Temp to Permanent: How to Turn a Contract Job Into a Full-Time Gig

During the course of a year, U.S. staffing companies hire nearly 16 million temporary and contract employees, according to the American Staffing Association. This massive number doesn’t include workers contracted directly with a company instead of via a staffing service.

Bottom line: A lot of Americans are working as temps.

Companies use contract workers for a number of reasons. They may need extra seasonal help. They might want to test out a particular professional before making the position permanent. Or they may want to save on the costs of hiring a full-time worker.

The benefits extend to the temp employee, too. Contract work can be more flexible than a traditional full-time job. It may pay better, also. It’s also a great way for an employee to try a company and position on for size before making a long-term commitment.

Despite these positives, most contractors hope to parlay their temp job into a permanent position. They want the benefits, growth opportunity and job security that often come with being a full-time hire.

So what if you find yourself in this scenario? You’re about to enter a contract position with the goal of getting hired permanently. If you follow these six tips, you’ll increase the likelihood that you reach your goal, maybe even months before the contract is over.

Voice Your Goal

Be clear about your ultimate goal with the staffing firm and the employer. If they know you have a desire to be hired full-time, you’ll be kept top of mind when the right opportunities arise.

Perform Like Your Job is Permanent

Let go of the mindset that this job may not exist in 6 months, as that will be toxic to your performance today. Work like you’re a permanent employee, and convey your passion and dedication to the job and the company’s mission.

Exceed Expectations

Don’t just meet your employer’s expectations — exceed them. If your main responsibilities are maintaining logistical spreadsheets, nobody is stopping you from asking for more varied or advanced tasks. Showing a can-do attitude will make you stand out.

Leverage Relationships

Networking is a critical part of getting any job. Don’t let an opportunity to meet influential contacts pass you by just because you are a temp. Get to know important folks throughout the company, even if they don’t work in your department.

Embrace the Office Culture

Strive to fit in with the team and blend seamlessly with the office culture. Leadership knows it’s not just about the skills you bring to the table. If you’re the right fit with co-workers and the company, you’ll be a valuable asset.

Approach Each Day Like an Interview

Every day you go to a temp job you have the opportunity to prove you’re worth being hired full-time. How you act, perform and interact with others will influence your chances of scoring a permanent job offer. It’s like an audition, and in a few months you’ll learn whether you’ve earned the lead or not.

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