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13 ways to turn your temp role in to a perm position

You’ve taken on a temporary contract position and you’re loving the organisation, the job and your colleagues.  Naturally, you’re going to start wondering if it’s possible to make your stay more permanent, but is that possible?

Of course it is!

Businesses hire temporary staff members for a host of reasons, but that doesn’t automatically mean they aren’t interested in making the position more permanent.  It all depends on the needs of the company, both immediately, and in the longer term.  Unfortunately, that means there’s no guarantee you will be able to secure a permanent contract with them but, the good news is there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of staying.

Here are thirteen ways you can significantly increase your chances of going from a temp to a perm contract.

#1 Remember there’s no “I” in team

Many temps or freelancers can find it hard to really get involved in the heart of the business they’re working for.  When you know you’re likely to be moving on, it can be a challenge to really get invested.  However, if you have your heart set on becoming a more permanent fixture, you need to clearly demonstrate you think and feel as though you’re part of the team.

Rather than simply focussing on the tasks you’ve been given, look around and see where you can add value.  Take the time to get to know your colleagues, where appropriate (but don’t waste time gossiping at the water cooler!).

#2 Think like an employee

If you constantly act as though your role is temporary, chances are you’re going to do the bare minimum before clocking off each day.  Instead, think of your role as being permanent, and go the extra mile where possible.  Look for ways to make your role more efficient, or to help out other department.  Add value in everything you do, and you’ll be pegged as someone worth keeping around.

#3 Speak up

If you’re interested in making your role more permanent, it’s important you make your feelings clear.  Your line manager isn’t going to be a mind-reader, so make it obvious you’re enjoying your position, or like what the company represents.  Ask for advice on what it would take to be offered a permanent position.  Check out the current vacancies and express your interest.

#4 Dig deeper

Finding out more about the company you’re working for will allow you to identify ways you may be able to help them both now, or in the future.  Take the time to research their short or long-term goals.  Perhaps ask around, speak to your line manager or colleagues, to see what the future plans are.  This will also have the added benefit of demonstrating your wider interest in the company and its future.

#5 Be reliable

When you’re providing a temporary service, you still have a vita roe to play within an organisation.  As a result, it’s vital you remain consistent and demonstrate a history of reliability.  Being late, taking extended lunch breaks or having time off for illness isn’t going to reflect well on you, and will significantly impact your chances of having your temp contract extended, or moving on to a perms one.  It could also impact your chances of securing future roles elsewhere.  Do everything you can to represent yourself in the best light.

#6 Bring the joy

As the temp, it’s true, you may have some of the less than glamourous jobs to do.  Perhaps you’re in charge of opening the mail, or order the stationery.  There might be a lot of monotony and tedious work; however, if you’re looking to progress to something more permanent it’s important you bring some joy to the table – or at the very least, plenty of enthusiasm.  Yes, folding 2000 pieces of paper isn’t going to set your world alight, but it’s a job that needs doing, and it’ll feel great when it’s done.

#7 Be proactive

As a freelancer or temp, the chances are you’ll have a lot of experience gained through working in a variety of office environments.  This, along with the fact you’ll always have a fresh perspective on a new organisation, means you can often spot areas for improvement.  Whilst you shouldn’t go ahead and start changing things as you see fit, do make a note of any observations you’ve made, or issues you’ve spotted and bring them up with your manager.  If you can highlight ways to cut costs or save time, you’re going to demonstrate immense value.

#8 Be a Value Added Temp

If you want to ensure you stand out, and really increase your chances of being offered a permanent position, you need to demonstrate how much value you add to the role you’re performing.  Don’t just do the bare minimum – exceed any targets you’re given, encourage others to meet theirs, work as a team player, go the extra mile and blow their expectations out of the water.  Under such circumstances, many employers would rather hire you, than run the risk you’ll end up with their competitors.

#9 Embrace the company culture

Every business operates differently, and it’s important you get to know what’s expected of staff members early on.  Not only will this help you perform your role better, but it will also allow you to develop strong relationships with your new colleagues.  Do staff head off to the local café every Friday for fish and chips?  Do they celebrate each other’s wins?  Do what you can to get involved, and people will start to see you as a member of their team, regardless of what your contract status is.

#10 Be You

If a company has a history of hiring temps when they’re short staffed, then it’s easy to be forgotten.  This is why it’s vitally important you be your own gloriously unique self, to ensure you stand out from the crowd.  Excel at what you’re doing, but let your personality shine, so you’re more than just “that temp” everyone expects to just be passing through.

#11 Have a plan

If you want to turn your temp role into a permanent one, then it’s important you have a plan to make it happen.  There’s more to it than simply wanting to be offered a role.  Consider how long your temporary position is, and why you’re there in the first place.  Are you covering maternity leave, or a stop-gap whilst they hire a permanent role?  Identify the best time to speak to your manager about expressing an interest in any permanent roles that may become available, and stick to your timetable.  

#12 Network

As well as making sure you build rapport and relationships with any colleagues in your department, take the time to network with other members of the organisation, too.  It may well be the case that the business is not in a position to immediately offer you a permanent position; however, if you build relationships with relevant individuals, you may find yourself being the first in consideration when a new position becomes available.

#13 Stay motivated

When things don’t happen immediately, or go exactly according to plan, it’s easy to become frustrated.  However, the key is to take a deep breath, and don’t let any minor set backs let you lose focus.  Remember the ultimate goal, and speak to your recruitment consultant for any additional tips they can offer you as your search for a permanent position continues.