Another Take on Temping

by Beth Gemella, INALJ California Assistant 

Another Take on Temping

bethgemellaTemporary jobs are good for making money while you are looking for a permanent job, but another way to view them is as paid training for your future positions.  Here are a few ideas to get the most out of your temporary position.

Take advantage of as much training as possible during your temping time.  If your employer or a vendor offers either in person or online training, schedule time for them.  Your employer wants you to be able to use the tools they have to the best of your ability even in a short term position.  You will gain experience using specialized software and you can add this to your job skills set.

Volunteer for special projects in new areas.  If you only have some skills for a project, it might be enough to start work on it.  As you work on it, you can learn additional skills or expand on the skills you already have.  As an example, for most of my library career I have done reference. In one recent position, the library moved to a new library vendor software system and I assisted in re-cataloging some material. While I was learning the new software, it also sharpened up my cataloging skills.

Finally, take time to meet with your co-workers both inside and outside your department.  You can find about what duties and skills people have in different positions and this could help you decide if you want to explore a new area.  And, of course, you will also expand your professional network.

INALJ Jobs always has temporary positions listed and library placement agencies usually have a variety of short term and long term temp positions. It could lead to something new and better for you.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


  1 comment for “Another Take on Temping

  1. Jeannine
    January 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Not all temporary employment provides the atmosphere (and the time) necessary to create conditions necessary to build up relationships with co-workers and supervisors. While I worked for 3 months at a factory where they packaged (and printed) gift cards and movie posters, I didn’t feel the supervisors (and the upper management) created the conditions necessary for me to develop relationships with co-workers (I also felt like that was the last thing the middle management wanted). In short, not all temporary jobs are created equal (and not all temporary jobs provide enough work for the person to gain experience). I did have enough experience to know what it’s like to work in an assembly line type of environment (under a lot of pressure) and to be expected to do several tasks at one time (with great accuracy). Not many people can do the tasks I was charged with. While I never mastered grabbing the cards from the conveyor belt, I still could check several boxes of cards under pressure for order (gift cards with 16-digit nos.).

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