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When companies need short-term workers, (or if they just want to “try before they buy,”) they’ll hire temporary employees—also known as “temps,” consultants, freelancers or contractual workers. There’s no guarantee those positions will parlay into permanent ones, but it is possible if you play your cards right.
Here’s how to turn your temporary gig into a full-time job:
Be 100% reliable. Show up on time, deliver quality work and communicate with your colleagues.
Find out if permanent employment is even a possibility. Before taking a temporary position with the company, be aware of their policy towards hiring temporary employees.
Have the right mindset and enthusiasm. Treat the part-time job or your contract assignment as a full-time position.Go the extra mile by coming in early or offering to stay late. Show commitment, enthusiasm and flexibility.
Take a genuine interest in the job. Too often temps treat a job as temporary and don’t take it seriously enough. If you want to get hired, you’ve got to do more than show up. You’ve got to consistently be of service to the people you are working for in order for them to feel they can’t live without you. That means not only doing what you’re told but anticipating your boss’s needs and proactively offering help and/or ideas.
Network. Networking is a tip that everyone shares because if it’s done right, it’s absolutely the best way to find a job. Be sure to keep in touch with your contacts at all times, not just when you’re looking for a new opportunity.
Show incremental value. No matter what profession your job is in, there’s always a way to prove your value whether that’s through established metrics like sales goals or forging strong relationships with key decision makers. When the time comes for your review, you’ll have lots of hard evidence that you’re a valuable asset to the team.
Get to know the company. Research the organization you are working for and try to understand its history, its earnings reports, its culture and stated goals.
Leverage your fresh perspective. Make a list of ideas and share them with your boss. It will show not only initiative but that there’s a lot of useful and important work to be done and that could justify hiring you full-time.
Build relationships. Reinforce the value you provide and try to get to know the leaders on the inside who make the hiring decisions. Make a point to shake hands and introduce yourself to others, while learning about them and the company.
Set goals. Make your own timetable for when you’d like to turn the job into a full-time position. Don’t wait to see what they give you; take control of your own goals. Don’t assume people know you want to stay on beyond the limits of the job.
Maintain good communication. Keep the lines of communication open with all parties involved in your job; making sure to report status, answer questions, and ask questions as needed. Ask questions as necessary to ensure you understand what is expected of you and then perform your duties to the best of your ability
Exceed expectations. Move beyond providing good service. Everyone expects good service, so all you do by providing good service is stay out of the doghouse. To get noticed, you need to look for simple ways to exceed everyone’s expectations of good service.
Adapt to the culture. Observe your surroundings and what’s acceptable and not acceptable in the environment, before acting. Don’t make assumptions when you’re uncertain, ask questions instead. You should also pay attention to how you dress, look, and act. Blending into the work environment, and being a person that is friendly and approachable, provides great visibility and opportunity to showcase your work and gain new projects.
Be unique. You need to stand out from the herd to be heard; So offering a different perspective on issues, utilizing hidden talents in a different way, or delivering a service in a different way than what’s been done will get you noticed. It’s not good enough to be great anymore, you need to also be different so think about your own personal signature, your own brand.
Reinforce your soft skills. This means you should be a good team player and get along with everyone, reinforce good interpersonal skills, enthusiasm and motivation. Technical skills are in demand and are important, but increasingly employers need a combination of good technical skills and soft skills that show you can be a good communicator and leader.
Ask for the job. Plant the seed early on with your employer that you would like to become a permanent employee. Find out what it will take to get the offer. Make sure you will be considered when they are ready to fill permanent positions.
Be patient. While it’s smart to express interest in a permanent position early on, you don’t want to explicitly ask for the job right away.
Don’t be too pushy. Don’t come across as overly aggressive in selling yourself. There’s a fine line between being confident and direct, and seeming pushy and aggressive.