5 Tips for the Traveling MSP

By Lorraine Kress, CPCS

Many – or maybe most – people thrive in permanent staff positions, but temporary work has its appeal. It’s ideal for those who have a bit of wanderlust, who aren’t in a position to make a permanent job commitment, or who are looking for their right fit. A temporary position can build your professional network, deliver flexible hours, fill an employment gap, and build resilience in adapting to different work environments.

Whether you’re a traveling MSP or are considering moving into temporary work, here are five tips to help you thrive.

1. Each facility is unique. Each has its own ways of doing things. It’s important to remember that you are a guest in their “house.” While it’s acceptable to make suggestions for change, do so gingerly and don’t be attached to the outcome. It’s beyond your control whether or not they act on your recommendation.

2. Dress to impress. Each day is a new day. You’ll encounter new people. It’s important to appear professional and be the best you can be every day. You don’t have to own top-of-the-line, expensive clothing, but you do need to be clean and neat. Show your respect for their organizational culture by dressing appropriately.

3. Do your homework. Gather as much information about the department before you arrive. The truth is, staff do not always know why you are there. At one facility, staff may think you are a spy for upper management and feel threatened. At another, you may be greeted with hugs and tears of gratitude for the help. If your new colleagues feel nervous, try to calm their fears. Remember that you are there to work and to provide quality support to the department. You’re not a psychologist, so don’t get involved in departmental politics. Stay far, far away from the drama.

4. Always close the communication loop. If you receive a request, an email, or a phone call, return it that day. If you don’t know the answer, simply say you don’t know and will look into it. Then, find the answer and reply. If a coworker says they will follow up, circle back and let the person know who will be contacting them. Close that loop; no one likes to be left hanging.

5. Lead by example. Always be on time – or even early. Dress and speak professionally. If you are allowed a 30-minute lunch, make sure you are back in 30 minutes. Even if the staff take longer lunches, don’t fall into that habit. Always ask yourself, if I was an employer how would I want my employees to behave?

Whether you’re a traveling MSP for a few months or a few years, enjoy your environs, the people you meet, and the skills you learn.

Lorraine Kress has been a TMG credentialing specialist for more than 10 years, and has worked as a temporary remote and onsite staff member through TMG’s ProVISIONary Staffing service.

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