Author Archives: Michael Lawlor

About Michael Lawlor

Michael studied English at the University of Roehampton before returning to Ireland to undertake a Masters in English at Limerick University. He lived in the west of Ireland for several years before returning to London to seek his fortune. He has previously worked as a Business Support Assistant for a Housing Trust but joined Atwood Tate to gain knowledge and develop skills within the publishing industry. Michael's focus is providing administrative support to the temps and freelance team and helping to source the best candidates for temp opportunities.

Top Tips for Temps

Top Tips for Temps

Here on the temps and freelance desk, we know how tricky temping can be for newcomers. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips to guide you!

  • Listen up

It’s your first day. You’ve just met the team. They’ve been doing this job for a while now, how do you make a good impression? Listen closely. The sooner you understand exactly what’s required, the sooner you can get started. Temps who respond quickly and effectively are a dream for our busy clients. If you can hit the ground running, you’ll never be out of work!

  • Get to know people

This one’s pretty straightforward but it doesn’t just apply to your team or your line manager. Get to know the company, the different departments and what they do. Being a temp is like being the new kid at school – you can make this a lot easier by getting to know your colleagues across the board. An anecdote here, a joke there, soon you’ll be joining them for lunch or a cheeky drink at five in their beloved local.

  • Remember your timesheet!

If you’ve never temped before, this is quite an easy mistake to make. You’ve showed up, you’ve done the work, it’s time to go home, right? Afraid not. As a temp, you’ll need to submit your hours every week for approval. The smartest thing to do is set a calendar reminder to submit every Friday. That way, it gives your line manager time to approve and prevents you having to make a panicky phone call to your agency at the eleventh hour. Most agencies have a very straightforward process for this so it only takes a minute – get it out of the way and enjoy your weekend!

  • Prove yourself 

Volunteer for extra assignments. Check if your line manager needs a hand with anything – they don’t always delegate everything and it can impress them when you ask for more than they’ve given you. This makes the right impression so when it comes to hiring a permanent employee, they realise the perfect person has been with them all along. We’ve placed lots of temps who ended up going permanent because they went the extra mile.

  • Stay in touch with your agency

This is important because as an agency, we are in touch with HR all the time. We feedback to you and let you know when they’re happy with your work – and, most importantly, if they’re considering keeping you on longer. We can also let you know about other roles we have in that might interest you so you can move smoothly from one position to another with as little fuss as possible. We’re here to help so give us a call or drop us a line at any time.

  • What are you good at? What do you like?

The beauty of temping is discovering what you’re good at and what actually interests you. Temps often carry out a lot of ad hoc duties, sometimes providing support to different departments. This can help you to figure out what you enjoy the most, whether it’s communications, administration, financial aspects, data analysis – and once you know, you can set your sights on that specific role. You can let us know too and we’ll be sure to let you know if we have any suitable jobs in.

  • Holiday

Finally, holiday. As a temp, you won’t have a set amount of holidays like a permanent employee. Instead, you will accrue holiday at a percentage of your hours. Your agency can let you know how much holiday you have to take so you can save it up or use it to cover that long-awaited trip of yours. The longer you temp for, the more holiday you’ll accrue so it’s good to plan ahead.

That’s it for handy tips. But remember, when you temp with us, we’re always here to advise and guide you so if you’re not sure, just pick up the phone!

The Temps Team:

Kellie Millar, Manager (Temps/Freelancers)

Tel:    020 7034 7897         Email: kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

Alison Redfearn, Temps/Freelancers Consultant

Tel:    020 7034 7922         Email: alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

Michael Lawlor, Temps/Freelancers Administrator

Tel:    020 7034 7899         Email: michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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The World of Temping

Temp job

It’s a fast paced world in temping. Companies can’t always predict when they’ll need someone. The requirements can come fast and without notice – and that’s where we come in. We have a huge database of temps at our disposal, ready and willing to take on short-term placements. They aren’t afraid of being dropped in at the deep end and they love the opportunity to meet new people and work in varied environments. And that’s where you come in!

We’re always looking for new temps, especially those who can start right away. When a job comes in and our clients need someone tomorrow, we provide a rapid response service – but we’re only as good as our temp pool!

Sometimes, there isn’t even time for a face to face interview. In the past, we’ve put temps forward and the client has asked for just a quick, informal phone call so they can ask some relevant questions and gauge a candidate’s answers. For some of you who have gone to second and third interviews, not to mention written and online tests, this might come as something of a shock. But really, that’s how quick it can be sometimes – you might hear from us on Monday and start working on Tuesday.

And we have a good memory here at Atwood Tate. We remember the temps who came through time and again, who always impress our clients and who are guaranteed to meet the job requirements. We’re like an old friend, checking in, keeping you in mind, remembering what you excel at and what you’re looking for. Sometimes, our temps move directly from one role to another, developing new skills and furthering their careers step by step.

So, if you’re looking for pastures new, get in touch today! Next week could be a whole lot different than you expected.

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Link in with Kellie or Alison to keep in touch.

The Temps Team:

Kellie Millar, Manager (Temps/Freelancers)

Tel:    020 7034 7897         Email: kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

Alison Redfearn, Temps/Freelancers Consultant

Tel:    020 7034 7922         Email: alisonredfearn@atwoodtate.co.uk

Michael Lawlor, Temps/Freelancers Administrator

Tel:    020 7034 7899         Email: michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk

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Unconscious Bias

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a fascinating workshop on unconscious bias, held by the Publishers Association and the Publishing Training Centre. Here’s what I learned:

You may have heard of it before but for the majority of us, this is something that is happening (you guessed it!) unconsciously. It is essentially snap judgements our brains make about people and situations, based on our own cultural backgrounds and experiences.

We all like to think of ourselves as enlightened and working hard to create an all-inclusive environment at work. It is built into the mission statement of most companies. So it’s scary to think that in spite of our determination to diversify, our brains are subtly leading us to assumptions about people that we may not realise but which have we have become conditioned to, due to our own experiences that happened to us in our formative years.

But don’t feel distressed that you may be guilty of unconscious bias, the experts say it’s perfectly natural. There is no way to reach adulthood without holding some unconscious bias. The important thing is to be aware of it as a phenomenon. Once we become aware of the associations our brains are making, we can resist falling into those patterns of thinking and treat everyone we encounter as the individuals they are.

Companies have been growing increasingly aware of the issue. For example, Interview panels are typically made up of several people to ensure one person’s unconscious bias doesn’t influence the final decision. Likewise, there are tests you can take which help you to recognise your own personal preferences and prejudices – like the Harvard Implicit Association Test, which was created to increase awareness about unconscious bias.

The good news is that more and more people are talking about it, and recognising a problem is always the first step towards resolving it. When we all take ownership for our unconscious biases, the sooner we can make efforts to resist them and to think clearly about people based on their merits and not our own cultural baggage.

For more info, check out the The Publishers Association website and their blog including Tackling Diversity: a PA workshop and lots more info on Diversity and Equality.

There’s also a guide to Creating a Representative Publishing Industry (click on the front cover of the guide).

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