By Jim Wong, CPA | December 31, 2013


The temporary job industry essentially began post World War II. Small agencies, generally centered in urban areas, began hiring housewives, many of whom worked during the war effort, for part time office work.

Naturally, businesses began to realize the benefits of hiring temporary workers. They could be hired and fired without notice, and having them on the books resulted in less paperwork and certain regulatory requirements.

The move towards temporary staffing grew. According to the American Staffing Association, the use of temporary employees has risen by more than 50 percent in the last four years. And with the recent ebbs and flows of the current economy, as well as the trend towards remote working and more freelance and ‘consulting’ type contacts, being a temp employee is actually extremely beneficial to some workers.

They enjoy the freedom to move around from job to job, the flexibility to pick and choose from longer term or short term placements, and they also recognize that landing a temporary placement allows them the proverbial ‘foot in the door’, something that’s harder and harder to get with fewer companies hiring fewer full time positions.

Turn Temporary Jobs Into Full Time Work

That said, there are myriad ways you can (if you so desire) turn that temporary placement into full-time employment.

Writing in a recent article in The Huffington Post, entrepreneur, writer, author and corporate training specialist Tom Lowery shared his top tips for capitalizing on temporary job opportunities.

We’ve chosen four, to share with you here:

  1. Put your nose to the grindstone, and learn everything you can about the company you’re working with. Who are their competitors? What are their key products and services? What changes – if any – are on the horizon for them, that you might work to your advantage? The more resourceful you are to them in the short term, the better your chances of being considered a valuable addition to the team for the long term.
  2. Be present. That means more than just showing up for work. Think of yourself as full-time, try your best to get to know people, and allow them get to know you. Join people for coffee breaks, or after work gatherings. At worst, you’ve met new friends and made important industry connections. At best, you will make a great impression on the right person, and land that permanent position when it opens up.
  3. Start as you mean to go on. This is an important one, in all areas of one’s life. Piggy backing on the first tip above, do more than just ‘learn’ about the company. As Lowery points out, “…learn about your company’s way of doing things: Their brand, their values and codes of conduct. Beyond reading the company manual, which can be of help, one of the ways you can do this is to learn about the company’s key players (yes, even those you might not click with).” Sure, you’ll know how to fit in, but you’ll also know just what you need to do to stand out.
  4. And last but not least, work with your temporary job agency. Presumably they have developed relationships with this organization, it’s key players in human resources, and possibly even all the way up to the C-Suite. Communicate with them, keep them up to date on how you’re feeling in your placement, and if you do decide that this company is for you – allow them to assist you in achieving full-time status.

While some jobs at certain companies will always be ‘freelance’ or ‘temporary’, the odds are good that if you make a fantastic impression on the people you’re working with, you’ll be at the top of their list when they start to think about full-time hiring.

What other ways can temporary employees break through to full time?


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