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Turn a Temporary Assignment into a Full Time Opportunity

February 19th, 2016

If you’re stepping into your new temporary job because you really do only want a temporary job, and you plan to say goodbye later without looking back, that’s fine. But if you’d like to leverage this temporary role into career stepping stone, or maybe even a full time position, the power to do so is well within your reach. Here are a few simple moves that can turn your short term gig into a long term opportunity.

Ask a few questions.

Starting on your first day, make it clear that you’d like to make a strong impression, and ask a few questions to find out where this job can take you. Until you ask, you have no way of knowing if full time positions may become available here. You also have no way of knowing how to make a grab for those positions. And your employers have no way of knowing that this prospect interests you. As far as they know, you’re happy to leave when your contract period ends. So explain that, if possible, you’d like to stay.

Make a winning impression.

Again, starting on day one, demonstrate that you aren’t here to fool around. Dress for the full time job you’d like to land eventually. Or at the very least, stay as neat and professional as your workspace will allow. Make direct eye contact and offer a friendly, fully engaged smile to everyone you meet here. Show a genuine personal interest in both the job and the company.

Treat mistakes and lessons as a long term experience.

When you make a mistake and are corrected, treat this as an opportunity for growth. Most temporary employees will dismiss the moment (“I’m only going to be here for two weeks, so what does it matter?”) But if you take a different approach, you’ll send a stronger message (as in, “I’d like to get this right, so I can avoid making similar mistakes in the future.”)

Build relationships.

Try not to drift in and out of the facility every day like a nameless ghost. Make connections by remembering people’s names and recalling personal conversations. Show that you care about these people and in return, they’ll start caring about you. By the time your contract period ends, your employers will be more invested in what becomes of you. They’ll also make more of an effort to create room for you within this organization.

Ask for exposure.

If your temporary job involves filing in an out-of-the way office or moving boxes on the loading dock, try to learn more about the larger organization and how its business model works. Express an interest in expanding your skills and experience beyond your limited workspace. Even if no full time jobs are available in this space, your supervisor may be willing to shift you to another temporary position in another part of the company.

For more on how to leverage every temporary opportunity into a potential long term job, contact the Hartford staffing professionals at Merritt.

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