December 12, 2013
Turn a temp job into a permanent one
The holidays are prime time for snagging a temp job. Too bad these jobs often disappear the minute the New Year's confetti has settled. Would you like to hold on to a temp job? Here's how.
Think of it as a really long interview. Pay attention and take notes. Be punctual, cheerful and enthusiastic. Anticipate needs; for example, look for things that no one else is currently doing, and do them. This is your chance to prove you are a star.
Think of it as a networking event. Make yourself visible; get out and meet people within the company. Look for ways to get to know department heads, HR staff, longtime permanent workers and anybody else with influence. Don't just hang around with the other temps.
Adopt the company's culture. Look for ways to project the impression that you already work there (permanently). This means dressing the part, being a team player and taking yourself seriously. If you look and act like a temp, people will think of you as one.
Learn as much as you can about the company. Temps aren't often given in-depth training, so make an effort to learn about the company's products and services. Offer to work overtime. Volunteer to do tasks outside your job description.
Make sure your employer is aware of all your skills. If you are capable of more than your job calls for, let people know. Be sure to keep your resume handy and up to date, in both paper and electronic formats. You never know when someone may ask.
Let the employer know you're interested in permanent work. Sounds obvious, but employers may assume that you're happy as a temp; a lot of people are. So talk with your supervisors or HR about your goals and, most important, what you have to offer to the company.
Make yourself indispensable. This is key. The way to turn a temp assignment into a permanent job is to exceed expectations by going above and beyond the call of duty. Your goal is to be such a stellar worker that the employer can't imagine life without you.
All of this, of course, assumes that you have chosen your temp job in a field that interests you and that you'd like to pursue (which is, after all, one of the first rules of temping!).
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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