You’re Hired! A Guide to Making Temporary Jobs Count

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If you’re like many job seekers, you view temporary jobs as a means to an end — a way to earn extra money while you’re looking for a more permanent role. And there’s an even greater incentive for taking on temporary work this year.

Of the 2,257 hiring managers surveyed in the CareerBuilder Q4 2017 Job Forecast, 51 percent said they plan to increase pay for temporary roles.

Still, taking a narrow view and focusing only on the paycheck is holding you back from what could become a lucrative and rewarding full-time career. In the same survey, 70 percent of hiring managers said they plan to bring at least some temporary staff on full-time. That means — through hard work and determination — there’s a great chance your temporary job will turn into a permanent position, so you’d better act fast.

Here’s how to make the most out of temporary job opportunities:

1) Don’t overlook cultural fit

Since more employers are bringing temporary workers on board full-time, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to workplace culture.

In fact, in the 2017 CultureIQ Company Culture Trends and Insights report, 89 percent of the 28,371 employees surveyed said their companies hire people whose values align with the goals of the organization.

A bad fit will soon become frustrating and make you want to quit. By contrast, when you find a company with a positive cultural fit, there’s a great chance you’ll excel there.

2) Take temporary jobs seriously

Some job seekers take a laid-back approach to temporary jobs, knowing the work will be ending soon. They think it’s OK to slack off or do halfway work. But temporary jobs are still jobs. Take advantage of the opportunities for career growth that this work provides.

That includes professional networking and building your contact list. According to the 2016 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends study, 39 percent of the more than 26,000 employees surveyed said they got a job through employee referral. If you’re not making contacts, no one can vouch for your work ethic.

To that end, it’s important to be a team player. Assist co-workers when possible. Be open to learning new skills and even staying late when asked. This shows you care about the work and the company and that you’d be an asset as a full-time employee.

While it’s unlikely there will be a formal performance review, employers still notice how you conduct yourself at work. Ask managers for feedback on your work performance. Any insight you receive will help you improve professionally.

3) Learn new skills and build on existing skills

They say knowledge is power. That means anything you can learn on a temporary job can help you excel in other aspects of your career.

For instance, if you’re working as a cashier at a retail store, you’re gaining skills in money management, communication, and the ability to work under pressure. Other skills learned through temporary work include customer service, sales and marketing, tech skills, logistics, and more.

Now’s the time to shift your view on temporary jobs. Position yourself for a full-time role by making sure you’re a good fit into the company culture and learning new skills while perfecting existing ones. Employers will be impressed by your varied skill set and initiative. When they see you’re a well-rounded professional, they’ll be compelled to consider you for a permanent position in the company.

What are you doing to maximize your temporary job? Let us know in the comments!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.