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How to Turn a Temp Job into a Full-Time Job

A temporary staffing firm can connect you to a paying position that may last a few weeks or months, but what if your long-term goals include something a little more stable? And since a staffing firm typically subtracts a percentage from the total amount employers are paying for your assigned work, how can you eventually free yourself from the staffing firm contract and take home more of that salary (or all of it) for yourself?

In other words, what can you do to win over your temporary employer, present yourself as a valuable asset to the company, step away from your staffing firm contract, and turn this place-holder into a full-time, stable, permanent position?

Here are a few simple steps that can take you from where you are to where you'd like to be.

1. Study the contract you signed with the staffing firm. Check the section that states the minimum period of temporary employment before the client company can take you on full time (this period usually falls between 60 and 90 days).

2. Tune in to your employer's larger goals and the longer timelines of the projects you're working on. If these projects are ongoing, or you can see yourself making contributions beyond the 30- to 60-day contract period, bring this up with your employer. Initiate a conversation before the period ends, and ask what you'll need to do, prove, accomplish, or complete in order to be considered for a full-time job after that date.

3. If you want to stay, make this known. Be very clear with your employer about your interest in a full-time job, your respect for the company, and your satisfaction with the work that's being assigned to you. Employers aren't mind readers, especially when they're dealing with temps. If you don't speak up, most employers will simply assume that you're happy working for the staffing firm instead of the company.

4. Make a positive impression on your employer—every day. If you want to be hired full time by this company, you'll need to think of your temporary employment period as an extended job interview. This can be exhausting (even a job interview that ends in 30 minutes can be stressful), but the payoff will be worth the effort. Stay cheerful, remember names, work hard, stay off the internet, and ask for feedback on your performance at least two or three times per week.

5. Show up each day a few minutes early and professionally dressed. For clothing cues, look at the temps around you, your full-time coworkers, and the managers or supervisors one level above them. Dress for the position you'd like to step into as soon as your 60- to 90-day contract period ends.

Most important, polish your resume before your contract comes to an end—and include the work you're currently completing for this company. When your minimum temporary contract period expires, you'll probably be asked for an updated resume before you're taken on full time (even if these employers have seen your resume already, they'll want to review it again). Visit MyPerfectResume for a resume builder that can help you showcase these credentials and step into the full-time position you need.

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