How to Get Out of a Temp Position Without Souring Your Agency Contact

How to Get Out of a Temp Position Without Souring Your Agency Contact

When you’re looking for a job, a staffing agency can be a big help. By working with a staffing agency, you get access to positions that may not be listed. You also get advice on how to write your resume and how to interview for a job by people who find jobs for other people for a living. 

Staffing agencies aren’t just for temporary jobs, but sometimes a temporary job is just what you need. You can get experience for your resume, get a foot in the door of a new company, and get paid while doing it. And as a bonus, the flexibility that comes with a temp job can be helpful when you’re looking for your next permanent job.

The key to working successfully with a staffing agency is to treat them the same way as you would any other employer because after all, you will be working for the temp agency, and not for the clients they send you to. Your professional attitude should remain in effect throughout your employment, right up until your last day working for the agency. And when you leave your temp position, you should do so professionally as well, just as you would any other employer.

three men in a meeting, one preparing to resign

Preparing to Resign

All good things come to an end, including jobs. And when you’re starting a temp position it’s even more likely that you’re already planning on eventually finding another position. Take these steps before you’re ready to find a new job in order to make sure that you get out of your temp position as smoothly and successfully as possible.

Review your contract and any other materials

Make sure you’re aware of any stipulations in your contract regarding leaving the company. You may be asked to give additional time before you leave the company, or you may have specific instructions for who to notify and how to notify them. If there’s nothing spelled out, be sure to give a two-week, written notice of your resignation.

Let your new job know that you need to give notice

When you first start looking for a new job, let your prospective employer know that you need to give notice to your current employer. You may feel ready to start a new job right away, and your new employer may want you to start right away, but you still have a commitment to your current employer. When you insist on treating your current employer with respect and professionalism, your next employers will appreciate it.  You’ll show that you take the responsibility seriously and this is an indicator of the professionalism you’ll bring with you into your next job

Line up your contacts

Make sure that you get contact information from the people you’ve successfully worked with. It’s important to build and develop your professional network, so use tools like LinkedIn to make sure that you can remain in contact when you move into your next position.

office meeting with someone resigning

How to Actually Resign

When you have a temporary job, you aren’t working for the client. It’s not important where you report to work so much as who signs your paycheck. You are employed by the company who pays you, your work location is their client. So, it’s important to treat your temporary agency with respect due to any employer – because that’s what they are. 

Provide a two-week notice

When you resign from a job, you should do so professionally and provide a written resignation notice to your staffing agency. You should also call your personal contact and speak to them directly, to let them know that you’re leaving. If the job is still on-going, you’ll give your agency a head-start on re-filling the position after you leave, which will definitely help you leave a positive lasting impression.

Be honest about the client

Having actually worked for the client you have an advantage over the agency – you know what really happens with the client’s business on a daily basis. This makes your perspective very valuable. Be sure to let the agency know what’s really happening at the client. Any information you can give them on upcoming projects or business changes that the staffing agency might be able to help with will be very appreciated. Also, be sure to let them know about any quirks the client has. For instance, if the client actually expects people to be at their desks and ready to work ten minutes early or if they strongly discourage people from parking in a particular area of the parking lot, let your agency contact know so they can better prepare the next person they send out.

Tell your agency first, but also tell the client

The agency is your employer, but you also report to the client. It might feel awkward to let them know that you’re looking for another position, but once you’ve made the decision to leave, you should let them know personally. It’s possible that the client may not want you to work out a two-week notice, but it’s more likely the client will expect you to tell them what you’ve been working on and to give them insights into the job they may not otherwise have. If the client still has work that needs to be done, you should be prepared to train your replacement. 

someone resiging on good terms shaking hands

Exit Gracefully

So, you’ve resigned. You gave your agency a two-week notice and you called your agency contact and let them know personally. You’ve spoken with your supervisor at the client site and let them know that the Friday after next will be your last day (or, the Wednesday after next, or whatever day of the week is applicable). What now?

Remain professional

It’s tempting to slack off when you’ve let everybody know that you’re leaving. Don’t do that!  Stand out by leaving on a good note. The goal is to leave a positive impression behind because the business world is small, and all you really have is your reputation. So that means that you should continue to show up to work on time, continue to dress and act professionally and continue to do your job. Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean you should slack off.

Be prepared to train your replacement

When you resign from a temp job you are likely to be asked to train your replacement. This is part of why it’s so important to let your agency contact know ahead of time when you’re leaving – it gives them a chance to fill the position again before you leave, which provides the client with continuity and gives the agency the chance for more business, which is always welcome.

When you’re training your replacement, it’s important to give complete and accurate information. Your goal should be that they aren’t surprised by anything that comes up after you leave. Make sure that you’re positive and forthcoming. Remember that the training you provide is a part of the lasting impression you will leave.

man thanking boss after resinging

Be Gracious When you Leave

Make sure to tell everybody thanks. You want to thank your agency contact for getting you the job, you want to thank the client for giving you the opportunity to work with them, and you want to thank your colleagues for their support. And sound sincere when you say it, even if the situation wasn’t perfect, or even particularly positive, you should always put your best foot forward even as you go out the door.

Going to work for a staffing agency is a great way to get your career started. It can also be a valuable bridge when you’re trying to move into a different career field or when you find just temporarily find yourself without a job. However, when it’s time to get out of your temp position remember to treat your temp job as seriously as you would any other. It’s never a mistake to act professionally and with grace.

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