“It’s having no foresight that makes the temporary unbearable.”
~ A. Lynn ~
Client Renee Asks: I’m currently temping for a company that I absolutely love. I’d really like to work for them full time. How can I get them to consider me for a permanent position?
Client Joel Answers: Sounds like you are on a test drive. Test driving employees is what many companies do to get to know you before they make the investment in bringing you on board permanently. If you are currently temping, the company may be checking you out. Obviously, what each employer looks for during this test drive phase is different. However, if you think you’re on a test drive right now, here are two important questions your prospective employer is trying to answer.
- Can you walk the walk?
A lot of people can give a dynamite interview. They tell the hiring manager exactly what he or she wants to hear, and their resume looks like they have the right skill set. However, as the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.” If you’re on a test drive, the employer is giving that pudding a taste. If you’re as great as you say you are, chances are you’ll have a good shot at joining the team permanently.
- Do you fit the culture?
Your employer is also test driving some of your more qualitative aspects. How are your personal skills? Do you fit well with the other team members? Do you communicate effectively? Do people like working with you? An interviewer will try to get a feel for these qualities, but really can’t know for sure until you are in place and interacting with your potential co-workers.
Ready to make your mark? There are two questions you need to answer:
- How do I stand out?
- What mistakes should I avoid?
How do I stand out? Standing out as a temp starts with doing the job you were originally hired do to while looking for opportunities to go above and beyond. Don’t just wait to be handed extra projectsor given additional responsibilities. Ask for them! Share with your supervisor and the hiring manager your other areas of expertise.
Also, don’t be afraid to let the company know that you’d love to be brought on full-time. Even if the position you’re currently temping for is truly temporary (filling in for someone who is out on medical leave, for example), look for other open positions where you’d fit well, and talk to the hiring manager about transitioning after your temp assignment is over. Point out the advantages you offer: they know your skills, you know the company, and you’ll save them the time and money of conducting another search.
Most important, be happy to be there. Make your co-workers look forward to seeing you every morning. Socialize if that’s part of the culture—go out for coffee or lunch when you’re invited. Bring a batch of cookies or a box of donuts for the team. There is nothing worse than a temp who comes in and just goes through the motions, ignoring co-workers and acting like they’d rather be anyplace but there. A positive, can-do attitude can make an employer want to keep you around.
What mistakes should I avoid? Obviously, if you come in late, don’t get along with other employees, and complain about the work, the company or being a temp in general, chances are you’re not going to seem like a desirable addition to the team.
And although you may have great ideas about how to do things or improve certain processes, be very careful how and when you share your thoughts. The phrase, “At my old company, we used to. . .” can become like nails on a chalkboard.
Being a temp can provide you with terrific opportunities for full time employment, if that’s what you want. When you start a temp job and you know that permanent employment is your goal, have your strategy in mind from Day One. Look upon every meeting, work assignment, or interaction with other employees as an opportunity to polish your image in the company’s eyes. Visualize yourself as a permanent employee, act like one, and before long—you will be one.
If you are on a test drive of your own right now, make a list of five things you can do in the next week to make yourself a standout to your employer. Start by implementing #1 tomorrow.
Talkback: Have you made a successful transition from temporary to permanent employment? How did you do it? Share your story here.
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“Champions don’t become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. If you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at his daily routine”
~ John Maxwell ~
Some people slog through life thinking, This is as good as it gets. They put in hours, take their paycheck, and find joy someplace else.
It doesn’t have to be that way for you. There’s a way you can find satisfaction in your current place of employment. You won’t stay in the same spot. Instead, I’ll show you four quick ways to take your career to another level while sticking with the security of your current employer.
- Write your dream job description.
- Find areas in your current job that match your dream job
- Look to add value around you
- Delegate the dregs
1. Write your dream job description. Everyone deserves to go to work with eagerness and delight at what they day will bring. They should work from their strengths and core values. Fulfillment comes when you feel you are making a meaningful difference.
The first step to create your dream job is to define what it is—and what it is not. Sometimes this is harder than you think! Then a career coach can help you find those insights and core values that motivate you to succeed.
If you don’t know what makes you happy, you’ll have a hard time defining your ideal job. So take time to carefully study what your strengths are and what you’d like to spend the majority of your time doing.
2. Find areas in your current job that match your dream job. Look at your current responsibilities. Which ones do you enjoy doing? Which types of responsibilities fit with your dream job description?
These are the ones you want to expand on. Look for ways to increase the amount of time you spend on these jobs. Perhaps a co-worker hates the very work you love. You could look at taking on some of that added responsibility. As you work to your strengths, you will shine.
3. Look to add value around you. Because you are skilled in your “dream areas,” you have a nice level of expertise in them. Continue to grow that expertise. Be available to take on extra work in that area. Because it’s fun for you and you enjoy it, it won’t feel like work.
Because you are eager to assume that responsibility, you’ll earn the gratitude and recognition of your bosses. You may become the go-to person for that area of the work. More work will come your way, and soon, you’ll have merged into your dream career.
Your added value will make it easy to then ask for the pay you want.
4. Delegate the Dregs. You also want to look at the parts of your job you hate. Find an honorable way to do less of them. Because every person has different strengths and skills, one of your co-workers may love that job. Look for ways to trade jobs so you can get the ones you love and your co-workers take from you the ones you hate.
Sometimes just getting rid of the worst jobs can help you love your job more—especially if it frees up time for those projects you love.
As you take these four steps, you can morph your current job into your dream job. Write your dream job description. Expand your value to the company by sharing your strengths and delegating jobs you don’t like. Get the satisfaction you deserve.
Joel’s career coaching opens up opportunities to discover your strengths and find or create your dream job. Take that next step in your career today! Find joy in your work now. Email Joel and learn how to find your dream job—or even how to change your current job into that dream job.
Talkback: How have you moved into your areas of strength? Have you ever given some of the jobs you hated to someone who liked them? What tips can you give others to change their job for the better?
Image courtesy of iconmac / FreeDigitalPhotos.net