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VOL. 43 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 18, 2019

Temporary work a good fit for Dead Deads bassist

By Joe Morris

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Mavis Turner of Nashville wraps her last day on a temporary job assignment at the Music City Center. Turner is a musician and has been able to work temp positions on days when she’s not traveling with her band, The Dead Deads.

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

As bassist for Nashville-based band The Dead Deads, Mavis Turner knows all about life on the road. She also has a background as a business analyst and, when touring is slow or she needs some time at home, she turns to temping.

Here’s how that works:

How did you get into temping?

“I had a full-time career as a business analyst and IT project manager up until a few years ago. I had helped start an all-girl rock band, and we found some success. So, as tours began, I found myself using vacation time, working remote and finding ways to keep both things going. Then we got even more tours, and so I took the leap to quit my day job, my ‘big girl’ job, and become a full-time musician.

“Then we had some down time, and I needed to bring in some cash and keep busy, so I began looking at different businesses and seeing what different companies were doing. I found that temping would be something I could do to keep my skills fresh, and also work around my touring schedule.’’

How does the process work?

“The agency reaches out to me, sometimes just to see what my schedule is. If I’m out on tour I’m not around for a month, so we may be looking at something fairly far out. We stay in touch, and they let me know when something comes up that I might want, so it’s just about keeping our calendars in touch.’’

What types of work are you doing?

“I’ve done some simple receptionist jobs, or data entry. One company where I went for data entry was in the midst of a system conversion, and that happened to be my area of expertise at my old job. I told them they’d need more than data entry, that they’d need some training and testing, and so they kept me around another month.

“In that case and some others, I can use my full brain. Other times, I’m just answering phones and letting people in the door. Recently, I supervised a group of 13 temps, making sure they all had badges, parking passes and timesheets for a job we were all on. It really does vary, which is good.’’

What’s the benefit of temping?

“You can do your own thing. When I finished with college I began with a temp agency, and they sent me on a three-month, temp-to-hire assignment. Those people hired me, and shortly after promoted me from reception to customer service and eventually to IT as I learned and grew.

“So, temping really did start my analyst and IT career, and now it gets me into places where I can learn about new projects, analysis and data base work, and that helps me keeps those skills in good shape.’’

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