Temps Aren’t Held Accountable?


What would you do?

(Based on a true story!)

You’re a long-term contract worker in a company, hoping to get permanently hired. You’re handed a task to write and post a short article on the company website about several very highly-placed people in your company, and you do.

It turns out you didn’t do that great of a job, grammar all over the place and misspellings galore, including–ack!–misspelling one of those highly-placed person’s names…who unfortunately notices it before anyone else does and calls up your boss in a tizzy.

But you don’t find any of that out until you’re about to leave for the day.

Do you:

  1. Fire your computer back up and fix your mistakes before leaving
  2. Mumble something about being distracted when you wrote it, say you have to leave for an appointment and run
  3. Say you were distracted, leave for an “appointment” but then are seen posting on Facebook about personal stuff when you get home a few minutes later

The person involved chose #3. Not sure that’s so wrong? All it takes is ONE co-worker to see what you’re doing online when you shouldn’t be and you’ve got trouble. And don’t think having privacy set to “Friends of Friends” or even “Friends” is safe, because you never know who knows whom, or who’s looking over somebody else’s shoulder. Or who wants a chance to do you some dirt.

Which is what happened in this case. A co-worker did notice #3, did tell their boss–and the boss involved said that because this person was not a permanent member of the staff, any mistake that person makes falls on the permanent employees.

So wait a minute: Not only do we not have accountability on the part of the contractor, but we don’t have it on the the company’s part either!

There are two things to be learned here:

  • There’s no “only” about being a contractor when you’re putting in the same hours as the permanent employee in the cube next to you. The work you do is real work and it should matter.
  • If contractors or temps aren’t held to the same standard as permanent employees, why have them do the work at all–especially work that’s in the public eye?

Everybody makes mistakes. We may hate it, but it’s how we learn. And you can’t learn if someone is always covering up for you, dusting away all traces of your botched-up job. Or rather, you DO learn something–that the company supports hiring people who get away with doing half-arsed jobs.

And just in case you were wondering, the correct choice above is #1. Why? Because unless you’ve got a truly pressing appointment after work or can get to the issue later the same night, you’d better be invested in making all those angry bosses into happy bosses ASAP. That is, if you want to be more than a contractor with lousy benefits (unless you’re lucky) and little to no job security (ditto)!

What’s been your contracting or temp work experience?

The Intern Trenches: Invaluable Education or Complete Waste of Time?


Are unpaid internships really worth it? How do you turn an internship into a “real” job?

We took our Twitter #careerchat on the road to Spreenkler Talent Labs in Milwaukee, WI. Spreenkler employs interns to work on client projects in a variety of roles, including creative direction and design. Joining us from Spreenkler were Kate Pociask (@kjpociask) and @Spreenkterns Olivia Johnson (@olivia67rae) and Allison Luebke (@amluebke).

Key takeaways from the chat:

  • bizMebizgal: Knowing people is key in finding any position. Many of the internships I did in college were through people I knew.
  • olivia67rae: I didn’t realize how truly important networking is til recently…it’s all in who you know and who you can learn from!
  • buzzandrea: It’s all about providing value – the more value you provide, the better assignments you will receive.
  • lauragainor: Being an unpaid intern can most times motivate you more. The experience is key.
  • olivia67rae: Hesitant about taking an unpaid internship? Do it! Experience will help you and knowing people in the industry is invaluable!
  • WomensAlly: Internships make you stand out in the office -AND- among other job applicants. Demonstrates ambition/pro-activity
  • Jill_Perlberg: You have to ask for the position and if one doesn’t exist, define it and why they need it–YOU!

Links and resources:

This way to the chat transcript

Noserings, Tuxedos, Mohawks: The Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing


Congratulations, you’ve got an interview!

So how do you ace it and not fall flat?

Don’t screw up this all-important conversation! Our Twitter #careerchat talked about what you should wear, when to discuss salary, and all the preparation and research that goes into making a great first and lasting impression.


  • bizMebizgal: Interviewing is like networking: The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
  • Jelfster: Job interviews needn’t be torture. Just plan well and use common sense!

This way to the chat transcript