How To Turn A Temp Position Into A Full-Time Job

You want to convert your wisp of work into a good, full-time job. Of course, everyone will tell you to work hard, kiss butts, and be low-maintenance. But you didn't need this article to know that.

Here are six less obvious tactics:Get the test answers in advance. As early as possible in your gig, if you decide you'd like a full-time job there, ask your boss and/or other power player something like, "I really like working here. Insert a reason or three. Any advice on what I can do to increase my chances of getting a full-time job?"

Be extracurricularly desirable. A client had a temp gig at a big tech firm and, truthfully, he was no star. ... except on the hockey rink. That company had a hockey team and, after his project was done, it kept him on. Both he and I are guessing it was mainly so he could play on the team. Another client made a habit of, every day, putting in the break room, homemade baked goods, flowers, fruits or veggies from her garden. She, too, stuck. A personal example: If I were trying to become a permanent fixture at a workplace, I'd play my portable keyboard and lead sing-alongs at workplace parties, TGIFs, etc. Also, with permission, I'd record You, The Person interviews with employees from clerks to the CEO and post them on the organization's website.

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Propose. Perhaps with your boss, write a proposal or business plan for how hiring you full-time would generate more money than it would cost. Here are examples. Let's say you're an intern at a bank. You might propose how you'd generate loans from organizations wanting to green their facilities. Or let's say you're a temp at a U.S. nonprofit that helps immigrants to acculturate to life in the U.S. Perhaps could you could a propose a plan -- with you in a key role of course -- for expanding fundraising beyond the U.S, for example, to Chinese-American ex-pats.

Hook up.Find an outsider to fund your full-time job. For example, let's say you have a temp gig at a company that develops immersive online education. You could write a proposal to major players Coursera or Udacity, to foundations, or to a government agency, offering to develop such courses aimed at, for instance, GED, blind or driver-ed students.

Ask right. Just prior to your gig's end date, send your boss a note such as: "I've enjoyed working here because of insert. I feel good about having accomplished insert. So I hope you'll decide to offer me a full-time job, ideally now, but if nothing appropriate is available, when there is."

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Take another crack. If a good-enough offer doesn't come and you must pack your bags, a month later, send a note to your former boss or other heavy hitter there such as, "It's been a month since I've left and as time passes, I ever more appreciate having worked for you. (Insert a credible specific or two.) Sincerely. Note that the letter didn't ask for a job. That could convince the reader you were writing the thank-you note only as a ploy to get a job.

If your best efforts fail at converting your temp gig into a full-time job, perhaps that's not the right place for you anyway. At least think that way.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Marty Nemko "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" for his work with individuals and organizations. He was contributing editor for Careers at U.S. News, where he now also blogs. His most recent books, his sixth and seventh: How to Do Life: What They Didn't Teach You in School and What's the Big Idea?39 Disruptive Proposals for a Better America. More than 1,000 of his published writings are free on He posts here weekly.

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