How to Turn a Temp Job into a Full-Time Position

by Kristina Rudic,

Sometimes the best way to get the job you want is to simply get your foot in the door—and a temp job can be just that. It’s a great opportunity to learn about a company, what each role there entails, and to see where actual help is needed. This can be especially fruitful when moving to a new city, as a temp job is a quick way to get work without committing to a long-term contract. Also, it’s helpful to know that roughly 58 percent of employers who hire a temp worker plan on extending them an offer for a full-time position, according to McKinsey Global Institute. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or in between jobs, we’ve got four tips that will help you turn a temp job into a full-time position.

1. Show your value

A temp job is like an audition; you get to show your skills to a judging audience in a select amount of time. From the moment you step into the office, consider it “go time.” Take on the role as if you will be invested in the company for years to come, rather than just a couple of weeks or months.

2. Learn new skills

If there are new skill sets required for this role, work harder to learn these thoroughly, so that you can fully utilize them throughout your contract. In order to receive the promotion from temp to full time, your ability to learn quickly and work effectively will be paramount in securing this transition. Sometimes, new skills take a longer time to learn. If this is the case, take a couple of nights after work to continue building these up. It may be tiring, but showing determination will signal that you are focused on this job.

3. Ask for more

Take on responsibilities outside of your initial role. This not only shows initiative but also is a great indicator to the company that your wish is to help out, and perhaps for much longer than initially thought. If you see your manager or boss struggling with a task, offer to help out. Sometimes, your boss may not be aware that you wish to contribute more, so ask for it. Also, pay attention to what areas need help in your department and offer to assist with those.

In addition, by helping out on more than one project, you are proving how much of a necessity you are to the company, especially in which areas they might have understaffed. It is oftentimes more successful to show your employer that they need you rather than to express interest in a full-time position—although this definitely doesn’t hurt. The old “show, don’t tell” rule applies to jobs as well.

4. Connect with colleagues

In order for a company to realize you’d be a great fit, it’s crucial that you mesh well with your coworkers. Take the time to talk to them and get to know who they are and what they do. Not only is this great bonding, but it’s also incredible networking. Sometimes, a short-term contract will end and a full-time position may not be available. If you stay in touch with your colleagues, they’ll be able to inform you should anything open up in the future.

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By Eran Peterson
Eran Peterson Associate Director, Student Engagement