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Turning a Temporary Assignment into a Permanent Position – Tip 14

If you would like to turn a temporary assignment into a permanent position, approach it like you would a first date with a person you definitely would want to see again. For example, you want to come across as being interested in them, being open and honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and wanting the evening to be a win-win for you both.

All temporary assignments are not always a prelude to a permanent position. If you found the assignment through a temporary staffing agency, they would charge the company a hefty fee if they decided to hire you for a permanent position. For that reason, most companies won’t hire a temporary person for a permanent position even if, at the same time, they are trying to fill that position. If you were hired directly for the assignment on a temporary basis, companies may still not consider you for a permanent position depending on whether they see you as an external resource (consultant) or as someone that took the assignment while they were looking for a permanent position.

Regardless of whether there is an opportunity to convert a temporary assignment to a permanent position, you still want to make the best impression possible. They may not have a permanent position available now but if they like you, you are likely to remain on their records as someone they may want to consider at some time in the future. Here are some tips on how you can make a positive impression along with some examples of how you can eliminate yourself from further consideration.

Tips for making a positive impression

  1. Attitude, attitude, attitude – Always have a pleasant, cooperative, and willing attitude even if the work sucks or the work environment is not where you would want to work. You may decide you would never want to work there but a good referral from someone at the company could help you find a permanent position elsewhere.
  2. Think when you do the work. Make sure you understand what you are doing. When you are doing something that you haven’t been trained to do, don’t just go through the motions without understanding what you are doing. Ask for clarification of things that are unclear or you are not an expert at. You don’t want employers to have to correct your mistakes if you could have asked for assistance earlier.
  3. If you are asked to help on a project, find out the timeline of when it needs to be completed and keep your supervisor updated on your progress.
  4. Alert your supervisor in advance of when you think you’ll finish what you are working on and when you’ll be ready for something else.
  5. Be helpful. If you know they are involved in something that you have particular expertise in and could help them, let them know. The recruiter that placed you may not have communicated your key skills and experience.
  6. At lunch or break times, try to eat with the other people in the department. Don’t go out and eat alone. Talk to them about their work, the company, what they like about working there. Get to know them and let them get to know you. Employment happens because of relationships.
  7. Look and act as if you are an employee already. You want to fit in so they see you as one of them. They may not see you as a team player unless you act and work as if you are a part of the team.

Tips for making a negative impression (and ensuring they would not want to employ you for a permanent position)

  1. Do personal things at the work site. Leave your telephone on and take calls so others see and hear your distractions. They will interpret these calls as an abuse of the time that they are paying you for (even if you are not “on the clock”).
  2. Wait until you are finished with a project to tell them you are done. It will be disruptive to them and they will then have to scramble to find more work for you, wasting their time and yours.
  3. Waste time on a project trying to figure it out on your own. Don’t ask for help from others in the department. By not interacting with others, you won’t be building any relationships.
  4. Let them know that you know it all, are the expert at something even if you are, or are working below your capabilities. You aren’t there to show them up. You are there to help them accomplish something they want done. It’s all about them, not you.
  5. Arrive late, take a long lunch break, or leave early. You may not be charging them for the time but they will interpret it as if you are. If they are in a crisis, they may be expecting a full day’s work from you.