Moving from Temp to Perm

1. Do your best at the job you are assigned to.  Although you may want to move up in the organization, if you focus too much of your time and effort on networking with higher-up people, there’s a chance you might neglect the job they hired you for.  First and foremost, focus on doing your best at your temp job.  Pay attention to detail and try to get your projects done early (or at least on time).
2. Show enthusiasm.  Nothing is worse than someone who sees their job as a dead end, even if the truth is that they would rather be doing something else.  At least try your best to come to work each day with a smile, and show you are happy to take care of the work you need to do rather than seeming resentful.
3. Be professional.  Don’t use the company computer to check out new friends on Facebook or play video games.  Don’t talk on your cell phone or the company phone during work time.  Make sure any email correspondence you send is professional; check the grammar and spelling, be sure to capitalize the right words, and address your emails to people by their last name unless you know you can use first names.
4. Dress the part.  Yes, you are a temp, but look carefully at what people wear who are permanent staff.  Make sure to dress like they do.  And be careful not to wear clothes that are too revealing– this is a quick way to be stereotyped in a negative way which won’t get your career where it needs to go.
5. Once you are established at your job, try to start going above and beyond.  Suggest new ideas for ways of doing things, volunteer to stay extra hours if a project needs to be done, and ask for new work once you run out of things to do.
6. Let them know you want the job.  Don’t assume people will figure out that you have a long-term interest in the company.  Instead, actually tell them.
7.  Network.  Make sure you get to know people on your team, but also ask for introductions to those in other departments of interest to you.  Let people know you are very interested in the company and would be interested to know how to find a permanent position.  Make sure you don’t do so much networking that it takes away from your work product though.
8. Ask around about the policies regarding temp to perm conversion.  You may have to ask HR, or find out what your temp agency’s policies are about converting to permanent hires.  Some organizations have specific rules about this, and it’s worth finding out so you can use the right approach.

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