So, I may be doing some…

So, I may be doing some temping in Chicago this fall. It's all entirely unclear at the moment. But I'm starting to research it, just in case. Any of you done temping in Chicago? Can you recommend good agencies? I find word-of-mouth works best for this kind of thing...

7 thoughts on “So, I may be doing some…”

  1. Well, it has been a while since I temped but I did find that the bigger agencies more often had positions open than the smaller ones (Kelly, Manpower). Not sure about relative rates however.

  2. Heh. I think my Mom was a Kelly girl in Chicago back in the ’60’s. I used to think I’d grow up and move to Chicago (which is only 3.5 hours from where I grew up) and be a Kelly girl.

    You might also look into what the county/ city/ state requirements are to be a substitute high school teacher (and find out how much it pays per day). If I remember correctly, the requirements in Indiana were pretty low and it made it rather easy to get work doing that. It’s nice, too, because they call you when they need you and you can always just say you’re busy that day or that another township has already claimed you if you don’t want to go in. You also get it over with and are home by 3 or 4pm. I got a lot of reading done in some classes, and in others I got a charge out of explaining books to kids and getting them excited about their schoolwork for once. I know you’ve taught college and this is a step down, but I found it to be rewarding and easy money.

    My advice, though, is to never ever agree to be a sub for middle school kids. I did it once, for three days (half at the high school, half at the middle school) and even though I watched them like a hawk, those kids managed to throw books out the windows when I wasn’t looking. And they’re obnoxious and mean and full of energy. Very frustrating and not worth the money.

  3. I’ve sent resumes to Kelly and Manpower — there’s just hundreds of them in the phone book, and it’s hard to tell which ones are worth focusing on.

  4. Mary Anne, I’m not sure how it works today, but I always had the best experience with temp agencies not by emailing or mailing my resume, but by literally walking in the door and/or calling them directly.

    Unlike many companies they (at least years ago) would interview people on the spot, by being there in person I could make a good impression, could immediately demonstrate my technical skills (such as typing speed, professional manner, word processing ability etc), and not uncommonly would be asked about whether I was available for a project that same day (i.e. go out on the interviews pretty early in the morning).

    Just a thought – I would call Kelly and Manpower’s downtown offices, check their hours, and see if they have changed their policies (you might also just show up at one of them and see, even if it is not their normal policy anymore you stand a very good chance of talking to them).

    Another note about temping – it is very much all about being in contact and on the shortlist of the recruiter for the agency – i.e. return calls quickly, stay on their mind without calling too often, but demonstrate interest in getting a project. A few years ago I shared offices with a staffing firm, got a chance to watch them up close – they recieved 100’s of resumes, but only really worked with a very short stack of “good” candidates.

    Good luck!

  5. Ugh. It sounds like good advice, Shannon, but I just don’t wanna!

    This week is for e-mailing out resumes, I think. I’m in Oregon this weekend, and Toronto next, so I couldn’t take anything other than one-two-day gigs anyway. If I haven’t gotten any response by the time I get back from TorCon, then I suppose I’ll try stumping about.

  6. Heather, the substitute teacher thing actually sounds like it might be fun, but I have no idea where one would start to look it up. Help?

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