What Should You Do When Your Temp Job Is Ending
We live in an economy with a great deal of freelance and temp jobs. For the most part, the days of working 40 years to retirement at one business are gone. That means that part of the work we all do has to be setting up our next opportunity for employment. The business you work for now may hire you back again down the road, so it’s important to leave a good impression and make yourself memorable (in a positive way!).
At the same time, you have to have a nose for tracking down good skilled labor job listings, and you need connections to a temporary labor agency that can do some of the job hunting work for you. Here are some tips for how to get through this all with offers on the horizon and your sanity intact:
- Don't slack off at the end. When you know a job is finishing out, there's a temptation to just sit back, relax, and hit the cruise control. Avoid this. Your boss will be able to tell, and if they were considering hiring you again in the future, a lackluster close-out may convince them to delete your contact info.
This can be tough. Chances are you've put in a lot of work. You may even be frustrated that you worked as hard as permanent employees, but the nature of your contract and their needs means you won't be there next week. This isn't your or their fault; it's how the industry ebbs and flows.
Some of the best advice you get in running is to finish every run with your hardest effort. The same is true of temp jobs. It convinces managers to keep you on their mind and to seek you out again. It also leaves you with a better experience, which can influence whether you go back into job hunting optimistically or with a chip on your shoulder.
- Finish all your responsibilities. Don't leave something hanging. If there's a specific element to your job that you need to finish before you go, don't shrug your shoulders and figure the next person will get it. This is because the next person will get it – and they'll also get any full-time or more permanent position that comes up before you.
Finish your responsibilities. If there isn't time to do this, be up front and notify someone as soon as you know there isn't time. They'll respect that you're up-front about the timing and that you're trying to be responsible. Occasionally, they'll realize they asked too much and extend you another few days or a week.
- Ask for a recommendation. And ask for it in multiple forms. Don't be shy. Ask for a written copy and a LinkedIn recommendation. Ask if you can use them as references. Businesses you work with won't mind this. It won't seem aggressive; it will seem assertive. Plus, these asks demand that they think of you even after you're gone and reflect on the job you did. Asking them to do this can increase the likelihood you'll stick in their minds and that they'll ask for you again down the road.
Even if you prefer not to work with this company again -- for whatever reason -- their recommendation can help you land your next gig. And you don’t want to burn any bridges.
- Meet with a Manager or HR. Ask for a meeting so that you can let them know you'd like to return. Let them know what you liked about the job, how it helped you grow, and what you felt you were able to accomplish in it. Thank them for the opportunity, and be frank that you'd like to work with them again in the future.
They'll appreciate that you want a face-to-face. Someone who goes out of their way to say thank you and goodbye is far more memorable than someone who just silently disappears after their contract's up.
- Be prepared for your job search. Find skilled labor job listings. Set yourself up to slide right back into the job hunt. Don't spend on-the-job time doing this. Remember, you don't want to slack off. You do want to spend a bit of personal time preparing yourself to hit the job market running, though.
When you conclude a job or contract, and you don't have work to step into, you need to make the job hunt itself your work. This can be frustrating, but if you can slip right from one to the other, you won't lose momentum.
If you need a day or two off to recharge, spend time with family, whatever it might be, take it. But have things prepared so that when you get back, you won't be trying to force yourself to full speed from a dead stop. A little bit of preparation can help you get your head in the game and to approach things with optimism. And optimism isn't just a feeling – it can also help you be more efficient and it can keep you from dragging your heels.
- Contact a temporary labor agency. Maybe they're the agency that got you the job in the first place. Make sure you tell them that the job is ending. (If you got it through them, they'll know this.)
Be sure you tell them that you're immediately looking for more work and the date that you can be available. This helps them get you back into the pool of applicants they consider for a variety of positions.
Also tell them about your experience in your last job. Send them an updated resume that includes your most recent work experience and additional skills and training that it gave you. Tell them if you'd like to be considered for the same business whose employment is concluding. This can help you be kept near the top of the pile for future jobs. If the business you worked with also says they'd like to hire you again in the future and you've voiced this for your own part, then your resume is going to be at the very top of the pile.
Communicate, and remember to ask if they have any questions or anything they need to know to make the process easier. Remember, they can do a lot of the work of job hunting for you. You still have to do the core work, but a temporary labor agency can cast a much wider net. The more you communicate with them, the more they'll consider you for openings.
Your temp job is ending -- a new opportunity is waiting to begin. Find a job with Labor For Hire.