How do I turn a temp job into a full-time one?

by Laura Labovich on April 28, 2011

Dear Laura: My question pertains to what to do in a situation in which a job seeker is working on a temporary assignment that is nearing its end. The job seeker is forward thinking and eager to learn if there may be an opportunity for this to turn in to a full time position. How does the job seeker express this interest to his or her supervisor without coming across as presumptuous – but while also sounding strong and competent?

Laura: Great question and one that is on the minds of many, especially in the contractor world that is DC! Depending on how long you have left on your contract, some of these may be a day late and a dollar short, but hopefully you can still reap some benefit from them nonetheless!

To increase your chances of converting a temp job into a full-time one, you’ll want to do the following:

• Let them know you’re interested in full-time work. This may seem obvious, but it’s important that you say it “out loud” to supervisors or HR, so that they can be looking for a place for you. Don’t assume they already know that you are interested in full-time; some folks believe temps would rather remain temps. No shame in saying, “hey, here’s what I’ve done (bring a summary of your best accomplishments to this meeting), I’ve made great progress, and I also really like it here.”

• Don’t overlook the basics (the temp job IS your interview for the full-time job). Dress professionally, be a team player, adopt the company’s culture, be punctual and be cheerful (smile)!

• Ask what else you can do. Be on the lookout for opportunities to join projects and do them wholeheartedly. One thing to note: make sure that these projects are endorsed by senior leadership and further the mission/vision of the organization before you hop on board; some matter more than others; seek those out.

• Mingle and make good friends. This is a great time to make some good connections in the company, so try to network (and network some more) while you are still on the inside!

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