How do you go from temporary to permanent when having a temporary position no longer suits you? There are a lot of advantages to having a temporary role- you can take longer breaks with a degree of flexibility, acquire new skills rapidly, improve your CV, grow your network and so on. Sometimes this stops being enough- the constant change might be too much, you might want to settle down and have more certainty and security or the bank might want to see evidence of permanent employment for a mortgage application.
So how do you engineer your success in this situation?
1. Do your best work
This is by far the most important piece of the puzzle. You have to put in your best work. You need to care about your reputation, the results you deliver and the standard of the work you deliver. A lot of people will do the bare minimum thinking they won’t be around long enough to see the impact. In certain industries temps don’t have the best reputation so if you come in, position yourself to produce your best work you will make a great and lasting impression. It’s easier to get a yes when you have demonstrated how valuable you are and your abilities.
2. Increase your responsibilities
This might be unpopular with people that like to work to the clock. But because not many people are willing to do more than they are paid for your extra effort will not go unnoticed. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work 60 hour weeks. It just means you volunteer more, you help out when an extra hand is needed or you support new initiatives. The more you know and are able to do, the more valuable you are and the more likely you are to be missed in the headcount and department if you leave. This will make a case for your role to be made permanent.
3. Join in with the team
Just because your position is classed as temporary it doesn’t mean you should treat your relationships as temporary. Taking coffee breaks, having lunch and socializing with your colleagues is a good way to show that you are a team player and part of the team. It allows your colleagues to get to know you better and build better working relationships. This can work to your advantage if you are not being treated as an outsider because you are more likely to find out about different opportunities for you to act on in a timely manner. The more your colleagues know, like and trust you the more likely they are to vouch for you and recommend you and your skillset.
4. Ask for a permanent post
After putting in your best work and showing that you are part of the team, indicate your desire to transition into a more permanent position as early as possible. This will allow you to be considered for any permanent positions in the future. If you don’t make it explicit, your line manager may assume that you are happy working in a temporary capacity and may make plans to recruit or redistribute work without your knowledge. Asking to transition into a permanent position will also draw attention to your work, so it’s important to maintain the great standards that get you noticed to begin with.
5. Grow your sphere of influence
It’s not enough to just be known by your line manager and your colleagues. Grow your sphere of influence by building relationships with your customers, suppliers, stakeholders, seniors and other people that work closely with your department. Again in this situation doing your best work and having a great attitude will be rewarded with a growing good reputation. So even if a role within your current department doesn’t materialize there will be other people who know and love your work enough to create opportunities for you. They are also the same people who will give great feedback to your line manager, making a strong case to secure that permanent position.
What is your biggest challenge in turning your temporary position into a permanent role? Come and share in our online community of like-minded and ambitious career women in their 20s and 30s.