A Week in the Life of a Temp

Meet Katie, one of our Top Temps! She's told us what a typical week of temping looks like for her.

A typical week

Temping can be a hugely useful and exciting experience for those of us who cannot commit to permanent full-time work. As an actress myself, I often find myself moving between busy periods of filming and then nothing at all! Temping not only offers you the flexibility to work around another chosen career path, but it gives you a sense of independence. Being able to choose when you commit to temping and when you commit to working on your personal endeavours has been hugely beneficial.

I usually get a call from Alice the previous Thursday or Friday where she explains a potential new role. She pays excellent attention to detail when explaining the company and what would be required so there are no surprises! If all goes well and I am available to take it on, I am then often called in to do a hand-over day on the Friday. This is super useful as it allows you to meet the team and get a feel for the office environment. I am also set up on a laptop during the hand-over so that I can get a quick overview of the company’s system (i.e. do they use google mail).

Here is a taste of an experience I had whilst temping for a brilliant company which ended up lasting 7 weeks. I started in October and worked right up until Christmas which was ultimately their busiest time of year! My role was being part of the Office Team.  

If I ever have an audition during one of my placements, I’ll let Alice and Hetty know and they’ll inform the client. The client will decide if they want extra cover that day or if they’re ok without it.

Monday:

  • I tend to always arrive ten minutes early, which allows me time to settle down, organise my tasks for the day, empty the dishwasher and make myself a coffee!
  • Typically, I then open emails and start responding to them. They will be from clients as well as candidates who are asking to apply to the company. I will forward clients onto members of staff and book candidates in for interview.
  • Fruit delivery! I put all the fresh fruit, which is given to the office, into bowls and distribute them around the office so that everyone can help themselves to it during the working day (and yes, that includes you!)
  • I then spend the rest of the morning answering the phone and collaborating on upcoming events with the team.
  • Lunch was always an hour for me, but you are more than welcome to take a shorter one if you feel you don’t need the hour! Taking a stroll outside and getting a coffee/food was always a nice way to break up the day though.
  • The afternoon consisted of booking in more candidates for interview and general office tidying/organising.

Tuesday:

  • Office Team Meeting to start with! We would all gather in one of the boardrooms to discuss all things Christmas. Being part of the team meetings really gave me a sense of belonging to the team and it was fascinating to gain an insight into the plans that they had.
  • Post meeting, I would review my notes and start working through the tasks. These included sending out our Christmas party invites, amending the guest list, booking a venue for the staff party and ordering catering. It was a very busy time but I was fully supported by the members of the team and had a lot of fun researching!
  • The afternoon would consist of more research and building a spreadsheet for the tasks that had been completed so far.

Wednesday:

  • Second fruit delivery! Again, I would put out more fresh fruit and empty the dishwasher.
  • Booking in more candidates for interview and continuing my events research would then take up most of my morning. I would always be corresponding with the CEOs to keep them up to date with the clients attending the party. Communication is key!
  • Post lunch, I will review my morning progress with the office team
  • Popping to the corner shop with the company card to buy extra coffee, tea (and treats!) for the office is also a regular occurrence, especially mid-week. Then I’ll lay out the treats for everyone to help themselves to (yes, you too!)

Thursday:

  • Workshop day with outside clients! This morning the office team and I will busy ourselves making sure the main boardroom is set up with a white board, pens, glasses and tea/coffee for the workshop day ahead.
  • There will be a lunch delivery around midday so we prepare trays and cutlery at around 11am.
  • Once the lunch arrives, a couple of us take it all to the boardroom and lay it out on the table for the clients to help themselves to. There is always correspondence between the workshop leader and ourselves via google chat during the day so if they need refills of tea/coffee/snacks, we are able to get on it!
  • Workshop days can involve a lot of running around for the Office Team, but there is full support between all of us and you are never alone!
  • Workshops will finish around 5, then the team and I will do a quick tidy up and clear away anything still in the boardroom. Then it’s all ready to go for any meetings in the morning.

Friday:

  • There’s always a nice buzz in the air on a Friday in the office! People often bring cakes or biscuits in to have with tea and coffee which is a treat!
  • If there are no workshops or meetings to be in, I will continue with all my research for the week and tie up loose ends. I am a big fan of making lists each day and I stick them to the front of my notebook so I can tick off as I go.
  • Friday lunch I will usually treat myself to a nice meal from a little cafe and take a moment to sit down outside the office. It’s important whilst temping to use your lunch breaks as a real breather as there can be a lot to do (Plus its pay day so go nuts!)
  • In the afternoon, I make sure my Timesheet is filled in with all my correct hours. I then get an authorised signature from the company I’m temping for and scan it to  Alice before I go home. You can wait until the following Monday afternoon to scan this in but I advise you do it before you finish a Friday as you are more likely to remember!
  • If the job has gone really well that week you may be asked to extend which is always a wonderful thing. If you can manage another week or two, I strongly advise it as you not only build a positive relationship with the company but it bodes well for future temp jobs!

Wrapping It Up:

  • Being willing and available (of course when doable) will only bring you more opportunities in the future.
  • Always make sure you keep the Temp Team up to date with your availability. The team are highly proactive and will often contact you about jobs very quickly!
  • Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help (be it Alice or Hetty or the company you are temping for). People want you to feel comfortable, not to mention you will do a better job if you are!
  • Updating Alice or Hetty about your experience at the company is also a great way to keep in touch. The girls are great at calling up to check in mid-week so do fill them in!
  • The best thing to remember about temping is that although it is not necessarily permanent- impressions are everything. I have returned to many companies that I’ve temped for and have found that being friendly, open and willing has been invaluable.
  • The ball is in your court when it comes to your availability- so make it count. Really enjoy the experiences that you have in each environment and embrace the new challenges- you will learn more than you think!