Students — as well as agricultural workers, retirees, and academics — often take a summer job that starts in the spring and end in the fall. Both parties recognize the limited terms of the agreement, and both expect to make other arrangements after the summer ends.
But what happens if you're a summer employee and you decide that you don't want to leave? What if you decide you'd like to keep your job well into the fall and beyond? Here are 10 steps to help you have a meaningful discussion with your boss about making your job permanent.
Approach your boss
Contact your boss and arrange a meeting so you can talk about your changing plans face to face. Don't try to grab her attention as she's running out the door or concentrating on another conversation.
Explain what you want
When you took this summer job, you were under the impression that it was a seasonal gig. Now that your cards are shifting, you want to get them onto the table as soon as possible. Be forthright and simply state your intentions. As in: "I'd like to stay on until December." or "I'd like to shift from this job into to a full-time, year-round role," or "I'd like to keep this job after the season ends. Can we find a way to make that happen?" Don't be scared. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Explain why you want this
Tell your boss why and how your plans have changed. The simplest explanation is, "I really like working here and I've decided that I want to stay." If you previously expressed concerns about the future of your schedule, explain what has changed that allows you to continue this summer job.
Be positive about the organization
If your feelings about this workplace are positive, share them. It never hurts to offer a little sincere flattery, especially if you genuinely love the company. Be sure to compliment the leadership under your boss as well.
Expect a shift in position and/or salary
. If you're operating a frozen banana stand on the boardwalk, your job will disappear when the summer ends — no matter how great you, or much you want it (and no matter how many times you hear "there's always money in the banana stand"). But the company that hires you may be able to shift you to another role. Keep an open mind and express it when you talk to your boss.
Present your broader credentials
Is your job strictly seasonal and will simply end when the cool weather starts? Don't stress. There may be an open year-round position in another part of the company. It's time to showcase your robust skills and experience. So get your resume ready and be prepared to make your case. Why should be hired for this alternative position?
Emphasize how you've gone the extra mile
What have you accomplished over the summer that sets you apart? Get ready to list your strongest contributions, since your boss may not already know what they are. Use metrics to define your accomplishments whenever possible. For example, "I upsold 40% of all summer customers from the basic frozen banana to the deluxe. That increased our overall revenue by approximately 25%."
Be clear about your time commitments
Maybe you'd like to hold this summer job part-time as you continue taking classes. Or maybe you'd like to work on weekends only for a while. Again, be open, clear, and aboveboard about the kind of commitment you're willing and able to make. Your boss may not have a place for you after you declare this, but it's a risk you must take.
Take the opportunity to renegotiate your salary
If the company keeps you on, don't eagerly accept any salary they offer. Take the opportunity to re-negotiate your compensation, especially if you'll be moving into a new role.
If the answer is no, maintain a strong bridge
Your boss may not be able (or willing) to transition you from your summer job to a full-time position. If this happens, don't get upset. Don't storm away and end your relationship on a sour note. You've work hard for this organization all summer long. When you go, make sure you leave positive memories in your wake. You never know when you might need a reference or a helping hand in the future.
For more on how to direct and control the growth of your career as you move from one job to the next, explore the tools available on MyPerfectResume.