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Tips For Upgrading a Temp Job to Permanent

You were seeking permanent work but had to settle for a temporary contract assignment. How can you maximize your chances of becoming a permanent employee at your new firm?

Asserting yourself in the right ways can help remove "interim from" your title, according to The Wall Street Journal. But it might not be easy. "If you were the primary candidate, they would have just named you to that position," Kansas executive coach Joni Lindquist told the WSJ.

To get on the radar screen for a permanent slot, act much as you would if you were an external candidate seeking a permanent position with that employer. First, let the firm know you are interested in staying beyond the contract period. An interim executive recruiter recommends having a "formal" conversation with supervisors within a few weeks of starting a temp job. By then you'll have learned the ropes, but the search for a permanent replacement won't have begun yet.

Also, do your best to figure out the company's needs, or "pains." (Here you're at an advantage since you're already inside.) Then present or build your skills that fit in with the firm's goals. Finally, ask your supervisor for specific steps to take to become the top candidate, Lindquist advises.

That's how Diana Galvin advanced from part-time temp worker to a full-time role as staff accountant at Conrad & Co. in Spartanburg, S.C., over a two-month period last year. After joining in August, the WSJ says, Galvin quickly "made sure to tell a senior accountant she could do more than key in data - she could crunch the numbers." Managers became aware Galvin had more skills than they had contracted for - skills that helped support a high volume of clients, speeding the company's growth.

Adds the WSJ:

No matter how well you understand your job function, you can boost your odds of landing the job if you adopt the new group's practices quickly - down to learning appropriate jargon - to show the hiring committee you've easily settled in, says Brett Good, a district president at Robert Half International Inc., a temporary staffing firm in Menlo Park, Calif.

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