the guy who founded Wendy’s used to work at KFC and Richard Branson sold records out of his car. So just saying.

Also, it’s important to be nice to everyone ANYWAY because you never know who could be a new friend, future contact or will generally just bring hilarity to your world. The girl who’s job I covered in January stayed friends with me and signed me up for her Trampoline Dodgeball team (oh hey Denise!) and the place I worked 3 weeks ago has provided me with two new hilarious friends I went for drinks with last week, So suck it, mean people.

Lesson: If you can google, you can do almost any job mildly successfully.
I have learnt so many Administration skills since I began working as a Temp, and there were times where I would have no clue what I was doing at the start of the day, but by the end of the day, I was a pro. If you have google and two brain cells to rub together, you can work most things out. I get that some tasks take experience or prior knowledge, but really? This is an information rich era we live in, and there is plenty to be said for biting the bullet, and figuring shit out for yourself.

Lesson: There will always be a douchebag
Similar to the first lesson in this post, it doesn’t really matter what office situation you are in, there is always going to be a douchebag. I’ve worked in offices with 300 people and offices with 5 and there is always, always someone who pops up on your radar as being a first class dick. It’s like they went to the University of Dick-en-ham and studied advanced Dick-ish-ness with Professor Dickknob and graduated magna dick laude. Dicks.

My advice when dealing with these types is to just smile and seem as stupid as possible. No really. It infuriates them. Where are the spare staples? Staples? What are those? I’ve never even heard of such things, could you describe them for me/do an interpretative dance/act them out? *BARKS* Fax?! *As the dick stabs helplessly and angrily at the fax machine* “Fax? Oh no I wasn’t showed how to do that sorry.” *The Temp suddenly becomes very busy at re-organizing the envelope drawer.*

Lesson: Every Office is it’s own delicate ecosystem and has its own politics, try to stay out of it.
Office drama is so funny to watch from the outside. It is a wilderness within four walls, and while it seems like I am muddling my metaphors here, I hope you’re getting what I am trying to say because I’m pretty sure ecosystems have politics…right? *Throws the Whatever sign in the air and flicks hair.* What I really mean is, don’t get involved. People will try to recruit you if there is an office rivalry, and it is easy to get sucked in. But as a Temp, do you really care? You’re outta there in a week and on to the next. That’s what I thought. But it sure is fun to be an observer.

Lesson: A lot of people with “real” office jobs seem to spend an awful lot of time on Buzz Feed.
No matter how busy people are, or claim to be – there is always (apparently) time for hilarious cat videos and 21 reasons chocolate is better than vanilla.

SO what did we learn today? Be nice to the Temps, don’t minimize your screen when we walk past (we know what you were doing), don’t get involved, when in doubt, google it out, and if you’re a dick, try not to be that anymore.