To All the Temp Jobs I’ve Worked Before
Coming off the #SmileProjectRoadTrip meant returning to the job hunt. When I first moved to New York City in January of 2016, I worked a lot. I spent my weekdays split between two nonprofit organizations, my weekends working at a breastfeeding resource center, and my evenings working temp jobs. At that time, I never minded the hectic schedule. There was something almost exciting about the near impossible hours between three gigs.
A few things were great about the situation. First, I never realized how much I was working (until I reflect back) because every single day was a different combination of nonprofit + temp job and because of that, every night could almost feel like a weekend night since I was going to a different job to see different people the next day. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I loved that I never knew exactly what each day would have in store for me.
Working with a temp agency meant doing whatever odds and ends job came up for that day. I worked at coat check for fancy events at museums; I worked check-in for a Crawfish Crawl charity event; I worked reception and data entry and inventory. There was something temporarily exciting about waking up to a slightly uncertain day.
When I got back to New York City after the road trip, I immediately got back in line with my temp agency and got to work. For the first couple weeks, I was admittedly a bit thrown off. I had spent the entire summer never knowing what was going to happen as I drove around America, but this kind of uncertainty felt different.
I was talking to a friend about temping when I heard myself say, “it’s just kind of hard to plan or schedule things sometimes since I don’t always know when or where I’ll be working.” The second those words left my mouth, I felt the choke of hypocrisy. I was border-line complaining because of the very thing I had originally loved about temp work.
You never know what is going to happen on any given day.
That statement is a blessing and a curse depending on how you choose to look at it. When I first moved to New York City, bright eyed and full of zeal, not knowing where the day might take me was an adventure. When I got back from the road trip, not knowing what I was doing felt like a weight on my chest.
Talking to my friend, I realized I was the person in control of releasing that burden and finding the joy in the unknown. In the world of job hunting and temp working, I am grateful to have pockets of invisible opportunity dancing around me and I am grateful for the opportunity to chase after dreams, both recognized and otherwise.