Landing a permanent role can be easier said than done. If you're working a temp job at present, things may not be so ideal. After all, temps generally don't get access to the same benefits permanent employees do, like health insurance and paid time off. And then there's the whole lack of job security to worry about -- while no position is ever 100% safe, you're less likely to find yourself unemployed when you're a permanent fixture at your company, whereas temps are constantly left to worry when they'll be told it's their last day on the job.
Still, there are certain ways to salvage the temp situation and even utilize it as a means of furthering your career. If you're stuck in a temp role, here are four ways to use it to your advantage.
1. Learn new skills
Working in any professional environment gives you an opportunity to build or hone the skills that could one day land you your dream role. As a temp, you have a chance to not only learn from those around you, but work on developing skills such as time management, communication, and organization, all of which will be relevant to any permanent role you apply to. Being a temp also gives you a chance to refine job-specific skills that could improve your chances of getting hired later on. For example, if you manage to land a three-month gig as a data analyst and want to go into market research, doing that work temporarily could boost your shot of getting hired permanently in that capacity.
2. Meet key people
When it comes to being successful, it's often not what you know but who you know. The people you meet in the course of your career could open the door to different opportunities and expose you to a whole set of knowledge you never would've picked up on your own, so if you're limited to a temp role for now, work your way through the company that's hired you, get to know as many people as possible, and focus on building relationships with the ones who you deem most valuable.
3. Figure out what you do and don't like to do
Holding down a temp job is good way to figure out which aspects of office life you enjoy and which you'd rather do without. Maybe you like doing research but can't stand spreadsheets and data entry. Whatever the details, temping is a great way to learn more about yourself and your work style without having to go through the awkwardness of severing ties with a long-term employer if the things you're doing are making you unhappy.
4. Plant a seed for full-time employment
Maybe the company that's hired you temporarily doesn't have the need or budget for a permanent employee at present -- but that doesn't mean it won't in the future. If you're interested in staying at that company, you can use your temp gig as an opportunity to talk up your skills and affirm your desire to get a full-time job. And if you perform exceptionally well, your manager might be willing to carve out an ongoing role for you, even if one didn't exist in the first place.
Though working a temp role has its drawbacks, you never know what it might lead to. So always strive to do the best possible job when you're temping, even if you're inclined to believe nothing will come of it.
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