Temporary employment: The dos and don’ts

By Claire Gray, co-founder of specialist PA recruitment agency, Bain and Gray

Within this industry it’s not unusual to hear that a PA has taken some time out from a permanent role to take on some temp work. These jobs provide a candidate with an opportunity to expand their skill set, meet and work with new key industry members and transform their business acumen, which can then be applied to a more permanent position in the future.

Joining a company and taking on a new role is a daunting task for even the most seasoned assistants in the industry, and with temporary work there are a whole host of factors employees should be doing and dodging. For example, at Bain and Gray, we advise temp workers to avoid getting involved with office politics as they’ll likely only be working there for a few weeks. Meanwhile, we also suggest that staff should carry out thorough research before any new assignment, to ensure they are on top of their game when they take on any role. To help any worker seeking some temporary roles, I have compiled a list of the dos and don’ts that we would encourage any candidate to follow while testing the waters with temporary employment.


  • Contact your temp consultant every other week with your availability.
  • Contact your temp consultant if you’ve accepted any other roles whether temporary or permanent.
  • When interviewing, arrive between five to ten minutes early, but no earlier.
  • Research companies and contacts that you are given from your temp consultant.
  • When following up on anything pick up the phone – communication and relationship building is key when temping.
  • With each new assignment, double check all details including address, journey time and who you’ll be reporting to.
  • Dress appropriately for the assignment (check with your temp controller what this should be) this will help you fit in, perform better and feel more confident in your role.
  • Make a conscious choice to approach each new work situation constructively – you never know where it may lead!
  • If you’re unable to attend a booking for any reason or running late, inform your consultant before 8:30 am on the day.
  • Get your timesheet in on time. Get into the habit of sending this in before you leave on a Friday afternoon.
  • As you complete assignments, update your CV to include the new skills and experience you acquire – your next assignment could be more senior and pay more.


  • Turn up late.
  • Wait for the work to be given to you. Show initiative! If you finish ahead of schedule, don’t wait for someone to come and find you – ask for more work. You’ll earn a reputation as a hard worker and also be first in line for future assignments.
  • Use your phone while working in a temp role. If you’re looking for a permanent position while temping we’ll always encourage you to keep interviewing, however we ask you to keep these to first thing and last thing in the day (or lunch times as approved by your boss).

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