Pride aside, some lessons in life are worth more than money.
In the summer of 2023, I decided to embark upon the world of property management and leasing. I did not expect my MBA degree in Marketing to magically open doors – I knew I’d have to work hard, and maybe even experience a few trials – and errors. Here’s what I’ve learned, working as a temporary employee – with permanent goals.
#1 – Never Stay at One Place
One of the best things about being a temp, is the ability to “float”. As a temp, the agency you work for will request you at different locations and you can also ask to be sent somewhere else.
This has exposed me to working at all types of properties – from luxury, to affordable housing and my target goal – student housing – within a matter of months. Additionally, I have worked with some amazing professionals, (and not some not-so-great people) which has taught me that leasing and property management is all about support from the overall team. Therefore, when I am at a property that does not help me or support me in crisis, I simply choose to go to another property!
#2 – Experience IS Education
You know, college doesn’t really press just how important experience is often until the last semster when students are facing the real-world and their degree is not enough to get and keep a job. I have suffered so much from this and while it was great to be an intern for the mayor my last semester – it was NOT enough.
Temp work is wonderful experience. You are able to see the good and bad of the industry you are in, without the pressure to solve all of the problems. Well, that is how it should be. In my experience, returning to the same property for work somehow made me an expert – and I was expected to solve several issues after many people quit (within 2 weeks!) As you guessed, I moved on to another property. The goal of temp-work is gain experience, not to be a problem solver.
#3 – Don’t Take It Personal
Although you may not work as a temp in a stressful field such as property management, being a temporary employee has many challenges. There is an expectation of doing most of or the same amount of work as permanaet employees – for less pay, less respect and no benefits. In case you didn’t know, temp work does not come with health benefits or paid time off – I guess this is a sacrifice that many people make in exchange for flexibility. With no benefits or paid time off, it can be easy to become disgruntled with being asked to do things that seem overwhelming.
In my personal experience, I often say aloud and to myself, “I am just a temp”. This mentality helps me to say NO to things I am not being paid fairly for, or things that I feel uncomfortable with.
Yes, temporary employees CAN say no! You can empower yourself by embracing your temporary position, knowing that it will lead to the permanent role you desire.
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