Ironing boards are surf boards that gave up on their dreams and got a boring job

Don’t be an ironing board!!!

What in the world is she talking about, I hear you say…?

Whilst it is important to not confuse having a career with having a life and we should all be mindful to not let our careers define us, it is also important to acknowledge that our careers are wonderful, ‘mystical’ avenues that allow us the opportunity to pursue meaningful work and provide us with a sense of purpose and freedom to do magical things.

I guess what I’m trying to say is whilst you’re waiting to ride that wave you’ve been dreaming of your whole life (since you were like mid 20’s and discovered what it is that floats your boat, because let’s face most of us don’t wake up at the age of 5 and know what we want to do) don’t waste time on the shore, go out and take on those small waves because the harder you work at those small waves the luckier you’ll get and soon enough you will be able to ride that big wave.  Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. Those small waves are those temp jobs, the ones you’re not 100% certain on because the hourly rate might be lower than you’d like or you want more of a challenge or you’re more of a creative person and Asset Management doesn’t turn you on or you’d rather wait for that permanent job. That temp job may lead into a rewarding career or you might me someone who knows someone that could help you with your career aspirations by ‘opening doors’.

Often candidates who are specifically looking for permanent work and immediately available can be hesitant at the idea of temping, I was said candidate once upon a time and I, like many of my wonderful temps quickly realised that temping can provide truly fulfilling experiences that can enhance and contribute to one’s professional and personal growth. You may pick up a new skill or you may simply come to appreciate how lucky you are to have the opportunity brought to you. I remember turning my nose up at my first temp job, I wasn’t going to be using my full skill set, however I was also conscious that my money tree hadn’t been watered in a while and so I accepted. Whilst I wasn’t entirely mentally stimulated that didn’t matter because I encountered another temp, a young Bangladeshi chap who shared with me that his visa was soon coming to an end and he would be returning to the slums in Bangladesh where no job awaited him and he probably wouldn’t be able to use his degree. I walked away with so much more than I could have imagined, I like so many of us, was and am privileged for no apparent reason and I should be thankful for that. I left determined to make the most of all opportunities.

Just yesterday I had a delightful conversation with a client who informed me of their plans to take the temp I placed with them out for an extravagant leaving dinner and expressed how much they enjoyed watching the individual grow and how sorry they will be to see the individual leave after 6 months. That’s right just six months, you see the perception of temporary workers as low-skilled or not part of the company has definitely shifted and actually may not apply to the current generation. They are seen as just as valuable as their colleagues on the permanent payroll. Whilst the assignment may have to come to an end (not all the time) ultimately a mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions and those new experiences will equip you with the skills to take on that almighty wave you’ve been waiting for, plus daytime TV is pants!

Stereotypic conceptions of temporary workers, I think are fading, and quite rightly. With the use of temps increasing to either meet the fluctuations in demand from organisations to manage increased workloads or to enable organisations to more effectively screen workers it is evident that attitudes have changed and equally companies benefit from the added expertise and knowledge to their organisation.

Back to not being an ironing board, temping can be a wonderful source for professional, personal and financial gain. It allows you time so when that big wave does come along you’re more than ready to take it on. Plus, we all have bills to pay and the mark up on the magic potion (coffee) to keep us going is extortionate.

Written by Lauren Lewis – Attic Recruitment Temp Desk Consultant

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I have a huge amount of confidence in the team at Attic – they have taken a lot of time and trouble to understand the culture and nuances of our business and it shows. I will keep asking them to support us because I know they will deliver a great result – quickly and with style.

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