Turn Your Temp Holiday Job into a Career

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If you graduated in June and you’re still looking for a job, you may have considered applying for a holiday temp job. The same holds true if you were recently laid off or outplaced and haven’t found a job in 6 months or a year. Tick-tock, times a wastin’. You need money to pay bills, rent, student loans or fix your car.

You’ve learned over the years that the one predictable thing about this down economy is that retailers will once again be hiring plenty of temps for the holidays. The National Retail Federation projects retailers will add around 750,000 temporary workers this season.

While the employment ads say “temporary,” deep in the back of your mind, you’re hoping you can turn this part time gig into a full time job—maybe even a career. Companies like Wal-Mart, Target and other major retailers have been known to keep seasonals on full time. Makes sense. You’ve already been selected, trained and become familiar with the systems, people and company culture. Why not retain a promising, productive employee? It’s a growing trend as this video shows

If you were lucky enough to land a temp job (it’s not easy, with hundreds often applying for a handful of jobs), and you have your eye on the prize of turning it into a full time position, there are some things you can do to improve your odds of success.

Be Enthusiastic and Visible

Be on time, arrive early and stay late. Put in the extra effort to finish each task to the best of your ability. Share any changes or improvements that may increase efficiency and profitability with your supervisor. Volunteer to learn and do more than the job description. The key here is to do the above in plain sight of your supervisor as much as you can. Become the go-to person for various tasks. “Put out fires” enthusiastically. Sign up for any and all training the company provides. Offer to train any new hires that come in after you. Do all this with a smile. In Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead, author Nancy Ancowitz offers a number of quick tips to “jump start your visibility,” including getting on the agenda for meetings and writing follow-up emails to confirm your points and contributions.

Network Like Mad

Chances are you’ll meet a lot of supervisors in various departments during your various duties. Avoid the “met and forget” syndrome. Remember their names and what they do. Talk to them during break. Pick their brains about their job and if they’ll have any full time openings after the holidays. When talking to them, mention any training programs that you’ve gone through during your stay with the company. If you’re a college grad, let them know you have a degree and any part time retail jobs you had while you were in school.

Ask for the Order

If you planned to enter or re-enter the world of retail, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “ask for the order.” So ask for the full time position. Do it often. They may say no at first. But they may also give a reason why, which gives you the ammunition you need to counter the reason and make your case.

Retailers are hiring. If you want to turn a temp job into a full time job or a career, you know what to do. Now get busy.


Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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