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If you’re a part-timer or contractor looking to advance within a company, it’s no secret you’ll have to earn that full-time employee status. Nothing in life will be handed to you on a silver platter; you’ve got to work hard to get ahead.

But, what exactly do the powers that be look for? What’s the number one way you can prove your value to your boss and transition from temp help to something lasting?

We asked 10 entrepreneurs from YEC what it takes to receive a full-time position in their company. Their best answers are below:


1. You Beat the Boss at Her Own Game

Once, during a team meeting, I expressed my concern that our company didn’t have enough college-age clients. I suggested we be more aggressive in forming partnerships with student groups on campuses. Without telling me, one of my part-time employees spent a month forming 100 such partnerships. She is now the Director of Marketing.

Joel Butterly, InGenius Prep


2. You Hustle Harder Than Everyone Else

Many of our full-time employees started their journey as interns or part-timers learning the ins and outs of our company. While everyone is capable of contributing value, when it comes to full-time offers, I’m looking for that person who hustles harder than everyone else—someone who stays the extra hour, sends that extra email, and shows how he or she can go above and beyond my expectations.

Hank Ostholthoff, Mabbly


3. You Think Outside the Box

Most part-time or contract workers are brought on to complete a specific task, and that’s what most of them accomplish. The individuals who separate themselves are those who are interested in learning how the distinct facets of your business work together. Through this understanding, they can spot inefficiencies and opportunities, ultimately showcasing their value via a strong comprehension of your bottom line.

Robert Lee, Circa Interactive Inc.


4. You Provide Insight Beyond Your Resume

I love when I hire a contractor and find out that he or she understands more about what our company does, or where we’re going, than his or her experience or resume would suggest. Some people just aren’t good at self-promotion on paper, and it takes an in-person meeting to see what an asset they’d make.

Adam Steele, The Magistrate


5. You Proactively Problem Solve

The part-time and contract workers who land full-time offers are the ones who don’t just do the work and fulfill assignments. They’re already a part of the team in the sense that they’ve been proactively proposing solutions to business challenges. They go above and beyond the requirements, so that by the time they join the team full-time, there’s hardly a change in the relationship.

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR


6. You Get Involved and Show Initiative

The best way to earn a job offer is to really show us what you’ve got. After hiring someone as a contractor at EVENTup, he went above and beyond. He stayed late, came in early, had suggestions, and really made an effort with the team. Hiring him was a great decision, because it already felt like he was a full-time employee. If you want it, remember that the little things don’t go unnoticed.

Jayna Cooke, EVENTup


7. You Offer Ideas and Feedback

The fact that a part-time or contract worker feels compelled to offer ideas and feedback, even when not solicited, means that she or he’s feeling some connection to the company. There’s a level of being vested or feeling like a part of something that’s not often seen when someone know it’s a temporary arrangement. If these connections have developed, then there’s a good possibility he would be a great addition to the company.

Angela Ruth, eCash


8. You’re a Full-Time Power Player

All our employees started as raving fans of our company and became part-time members who proved they would do anything for our team. These people created photos, videos, wrote blog posts, and told all their friends about our company, even investing their own time and money into helping us. Their efforts were so genuine that we couldn’t afford to lose them! 

Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences


9. You’re a Team Player

Since we collaborate so closely with one another, bringing a great attitude to work is key. Startups are too lean and nimble to afford keeping anyone who’s not helping move the company forward. Five of our team members started as interns or part-time marketers, and they jumped in with good ideas and executed them well. They ultimately became indispensable.

Ajay Yadav, Roomi


10. You Show Long-Term Interest

I regularly use contract labor for tasks that require specialists. It’s usually clear who has an interest in just doing her job and going home, and who is interested in the field, our team, and the kind of work we do. I love to see interest and engagement in the company from our temps, and they do have a higher profile when I’m hiring for permanent positions.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders