Q: I’m out of work and terrified about finding a new job. I’ve had an offer to consult freelance, and I’ve read that consulting is the new job interview. How can I turn this gig into a full-time job?
A: No tricks here. Working as a consultant or temp or freelancer — any non-permanent employment relationship — is an amazingly good way to land a permanent full-time position. You’ll get a really clear view of what’s actually happening inside the organization. While there aren’t any dependable statistics on the number of temporary workers offered employment, suffice to say it happens every day in significant numbers.
Here are four guidelines to chart your path to a salaried job.
1. You have to care as much about the company’s big picture as the permanent employees do, preferably more. Keeping your thoughts, questions and opinions solely within the parameters of the work you’ve been engaged to perform is a mistake. Figure out what people are trying to accomplish and figure out how you can help. Just because you have a cool consulting gig doesn’t mean that you should stop selling yourself to leaders in client organizations.
2. Whatever you do, do it with excellence–no matter what it takes, even if it requires more time than you are paid for.
3. Be the most positive, upbeat person on site. We all want to be around positive energy and it will get you noticed almost as fast as a lousy attitude will.
4. Don’t bug clients about your status. If you’re good and they have an opening they’ll ask if you’re interested in joining full-time.