As you start your job search you’ll likely come across temporary, contract, or seasonal roles that have an end date. This could be for a variety of reasons – a specific project, maternity leave, or busy seasons. For some, this is exactly what they’re looking for – for others it may discourage them from applying.
You might think to yourself, “Well I need a full-time permanent job,” but when looking at the temporary positions you have to think long term. Just because it’s a temporary role now, doesn’t mean it will always be or that there won’t be other opportunities for you. Especially if the company and department are a great fit and what you’re looking for, there can be so much potential for you in the future in a permanent role!
Here are some things to consider, and ways to turn your employment status from temporary to permanent.
1. Set Goals and Think About Your Career Long Term
As with other aspects of your career journey, being aware of your goals is so important when considering different opportunities. Knowing where you want to go and being aware of the various ways that you can get there is key. The temporary role might not be exactly what you’re looking to do forever, but as you come across temporary roles, consider if it would help you develop skills, build connections or increase your knowledge that would improve your case for pitching yourself later on. Also, if the role is with a company you want to work for long term, it’s worth thinking about as a way to get in the door!
2. Verbalize What You Want and Communicate
Communication is the key to getting you from where you are to where you want to be. Being open about the fact that you are hoping to turn the temporary position into a full one is an important part to making that happen. Be upfront on this from the beginning of the job so that idea and possibility have more time to develop and grow and percolate with your supervisor.
People aren’t mind-readers and when others know what your goals are, they just might be able to help or be on the lookout for opportunities for you. They may be able to help you make connections within the company, bring you up in meetings, speak highly of you to important people, and recommend you for projects.
Having a conversation with the right people about what it will take to become a permanent employee will give you the insight needed to move forward. Ask people in the company about the skills or information you should learn more about whether it be about software, task-related skills, or things that you could improve on. Are there certain target numbers that you could hit to move the needle or results that you could achieve to impress? Having open communication will answer many of your questions and will allow you to work on those areas. You certainly don’t want your contract to near the end, and them say, “I had no idea you were looking for a full-time job, there was an opening but it’s been filled.” It’s also important to remember that some are genuinely just wanting temporary employment – so unless you state otherwise, the company might think you are too.
3. Be Great To Work With and Make Friends
Being great to work with will also have a huge impact on whether the company will even consider keeping you on. If you’re only on a 6-month contract – and people either don’t know you or want to work with you, it will be easy to let you go. However, if you are pleasant to work with, and you get to know people, they’re less likely to want you to go.
Try to bring in a positive attitude to work, encourage others in their work, and try to make as many connections as you can. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and talk about your experience and enthusiasm for working at the company, and the work you’re doing. Investing time in others and getting to know them, their history with their company, and who they are as a person will pay off in the long run. As a bonus, if you can, help others that you meet in the company to achieve their goals and help them to improve to solidify your spot as an indispensable employee.
4. Be Reliable
Being reliable in every circumstance will get you noticed over time – and is something that is so valued in a lot of different areas of life. Reliability is something that is built over time, and eventually, people start to realize who they can count on and who they can’t. People like to work with reliable people – people who show up to meetings early, get their work done on time and deliver results consistently. Companies want to hire and work with people they can trust to deliver time and time again, and who will show up when it counts. Be that person.
5. Look Out for Opportunities and Be Pro-Active
While meeting new people within the company, expressing interest early on in pursuing a full-time opportunity is a step in the right direction – but take it a step further. Keep your eyes and ears open for internal listening and upcoming openings. Whether it be in the same department, or any other similar/applicable roles – go for it! If anything does come up – make sure you vocalize your interest and find out if you’re able to apply and if the affected parties have any thoughts about it. Even if these opportunities are also temporary – it keeps you at the company longer and allows you to learn even more!
6. Be Willing and Enthusiastic About Learning As Much as You Can
Sometimes during a temporary job, it can be easy to just learn only the essentials that will get you by, but if you want to stand out and further your position, you need to take the initiative and learn as much as you can.
You can do this in a few different ways that will show that you want to grow at the company. Start by showing genuine curiosity, maybe about the history behind the company, company goals, and what they are looking for moving forward. You can also offer to help on other projects or lend a hand on things when you have spare time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you see or hear about something that piques your interest or seems valuable to learn about.
You’ll impress them by going the extra mile, even when you don’t have to. Also, when opportunities do come around, you’ll be ahead! There is so much benefit to a company hiring someone who already knows their way around the company and promoting from within – so the more you know the better.
Don’t be discouraged when you’re looking for jobs at the companies and the roles that are a fit are temporary – you never know what could happen! In the beginning, it will likely take more work and intentionality to get that role – but for the right job and company, the reward will be worth it!
Looking for more guidance the next steps to take in your career? Have a Virtual Career Meeting with Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, to discuss and strategize the right moves for you!
By Jenna Yeomans – Jenna is a freelance community manager and writer in Hamilton, ON with a passion for storytelling, creativity and supporting small businesses.