Are you a contractor desiring a permanent position?  Some professionals desire the stability of a permanent position, while others enjoy the evolving and changing aspects of contract work. There are some things you can do to help you take steps towards a permanent position, if you are looking for that stability.  Here are some steps to help you stand out among your competition.

 

Treat the position as more than just a “stepping stone” to another position.  You need to work with drive and passion even if that role is not your ultimate goal.  No boss wants to end a contract due to someone’s dismissive attitude about the situation they are currently in.

 

Your attitude and commitment to the job will speak volumes about your character, and will say more than you telling your boss you want the permanent position.  How you bring up new ideas, handle different situations, and treat the team is all being observed and noted.  If you desire the permanent position perform at your best, and uphold the attitude that you are already in the permanent position.  

 

Take the position seriously, just because you are currently a contractor does not mean you should dismiss protocol.  Companies have policies in place and all members of their team follow them.  If you think a policy could be improved, then suggest a way to improve it in a positive light.  For instance “I’ve noticed our current method takes about 30 minutes, I think I’ve come up with a way to save 5 minutes.”  Sounds much more professional than, “Who came up with this policy, it takes way too much time, haven’t you tried to fix it?”  How  you communicate your ideas and thoughts could keep you from being a permanent employee.

 

Put your best foot forward and sell your skills.  You are being evaluated, so impress the team with your knowledge, offer advice and give 100%.  The performance level we have discussed is expected, appreciated and will ensure your success.

 

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Comment by Tami Brittain on October 25, 2011 at 11:03am

Kara - I'm going to have to throw in my two cents' worth here... as a recruiter who has been stuck in the viscious cycle of neverending "contract to hire" roles for the past 15 months, all I can say is this: No matter how well you perform your job, create more effective processes, no matter how much you out-perform the fulltime staff, if there's a shakeup within the company (ie: financial re-org, HR re-org), the contractor is the first one to go, or at the very least be stuck in The Neverending Contract with the "perm" being essentially the golden carrot. Perhaps I'm a little cynical and/or bitter, but I really don't think that this is relevant in regards to "how to go perm". It gives false hope to those that are stuck in contract roles.

 

Sorry, that's just how I feel. Other than that, good piece.

Comment by Kara Stringer on October 25, 2011 at 11:38am

I see your perspective here, there are definitely roles that do not or will not ever lead to a permanent position.  However, that does not mean your performance should be effected by that knowledge.  Following the guidelines I mentioned above are always in your best interest. 

Comment by Hilary Boslet on October 25, 2011 at 3:45pm

Completely agree with Tami!!

 

Comment by Stephen Rath on October 25, 2011 at 6:33pm

I see Tami's point as there's certainly no guarantee to go perm from either side (contractor or employer).  But, if there is a "true" opportunity to go full time with a company I would subscribe to Kara's points.  As a contractor you must always exceed expectations - that's just the way it is.  I've been a contractor in many roles and know the game.  Yes, as a hired gun, you do expose yourself to many uncertainties, however, depending upon how you are viewed by the team, dept, organization, may very well determine if you are the first contractor to go, the last, or offered a job.  It really starts with you...

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on October 25, 2011 at 6:49pm

My perspective is based only on US experience, but I am 100% certain there is no such thing as a permanent position. That said, performing to the best of one's ability regardless of employment status, duration of assigment or type of classification is wise and generally builds professional credibility throughout one's career.

Comment by Griffith Consulting on October 26, 2011 at 3:33am

Tami I agree

No matter how well you perform your job, create more effective processes, no matter how much you out-perform the fulltime staff, you are seen as a threat , but you were selected because you have the skill to produce...go figure

 

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