Short-term Temping: Does Giving Notice Matter?

Short-term temp assignments (1-2 weeks) are often great for getting some cash-flow in quickly.

They are similar to merchant fishing jobs for locals where you can take a small boat out to sea for a couple of weeks, catch the required amount of fish for the fishmonger, and come back to shore – mission complete, paid-in-full for every hour worked. These are great to do while you look for your next on-shore ‘Permanent Role’, but what happens when you’re offered a plum permanent role half way through a short fishing trip for the fishmonger, and you’re required to start immediately?

Successful applicants to permanent roles are often put under pressure to give next to no notice for any number of reasons: “We’ve been desperate to fill the role for ages”, or “The current incumbent leaves in a week & we have to do a handover”, and “A new project happens to be starting next week, and you really should be involved from the start”. This is all great if you have no current commitments… but what if you are in the middle of an obligation for the local fishmonger? Is it right to abandon ship, swim to your new employer, and put your current employer into chaos and distress?

No of course it’s not. And thankfully most employers I know find an increased respect for their new permanent hires for doing the right thing and completing their current 1-2 week assignment – as they should. In the vast majority of permanent positions on offer, good organisations will wait for the candidate that’s right, not ‘right now’, working together with them to ensure an on-boarding win/win outcome.

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