Once you've beaten the bots and impressed during your in-person interview, it's time to tackle the performance part of employment. Because what you do will definitely come under review.
For some independent contractors, short-term engagements are the preferred method of work; however, if an extension is on the table, here are the traits to demonstrate to turn a contract into a permanent position or long term relationship.
1. Collaborate on work outside of your own projects
Demonstrating your knowledge, enthusiasm and interest in existing projects other than your own shows the value that you can bring to other teams within the organization. You may have been hired for a specific task, but your employer may not know what other talents you have to offer unless you reveal them, so take the initiative and look for opportunities to showcase your skills. Collaborating on work outside of your own projects can position you as a worker the company couldn't imagine functioning without.
2. Build relationships
Because employers need to mitigate certain worker classification risks, independent contractors don't receive the same worker benefits or incentives granted full-time employees -- like attending certain company events that are prime networking opportunities. However, it's still important to get to know the people who work within the organization and what they do-- while introducing yourself (and your skills) as well.
So, instead of sending an email, visit your colleagues or direct managers, volunteer for extra project activities outside of your job description, represent your team at meetings or shadow other department meetings to meet a wider range of teams. If there’s additional training being offered, take the course. Going above and beyond shows you're interested in growing with the company and building long term relationships. .
3. Avoid the office politics
The water cooler is a tempting place to wet more than just your whistle. But avoid the urge to satiate any curiosity about office gossip.
4. Document your work
Quantify the achievements you've earned during your engagement. Did you deliver under budget, exceed any goals or save costs on any projects? Keep these quantifiable achievements with you for when it's time for a performance review or when your contract is coming to an end and you want to discuss the extension. Having these numbers prepared will offer proof of the type of work you can accomplish.
5. You want something? Ask for it.
If you want to be considered for a full-time position or a contract extension, and the timing is right, talk to the key decision maker and let your interest be known. When you've accepted a short-term engagement, how can your employer know that you're interested in a long-term relationship if you don't let them know?
If your contract role truly has an inevitable end date, concentrate on doing the best job possible for the organization. Then, several weeks before the scheduled end-date, set up a time with your manager and discuss your interest in their company and field, you may get a referral to another company if this one simply can’t hire you.
Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity?