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Can "Temp to Perm" Really Happen?

Q. I am temping at a company and was recently interviewed for a permanent position. I thought the interview went very well, but now I am wondering what the etiquette regarding thank you notes is in this situation. I have been here several weeks and am already familiar with the person with whom I interviewed. Should I still send a thank you note, even though I see this person every day? Or does this come off as a little too demanding?

A.Demanding? I don't see thank you notes or personal thanks as too demanding, even if you see the person every day. In fact, sending a thank you after all interviews are welcome, and even more important in your situation.

Companies use temporary workers for many reasons. Temps are used to cover for leaves of absence, for fluctuations in workloads that continue to be subject to change, as a way to test of which skill set might be most suited to a role, or to review a candidate in a role without a longer term commitment. People choose to temp for similar reasons, especially in more challenging economic times. Temps get the opportunity to try out different roles, and different companies which can help them determine if there is a good match for a longer term position.

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In your short time at the company, a manager saw something they wanted to find out more about. They might have seen a skill set, the right attitude, good communications skills, good presentation skills, or an ability to learn quickly. Most likely they saw a great combination of these attributes and more. So you were invited to interview, which is a great outcome.

Many temps do not take the opportunity to make sure they showcase their capabilities. If you are interested in staying at the firm where you have a temporary assignment, you need to demonstrate the many ways you can contribute. This isn't to suggest you move the furniture in the lobby for better feng shui, or develop a new web site you think might be more effective, but you can communicate with the managers who have hired you.

Communicating with your colleagues so that you understand as much as possible about the business, the issues, and the challenges the organization faces is a good start. Do a great job, stay positive, be a team player, and make sure all the "small" things, like arriving early and staying late, are happening. Ask about where they see the greatest need in the company. You should be able to determine who might be most interested in hiring, or who might be interested in what other skills you have that may not be utilized in the current role you are filling.

Balance out delivering on the role you were hired for, demonstrating the broadest skill set you have, and appreciating other opportunities as they are presented to you. A thank you goes a long way in generating support for an internal job, a good reference, or an introduction to another hiring organization.


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