Turn That Temp Job Into a Permanent Position

Temp jobs may seem like relics of a by-gone era, but in the wake of the Great Recession and its record job losses, temping has once again found a place in our corporate culture. Temporary assignments can be a viable alternative in an environment where permanent, full time positions are hard to come by. A job is a job after all. But what if you could actually turn that temporary position into a permanent one? While there are no guarantees, there are things you can do as a temporary employee to make sure you come out at the head of the pack.

My mother is living proof of this. She took a temporary position as an administrative assistant at a small trucking company in the early 80′s. After a couple of months on the job, her supervisor (also the owner of the company) told her that he was seeking someone for a full time office manager position. My mother was in the running with a few other candidates and some of her stiffer competition had degrees and qualifications that blew her away on paper. My mother, however, got the job.

A year later, she was a 25% owner of the company and helped grow it into a thriving business. So how did she manage to get the job despite being “less qualified” than her competition? She became indispensable. The beauty of a temp position is that it’s almost like an extended interview in which you can actually walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. If you want to make sure your next temp gig ends in a full time hire, these tips can help increase your chances.

1. Work Hard

Duh. This kind of goes without saying, but I’m including it because all too often, people won’t give 100 percent on a temp assignment. They perceive it as less important than a permanent position and don’t see the point in busting their hump at a job they won’t have for more than a month or two. While I wouldn’t recommend this kind of attitude in any position, it may not be too big of an issue if you know the job isn’t for you or you truly are just temping.

If you are serious about turning the position into a permanent one, then you need to put in the extra effort. Make yourself available, flexible and indispensable. Pretend like you’ve already got the permanent position and you’re gunning for a promotion. Volunteer to take on tasks, lend a hand on someone else’s project if you’re done with yours, get in early and stay late if necessary. Just make sure they can’t live without the quality work that you do.

2. Learn About the Company and the Culture

Once you’ve got your amazing work ethic nailed down, turn your attention to the larger picture. Do some research on the company and get to know their story. Where the company comes from and who the leadership team is will directly impact the kind of culture you experience on the job. Is the company small and friendly but subject to a lot of unspoken rules about hierarchy and dress code? Or do you work at a large corporation where the relationships aren’t as warm but procedure is clear and important? Understanding these nuances and working within them signals to your supervisors that you’re a good fit.

3. Be Part of the Team

One of the unfortunate side effects of being a temp is feeling like you’re on the outside looking in. In order to be a good fit for the company you need to make an effort to break out of your role as “the temp” and be noticed by your co-workers. Build relationships whenever you can, even if it’s over a love of crochet or fly fishing. When it comes down to getting the permanent position, your fly fishing aficionado might be the one that pipes up on your behalf. If your colleagues feel like they know you and what you’re capable of, they’ll be more likely to go to bat for you or at least sing your praises in the break room.

What’s more, even if your permanent position falls through, the friends or connections you’ve made during your time at the company can be a huge networking tool when it comes to finding that next position. Building relationships is key – period. If you want to be more than the sum of your resume, people need to know who you are.

4. Ask for the Job

If you want to be considered for a permanent position, then at some point you need to communicate this fact to a supervisor or colleague, but be careful. There is a fine line between being clear and being a stage five clinger. There’s a good chance your supervisor isn’t psychic so letting them know that you would be interested in a permanent position would be a good idea, but don’t ask about it your first week on the job and don’t ask about every week on the job. Should the subject come up on its own take advantage of the opportunity without being aggressive or pushy.

My mother landed that permanent position back in ’81 because she knew that working hard, integrating, building relationships and asserting herself was going to put her over the top when the time came. There was no guarantee that was going to get the position, but she made it as hard as possible for her supervisor to say no, and in the end he couldn’t.

Source : LinkedIn

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