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How to Make the Most Out of Your Assignment

  • Millions of Americans work as contractors.
  • Make the most out of your experience.
  • Assignments can lead to opportunities for direct employment.

Every business day, almost 3 million Americans go out on short-term work assignments as temporary employees. Few, however, make it the rewarding experience it can be, for both themselves and their employers. Here are some tips to do just that:

If you are temping with the hope of learning about various companies and industries, you need to be flexible when considering assignments. Don’t turn down an assignment unless you’re absolutely convinced it will be a poor fit.

Did you seek temporary work so you’d have one or two days a week to pursue the type of job you’d really like to have? If so, don’t fall into the trap of accepting assignments five days a week. On the other hand, if you need the money to pay the bills, be sure to set aside enough days or hours during the week to earn the cash you need.

Once you’re in your temporary workplace, do more than what’s expected of you. Simply being competent and completing the work you’re assigned isn’t enough to get you noticed in many companies. If you show enthusiasm and do more than you’re required to, you’ll gain respect and might be considered for other opportunities.

This is especially important if you’re using temping as a stepping stone to bigger and better, such as a direct employment with the company. The more you can sense what’s going on in the company and why, through simple, casual conversations with your coworkers, the more opportunities you’ll likely spot. And, you will increase your chances of knowing who to approach about those opportunities. If you find out about a specific opening you are interested in and qualified for, your Staffing Agent at IT Nationwide can be a tremendous help to you. Make sure to inform us about any open positions at an assignment.

You’ll sometimes find yourself with little or no real work to do while on assignments. Don’t cure your boredom by reading a magazine or surfing the Web. Instead, ask your supervisor or others in the company if there’s anything you can help them with, especially if doing so will give you a chance to learn new skills or participate in an important project.

Your supervisor may have a copy of your resume, but it’s likely he or she hasn’t had the time or the inclination to look at it. Take a moment to write up a brief (half-page) memo describing the types of things you can do for the company. Often, your supervisor will be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can take on unexpected tasks and assignments.

The short-term embarrassment you might suffer by asking what you perceive to be dumb questions won’t compare to the embarrassment you’ll experience if you unsuccessfully complete an assignment that your supervisor thought you understood.

You never know when your supervisor or someone else at the company is going to approach you about a full-time position. After all, as a successful contractor, you’ll be a “proven” employee. Just be sure to remove your contact information, as you are not allowed to give this out to clients. You can also refer them to our organization. We will be happy to provide them with a copy of your resume.

If you do good work for the company and spend some time getting to know your coworkers, someone will likely ask you, “So what kind of job are you really looking for?” You need to be ready to respond with a 15-second “advertisement” so the person quickly understands what you want and what you might be able to contribute.

It can be very difficult to hold your head high, especially when half of your coworkers refer to you as “the temp” or “the contractor” instead of calling you by your first name. But with a good attitude and a little grace under pressure, you’ll earn the respect of your coworkers and bosses, have a good overall experience, and possibly land a direct employment.

Remember, it’s up to you!

The Do's and Don'ts During an Assignment

We look forward to working with you on your new assignment. Please read the following guidelines carefully, since they are important for a positive experience.


  • Once sent out on an assignment, a.e.s./dba IT Nationwide becomes your employer, not the company to which you are assigned.
  • Arrive on time and work the hours as stated by your Staffing Agent and conform to company’s lunch hours and breaks. If you work a full day, you must take a lunch period as directed by law (min. 30 minutes after 5 hours). Lunchtime will not be paid.
  • Perform with the same work ethic and commitment as you would in a direct employment situation.
  • Dress in a professional and business-like manner. Wear clean clothing, be well groomed and neat, use deodorant if needed, and be considerate to co-workers when wearing perfume.
  • Limit personal phone calls to your lunch hour and breaks (except emergency calls).
  • Feel free to call us anytime throughout the assignment to discuss any questions or concerns that may occur.
  • To ensure payment of any overtime, it is your responsibility to make sure you have permission from both your job supervisor and us prior to doing the work.
  • A change of status or any problems on an assignment must first be discussed with us.
  • Examples include:
    • Change of job description, hours, length of assignment (shorter or longer), or reporting manager.
    • Offer of direct employment: You may not accept an offer of direct employment by the client without our written approval. If you are being considered for or offered a direct employment by any of our past or present clients or their affiliates, please let us know immediately.
    • Personal issues that occur at the job site.
    • Call us when you are ill or may be late. If an after-hours emergency occurs, leave a message with us.
    • If leaving early or coming in late the next day, please allow for a minimum 24-hour notice to us. If leaving the assignment permanently, a one to two week notice must be provided to us.
  • When your assignment is nearing completion and you would like us to find a new assignment for you, please contact us. If you are not out on an assignment and are available, let us know.
  • All hours must be submitted in writing. To ensure payment of overtime, it must be pre-approved by the client and us. Overtime will be paid according to the law.
  • Time records must be filled in by you, be complete and be signed by you and your job supervisor.
  • Total hours have to be reported to the nearest quarter hour, in decimal form (example: 6.75 instead of 6 hours and 45 minutes).
  • To ensure prompt payment, submit your time sheet before 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Submitting your time sheet later may result in a paycheck delay of one week or longer. Follow-up with a telephone call to your recruiter to make sure we received your timesheet.
  • Pay will be processed through direct deposit. Simply provide a voided check to us and we’ll get you started.
  • Your paycheck is ready for online review/print by Friday for the previous week worked. If you’re unable to view your paycheck by the following Friday and you did submit your time sheet timely, please contact us immediately.
  • Make sure the information on your check such as social security number and address is correct. If you have a change of address or telephone number, please notify us in writing.
  • Changes in your withholding exemptions have to be submitted to us on a new tax form.
  • Please try to schedule interviews and medical appointments at a convenient time, such as late afternoon, early morning, or lunchtime. This causes less disruption for our client and allows you maximum pay for each day’s work.
  • Notify your job supervisor and us one or two days in advance if you will be on an interview or unavailable for any other reason.
  • If you accept a full-time job and must start before your assignment ends, a one to two week notice must be provided to us to find a suitable replacement.
  • A great performance may offer you another interesting and challenging work assignment or may result in direct employment.
  • Inform us about any information that will affect your working with us (available hours, access to transportation, etc.).


  • You must not use the client’s computer for retrieving personal e-mail, for personal research on the internet or playing games. This could result in immediate termination. You are also not allowed to make any changes (screen saver, etc.) to the client’s computer.
  • You are not authorized to operate the client’s machinery (other than office machines) or automotive equipment, whether owned or rented. Neither are you authorized to perform pick-up and delivery duties using the client’s or your own vehicle.
  • You are not authorized to work at our client’s location solely by yourself or work at any unassigned location or a change of scheduling without prior approval from us.
  • You may not handle cash, negotiables or other valuables. You may not, under any circumstances, transport or convey monies, securities or any negotiable instruments (including, but not limited to, delivering bank deposits to a bank or other institutions).
  • You may not disclose any confidential information/trade secrets from the past, present or future to any other person and companies at any time.
  • Do not discuss your salary or pay rate with the job supervisor or other employees.
  • You are not authorized to give our clients your personal telephone, cellular, pager number, home, e-mail or mailing address.

Feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions. Thank you for the effort you will be putting into this new assignment!