Temporary jobs are a great way to try new careers, learn new skills and, if you’re not sure what kind of work you want to do, it’s a paid way to try out several opportunities without committing to anything right away. Unfortunately, temp jobs can also feel like you’re flying without a net.
Don’t be discouraged! It’s entirely possible to turn a temporary job into a permanent one — it happens more often than you might think. Here’s how to make a short-term gig the next long-term phase of your career.
Remember that temp positions are like long, in-person interviews.
For however long you’re with the company on this assignment, you’re learning skills, meeting people and showing how well you get along with your coworkers. If you like what you’re doing, and if you’d like to stay longer, be sure to work your hardest and make it very obvious that you’re interested in the job. Do it well and you could be the first person in line when a permanent position opens!
Be a model employee.
Regardless of what time you’re supposed to start work, always arrive a few minutes early. This way, you’re ready to start on time, coffee in hand, at your assigned location, instead of rushing in at the last moment. If you have transportation issues, communicate them to your supervisor as early as possible and offer to stay late to make up the time. Be reliable, responsible, trustworthy and dutiful, holding up your responsibilities and, where possible, offering to help out to ease someone else’s workload.
Ask if permanent jobs are available.
Sometimes companies rely on temp workers to have extra hands available for a big project. Sometimes temp workers are called in to fill in for people on long-term leave. But sometimes temporary workers are the short-term solution because fiscal year budgets don’t have enough room in them to allow for permanent employees at the time. That means the door could open for a full-time, permanent position soon! There’s no harm in asking whether that’s a possibility — it also shows that you’re interested in the job and, given the long-term interview you’re already involved in, you could be top-of-mind when something opens up.
Treat the job like a permanent one.
Get to know your coworkers — network with them, learn their names and positions, try to be friendly with them and, if invited, go to events with them after hours. Talk with your manager and ask questions about the company, the position, the specifics of the job. Show that you’re eager to learn and want to become part of the team, not just for the short term. Use this job as a networking opportunity in a larger sense — if you make a great impression on the supervisor and the company does not have a permanent position available soon, they might be able to help you in other ways, by letting you know other companies that are hiring and would be happy to have you.
Attitude really can be everything! As a temp worker, there might be different people throwing demands and orders and requests and instructions at you all day. That can be overwhelming. Do your best to take it all in stride and do whatever’s asked of you. Show that you’re committed to being the best employee you can be, whether that’s for a day or a month or for the longer term. That kind of approach can make a big difference to the people supervising you! A willingness to learn and help out, combined with keeping your cool under stress, can make a strong impression that will help you get a call the next time there’s an open position.
Ready to try something new? See the jobs Sterling Personnel is working to fill!
You never know how the people you meet can help you in the long run. It might not be right away, but the good impression you make at this temporary job could very well turn into a long-term, permanent job, whether at this company or through a reference provided by someone you worked with while in this temp job. Do your best and be rewarded!
If you’d like to give temporary jobs a try, call Sterling Personnel! We work with great companies who are looking for short- and long-term help and we’d be happy to see what matches your experience and interests. Take a look at the jobs we’re currently working to fill, then give Sterling Personnel a call and we’ll get to work!