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The first day on any job is always a nerve-wracking experience. Will they like me? Will I like them? What if I mess up? The list of niggling what-ifs is endless. So, how do you cope if you’re a temp who has to deal with being the new kid in the office on a regular basis?
Ensure you’re informed on day number one by researching your new company online, and chatting to any contacts you have that may already work there. What is their main business? What sort of products / services do they provide?
It’s also wise to fine tune your computer skills, particularly popular software packages like Word, Excel and PowerPoint - if that’s what the role demands.
Soft skills are also key; the ability to multi-task and deal with internal and external customers can often top the wish list of an employer.
When you arrive and actually get your feet in under the table, there are a number of ways you can successfully build on the reputation that has got you there in the first place.
Ask questions to prove your enthusiasm.
Exceed the expectations of your colleagues.
Seek out extra assignments.
Find out the name, title and extension of the person you are directly answerable to.
How does the phone system work and what is your extension?
Make sure your supervisor has a copy of your CV.
Ask for timeframes on assignments and find out your employer's expectations.
Source a list of internal phone extensions.
Where are the printers, fax, copying machines located?
Get to know staff in other departments.
Where are the women's/men's rooms?
Where is the kitchen/canteen?
Above all, you should remember to stay positive. If your co-workers accidentally refer to you as ‘the temp’ when you’re in earshot, don’t let it get you down. A willing attitude and the ability to cope under pressure will earn the respect of those around you, ensure you have a good overall experience and may even secure you a permanent position.