This Sunday is the 85th Academy Awards and Seth MacFarlane will be taking on one of the toughest gigs in tinsel town: Oscars Host. This will be MacFarlane’s first turn as host, following in the footsteps of Hollywood heavyweights such as Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal and Bob Hope.

As a temp, you’re expected to hit the ground running. Often you’ll have been contracted to step into a role while a person is away or on maternity leave, with little guidance left behind.

Starting a new job or contract can be stressful, so what can you do to get up to speed as quickly as possible and ensure you’re successful?

  • Be open to new ways of doing things – temps are highly valued for their ADAPTABILITY.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • But take notes. Even if you think you will remember, write it down anyway! You don’t want to have to keep asking the same questions.
  • Also carefully read any notes or guidelines left by your predecessor, these will be extremely valuable!
  • Make sure to discuss with your manager the expectations of the job, timelines, measurements for success, and pitfalls to avoid.
  • Identify key players relevant to your role, both internally and externally, and introduce yourself (or ask for an introduction).
  • Observe your co-workers, who knows who, how they communicate with each other and their supervisors to get a feel for what’s “appropriate” when dealing with colleagues.
  • Don’t try to solve all the company’s problems on day one. Take time to observe, learn and then assess your best course of action.
  • But do use your own judgement. You were hired for your expertise and just like MacFarlane, you’re there to bring your own flavour to the job.
  • Keep a running list of accomplishments from the assignment (great for you career portfolio!).

Starting a new job is always a fine line of learning, adapting and improving. As a temp, you are often thrown into a situation mid-stride so being flexible, eager and diligent will be your biggest allies. Good luck temps and don’t forget, if you are having issues on a new assignment, do call us right away.