5 tips for turning a temporary seasonal job into full-time employment

First, the good news: John Challenger, chief executive of consulting firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, expects the holiday hiring season to be the strongest in four years, with as many as 650,000 positions created. Now, the bad: he expects only 10-20% of this year's crop of seasonal workers to go on to become full-time employees.

Here's how to improve your odds:
  1. Treat the seasonal job as an audition. Many companies treat seasonal positions as "auditions to find some of their best people," says Challenger. What this means to you--no messing around! Be punctual (never come in late and never leave early!), reliable, agreeable, get along well with others and dress professionally because you are being watched.
  2. Adjust your attitude. There's an awful lot of temporary workers who enter a part-time job halfheartedly. Many simply want to collect a paycheck and go home. They have the "get in, get out, don't make a sound" attitude, and it's both transparent and unappealing. To stand out, and ultimately gain the upper hand, take a longer-term approach. Make it less about you and your dire financial situation (No one wants to hear that you're knee-deep in debt.), and more about the company and fulfilling its needs - and then some.
  3. Make friends. You're going to be exposed to all sorts of new people; some may prove valuable in propelling your career forward so get to know as many colleagues as possible - even outside your department - and make your name, face, and work ethic recognizable to as many people as you can.
  4. Maximize opportunities. If someone calls in sick and is unable to do the packaging in the back room, volunteer to try that - even if it's "beneath" you, and even if the shift is less than desirable (overnight or weekend shifts, for example). Showing that you're eager to learn about all aspects of the operation, and that you're a team player makes a great impression.
  5. Express interest in staying on. If you like your employer, fit in culturally, and feel that you have something to offer (Have you found new ways to generate revenue for the company or cut costs?), make it known. Have a formal conversation with your supervisor expressing your interest in staying on beyond the holidays. Toot your horn a bit - your boss may not be aware of your contributions - and ask about specific steps you can take in order to get to the next level.

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