TempTalk with Larry Ferguson
Winds of change
When Larry Ferguson was first introduced to Adecco, he admits he was nervous. “I didn’t really know about Adecco,” he recalls, “and I knew you had to go to whatever job they gave you.” However, that turned out to be one of the elements that made working for Adecco so appealing to Larry. “They encouraged me to give each job a try and if I felt uncomfortable, they would see what they could do for me,” he says. Having worked since he was a teenager, Larry ran into an obstacle as time went by – it was harder and harder to find work without his high school diploma. “If you don’t have your Grade 12,” he remarks, “they won’t even look at you.”
When opportunity knocks, answer the door
For over five years, Adecco’s Trenton team has been partnering with the Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education to improve the lives of people in Larry’s situation throughout the Quinte region. Through this concentrated effort, Larry, in his fifties at the time, was able to proudly accept his General Equivalency Diploma, and when asked about what he thinks of Adecco’s Trenton team, Larry gushes. “In the Trenton area, they do a lot for a lot of people, both young and old,” he says, but he stresses their significance for the region’s youth. “They’re a great source of encouragement for the young people. This place would be lost without the young kids, and Adecco does a lot of hard work to help people get jobs.”
The perks of being a temp
While working as an associate for Adecco, Larry appreciated the variety that temp work presented him with. “I liked how Adecco found jobs for me,” he says. “I learned a lot from working with other people, having different bosses, and doing different types of work. It isn’t always the same job all the time and that’s how you build your knowledge up.”
Success and inspiration
In Larry’s opinion, initiative is of the utmost importance if you want to be successful. In his current role, rather than waiting for the work to come to him, Larry makes it his mission to find what tasks need to be completed and gets it done well before his supervisor even has to ask. “I like to beat him to it,” he says. Needless to say, Larry’s boss is consistently impressed by his performance.
In fact, so appreciated are Larry’s efforts that they bring out the best in those around him. He remembers an instance when his boss approached him as he was about to start in on an especially labourious cleaning job. “He came over and helped me with a suit and tie on,” recalls Larry. “I told him he shouldn’t be over here working and wearing that, and he said ‘I don’t care, I’m going to give you a hand.'” Larry says he was shocked. He’d never seen a boss do such a thing in his life. All Larry could do was joke about how he hoped he wouldn’t have to pay his dry cleaning bill.
Paying it forward
Now in a permanent, full-time role, Larry does his part to inspire the youth he works with by sharing his experiences and passing on his message about the importance of having an education and a strong work ethic. “I tell them how I had a good job for 25 years and had to start all over.” Larry encourages them to stick with the job, work hard and consider the consequences of walking away from a job without having something else lined up. “If you just walk off your job,” Larry tells them, “it’ll be harder for you to find another one.” Instead, he tells them to put in their time and see what opportunities arise.
When asked about what drives him to take such a keen interest in the futures of his young coworkers, Larry notes that the world has changed a lot since he was a teenager. Education is now vital to attaining work, and it’s important that today’s teenagers understand that. But what truly drives Larry is his good nature and community spirit. “It’s good to show that you care about other people,” he says. That’s why Larry’s coworkers miss him when he’s off – even for one day. “Nobody can replace you,” they tell him.
At Adecco, we take great pride in the accomplishments of the talented individuals we place on temporary assignments each day throughout Canada. And so, to acknowledge their great work and share their success stories, we are pleased to profile them in TempTalk – a series of interviews profiling Adecco’s brightest stars.