Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
Making a Temp Job Permanent
March 1st, 2010
With the economy beginning to make a comeback, many companies are finally able to ditch the life jacket and begin swimming on their own again. As a result, many of these companies are starting to hire temporary workers to fill the gaps in their workforce as they slowly begin to expand after almost two years of downsizing. A Los Angeles based interim-executive placement firm, Business Talent Group, said that it has seen an increase of about 50 percent for the number of requests for temporary talent in 2009 versus 2008, and most of this jump has come towards the end of 2009. According to the Wall Street Journal, 19 publicly traded companies have appointed interim CEOs or CFOs since January 1, 2010. With such a huge increase in the number of temporary positions being filled, many people are left wondering if they will have the opportunity to make their position permanent. There are several key issues that need to be covered in order to make that temp job a permanent endeavor. These steps include proving yourself to the people in charge, having a talk with the boss to make sure that your interest is known, and, if possible, try to find a temporary position in the company that you are already employed with.
One of the most essential steps in this process is showing the company that you are not just a suit that shows up every day and accepts a paycheck at the end of the week. It is important for you to demonstrate your value to the company, and to the higher ups, because they will eventually be making the final decision about who will fill the role for which you are temporarily replacing. By the time you are done with your term, the executives in your place of employment need to be wondering how they had ever functioned without you. Companies looking to hire a new candidate usually want an individual who is open to new ideas and has the ability to implement them during their reign. There is a reason why the individual who once occupied this position is now no longer working there, and whatever he/she was doing obviously wasn’t working. It is important for you to decipher what was working for the company and what problems need to be fixed. Show the company that you are a fresh face with the assertiveness to turn your ideas into action. This will be sure to catch your boss’ eye.
Another key to turning that temporary position into a permanent stay is to have a talk with your supervisor early on. Of course, this is not a conversation that you are probably going to want to have the first day, because you might come off a bit pretentious, but it is a conversation that you will want to have within the first couple of weeks of your hire. By giving it a couple of weeks before bringing this conversation up with your boss, you will have already had time to adjust to the company and begin implementing your strategy without being passed up by other candidates in the hiring process. Even if you believe that you are a primary candidate for the position, it is always good to remind your manager of your interest in the position because, despite what you think, they might not have been considering you for the position. It is important to show your interest in the position because if they really wanted you from the beginning they would have made your position permanent instead of temporary.
Working from the inside of the company is another good way to have an advantage over other candidates. This won’t work for those of you who have picked up a temp job through an agency or job listing, but for those who are given the temporary opportunity to move up internally this could be the biggest advantage that you have. You have the advantage, over other candidates because your employer already knows the type of worker that you are and the abilities that you possess. There is also a reason why your employer is choosing you to work as the temporary person for that specific role. You should treat this opportunity as a test and show the executives that you are ready to step up and accept the responsibilities of this role. They might have had you in mind all along, and this is the time when you need to reaffirm their beliefs.
To make a long story short, when you are given the opportunity to fill a temporary role it is important that you treat it as if you might lose it the next day. Make sure that you have a plan, you’re ready and assertive enough to begin establishing that plan, you talk to your boss about your interest in pursuing this opportunity on a permanent basis, and if you moved up from the inside, use your knowledge of the company and the individuals that work there to your advantage. Once actively established in a temporary role, if it is something that you are truly enthusiastic about, the only direction to move is up. By taking advantage of these three simple techniques, you will exponentially improve your chances of being a permanent prospect for the position of your dreams.