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Advice / Job Search / Job Offer

3 Things You Can Do to Turn Your Short-Term Gig Into a Full-Time Job (With Benefits!)

You nabbed a spot at a company you’ve been coveting for months. The work is great, and the people are some of the best and brightest you’ve ever worked with. You could really see yourself growing there, moving up the chain of command, and having a strong impact on the company’s success.

There’s just one tiny problem. You were hired as a short-term employee. Your contract expires in three, four, or six months. No one has approached you about a full-time job, and you’re starting to worry it’s not going to happen.

Well, push that concern aside (and yes, you might have to do this more than once!), and remember how awesome you are. Of course, in addition to that pep talk you give yourself, you’ll need to take action as well. Below are three things you can do to help turn this into a full-fledged position, no matter the situation. Follow these tips, and your best holiday gift might just be that job offer you’ve been hoping for (with, wait for it, benefits!).

1. Make Yourself Indispensable

This may seem rather obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many temp workers—yes, even ones who really, really long to be one of the full-timers—don’t think about how being readily available and enthusiastic about whatever work they’re given can boost their prospect of being hired beyond the contract’s end date. This isn’t to say that you need to work 16-hour days to get an offer, but this is absolutely the time to request extra work and offer to help a co-worker.

Aim to tackle every task (mundane or not) with unbridled enthusiasm. Demonstrate your professional work ethic and strong skill set with every thing that is expected of you. Keep an eye out for what tasks people hate doing, and then offer to do them.

Long story short: Do work that’ll make your supervisor and your team wonder how they ever functioned without you.

2. Go Above and Beyond the Job Description

As a short-term employee hoping to stay on longer, learning the ropes and doing what’s expected of you is simply not going to cut it. Once you have a handle on your day-to-day responsibilities, make a point to find some work that’s not necessarily in your job description, but that you’re comfortable tackling. This is not the time to do the bare minimum; this is the time to over-perform. Step up your professional game and show this new job why it can’t afford to lose you.

If there’s no more work to do on your team, reach out to someone on another one. Over coffee, inquire about areas you might be able to lend a hand. If you’re not comfortable doing that or aren’t sure that you’re up to the task of performing within another department, brainstorm innovative ways you can add to your own team’s projects. That might mean compiling data in a spreadsheet, organizing client files, or researching customer service approaches—really anything that your co-workers don’t have time to do.

3. Communicate Your Desire to Join the Company Full-Time

This one might sound too straightforward, but a surprising amount of people forget to have this key conversation. So, if you jumped at the short-term opportunity because it was a way to get your foot in the door, but you never actually expressed interest in being there in a more official capacity, now’s the time to speak up and sell yourself. Have a conversation with your manager and emphasize how much you’re enjoying your work. Don’t be afraid to directly ask about potential long-term positions, as well as what steps you’d need to take to get hired. Clearly stating your desire to continue working with the company is a move you shouldn’t take for granted.

Even if your boss responds that there’s no budget to hire you now, take advantage of this one-on-one conversation by using it as an informal review. Ask for feedback on your performance so far, as well as what you could be doing better. Inquire as to whether there’s anything you can take off his or her plate. Because, to go back to tip number one, the more indispensable you make yourself, the more your manager will make an effort to find money in the budget.

Because you don’t know if the company brought you on short-term as a “test” of sorts—are you the right fit? Do you have the skills needed to succeed in the role?—you don’t want to underestimate the impression you’re making and who’s taking notes. Do everything you can to prove yourself in the short-term, and you just might land a full-time gig.

Photo of woman working courtesy of Shutterstock.