How to Move From Your Temporary Job to a Permanent Position

By Barbara Mason

Despite recent unemployment numbers that show the country is recovering from the economic downturn, it appears as if many companies are still feeling the effects and are not ready to take on a large number of permanent employees.

"What you generally see is that temporary help agency employment tends to grow as we head into a recession and as we head out of a recession," Arne Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina who studies the labor force, told US News and World Report.

If you are a temporary worker looking for a full-time job, there are a number of things you can do in addition to updating your resume that will show potential employers you will be a long-term valuable asset to their company.

Think like a permanent employee

Whether you're looking to stay at the company you are currently temping for, or get a full-time job working someplace else, you need to start thinking and acting like a permanent worker. Businesses who hire temporary workers often use the opportunity to get a feel for how they will perform their duties on a day-to-day basis, which can work to your advantage if you are an ideal, hard-working employee.

You should always be diligent and responsible and do your best to accomplish your assigned tasks.

Be involved

If your goal is to land a permanent position at your present company, you need to show your coworkers that you truly care about the business.

Talent acquisition specialist Tom Egan told the Boston Globe that temp workers need to make an effort to know the company they are working for and how it operates.

"This includes not only the company’s written mission, employee benefits, and external reputation, but also who the key players are, how work gets done, unwritten dress codes, priorities, and internal dynamics. If you take the time to understand these nuances, and you feel you fit in, you will already have an advantage when a permanent position opens," Egan added.

Be a sponge

One of the biggest problems employers face with new hires is the time needed to train them. As a temporary worker, you have an advantage over outside job seekers if you can show your supervisors that you are a fast learner and go the extra mile to get your work done. Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions and take an interest in learning as much as you can.

Voice your intentions

It's never too early to let your bosses know that you are interested in eventually transitioning into a full-time position. Your chances of getting a permanent job will also increase if you get to know as many people as possible in the company, even outside your department, who will be able to vouch for you when a position does become available.

Update your resume to include your current work experience, and make sure it gets into the hands of the people who can help you.

Be optimistic

Although there is currently a steady need for temporary workers across major industries in the U.S., you should not give up hope that you will land a permanent, full-time job.

Patrick O'Keefe, director of research at accounting firm J.H. Cohn, told US News and World Report that a boost in temporary jobs is actually a promising sign.

"There is a point where employers, because of the magnitude of increase in demand and that increase being sustained over a period of time, have historically shifted from reliance on temporary help to more permanent workers," O'Keefe noted.

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