Turning Holiday Temp Work into a Full-time Job

The holiday season is just around the corner and that means major retailers and shippers are getting ready to ramp up their holiday hiring, and now is the time to take action to land one of these positions.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are projected to hire between 585,000 and 625,000 temporary workers this holiday season, which is a notable increase from last year. The annual report just released by outsourcing giant Challenger, Gray, & Christmas projects the total number of temp hires nation wide to be around 700,000 this season.

Although these numbers may sound impressive, getting in on the game won’t be easy. The report from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas points out that “those hoping to take advantage of the seasonal hiring should act early, as several sizable hiring plans announced by major retailers in September suggest that recruiting may start before October.”

This ramp-up in hiring may mean more than just a temporary contract: The report also notes that last year  Target (NYSE:TGT) retained 30% of seasonal workers it hired, which highlights strong potential for turning a holiday temp job into a permanent role!

The key to turning a temp job into a full-time opportunity is to be engaged and deliberate about how you approach the job. Here are four tips to make last impression to get a full-time job:

Impress the Right People. Be sure to identify the decision makers as soon as you start in your new workplace. Find out who makes the hiring decisions and get on their radar. Make sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm and let them know about the skills and experiences you have to offer beyond what they may be able to directly observe.

Build Your “Who You Know” Network. Every person you interact with on the job is a potential gateway to another opportunity. Take the time to make meaningful connections with the coworkers, vendors, and customers you interact with and follow up with new introductions. Never take anyone for granted-- you never know who they may know and how those connections can help in the future.

Look for the Up Sell. Good salespeople are always for the up-sell. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to leverage your skills in ways your boss may not realize. Offer to help with a project, stay late, or fill-in when needed. Also, pay attention to the business side of things. Keep a running list of potential changes or improvements that may help increase efficiency and profitability. Think them through and share them with your boss. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to demonstrate your value.

Stay Connected. Just because your contract has an end date doesn’t mean your relationships have one too. Make the effort to keep in touch with both coworkers and bosses because you never know where they may end up in the future. Social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be a great way to keep in touch with everyone and stay up-to-date on what they are doing. If you made the right impression, keeping in touch will keep you fresh in people’s minds and they'll likely think of you first when an opportunity arises.

There are a lot of opportunities for temp work this season, so be sure to keep your eyes open and make the most of every opportunity. You never know, a holiday temp job may end up becoming that gift that just keeps on giving!

Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership.Follow Dr. Woody on Twitterand Facebook