Temp-ing: Why There’s No Shame in It

I did the advertising for a staffing agency when I worked my first job out of college. It never sounds glorious when you have to resort to finding placement through a staffing company; but actually, it can be a really great thing. After I left this first “real” job, I moved to Dallas, Texas to be closer to family and to dip my fingers in the big waters of advertising. Unfortunately the ad industry snagged a bit during that time (2003) and what had once been an abundant reservoir turned into a small stream. Plus, Dallas has big advertising firms where I found out that I”d have to be pigeon-holed into just one area, where before, at a small firm, I was used to be involved in every department.  I really struggled in Dallas trying to find my niche. So I went to a staffing agency to see if I could pass the time (since I love to work) until got back into my career with  something else I would like.

I went to a temp agency and got placed with a flooring company called Masters Flooring. I loved it! I didn’t know anything about granite, marble, traverine, plank flooring, strip flooring, etc. but I learned all about it. I helped streamline some of their processes, got to play solitaire or read when it was slow and designed and redesigned my dream home a billion different ways.

I left Texas to move to New York for a few months while I was waiting to hear back from graduate school (which didn’t happen btw). There, I babysat, worked at a beautiful, high end restaurant in Bronxville village called Underhills Crossing, and temped again at a village building in Ossining, New York. And for those of you who don’t know, that’s where Sing Sing is. Yes, the notorious maximum security prison. I worked with really nice ladies whose thick New York accents are permanently embedded into my head. I learned that parking tickets never go away. And that city building workers get a lot of free dessert to make up the lack in pay.

None of these jobs look that great on a resume. But I think life lessons are more important than having an impressive Vitae. I won’t go into detail just now but the personal growth I experienced during my time in Texas and New York was immense. And I appreciate staff agencies for helping me find this work. Some people say you should hold out for the perfect job. I say the perfect job can be any job you allow yourself to enjoy.


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