Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Four Strategies to Turn a Temporary Job into a Permanent Position

When faced with a difficult job market, many job seekers turn to alternative options such as internships or temporary positions. Some companies are well-known for only hiring workers through temp agencies during a specified trial period. Instead of viewing these positions as “just a job,” think of them as an opportunity to work your way into a company. Use these strategies to make a lasting impression.

No matter the situation, one of your most important tools is confidence in your ability to make a difference and add benefit to your employer. As someone who once hired seasonal temp workers and often decided to hire a few after the holidays, I can tell you that the employees who believed in themselves and their ability to do the job were the ones that stood out from the crowd.

No matter how nervous you may be, do your best to remain calm and in control of those nerves. I truly believe that confidence can be faked. However, when you are faking confidence – often without even realizing – you begin to actually have that confidence in yourself.

In order to truly be of benefit to your employer, you must learn the job in order to add value as quickly as possible. Pay special attention in training classes, make that extra effort and find yourself a mentor. Get to know an experienced employee who knows the ropes and is willing to teach you what they know. If you gain enough knowledge, you can easily demonstrate your value because you don’t need training as they would if they hired someone new.

The attitude with which you approach your temporary job responsibilities is essential to the impression you will form with your boss. If you are unpleasant and impatient with customers or co-workers, your boss will assume that is the way you will interact if hired permanently. Put your best foot – and attitude – forward every day of your job, no matter how busy it gets or how grumpy the customers may be.

In order to gain a full-time, permanent position you may have to be willing to take a part-time job with few hours and work your way up. I once worked for a director who began her career with the company as seasonal holiday help 15 years prior. Patience and a positive attitude go a long way.

Does your boss know that you are interested in a permanent position? Don’t assume they know your intentions. If you are truly interested in a permanent position, then make sure you clearly communicate your interests right from the start. You may not be hired at the end of the season, but before you leave the job be sure to tell the manager you want to work with them again and ask them to keep you in mind if something opens up in the future. Keep those lines of communication open so they don’t forget you when they need to hire again.

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