How To Make Your Short-Term Job Produce Long-Term Benefits

January 16, 2014  |  


At a time when desirable positions are few and far between, many workers are changing companies more often than they have in the past. If you are like plenty of others, who just need a job for the moment, here are a few tips for making the most out of your temporary position.

Go In With a Plan! Before you begin, or even apply for job, take inventory of your needs and wants for the position. Of course you want a paycheck, but how can you make this position or company align with your long-term professional goals? Maybe your goal is to be a publicist, but you are interviewing for a receptionist position at a real estate firm. In this case, you may want to gain as much experience as possible serving as a liaison between the agents and the clients. You may want to ask for the opportunity to handle written correspondence and help out with planning and organizing open house events.

Speak Up! Now that you have a plan, it’s time to put it in action by letting your needs be known. From the very first interview, make it known to the interviewer what you would like from the position. Do not be afraid to ask for a set schedule if you know you need to dedicate consistent time to develop your own business or job search strategy. You do not have to disclose that you have one foot out the door, but you should ask for what you want.

Network Just because you are not doing exactly what you want to do, does not mean that you cannot meet exactly who you need to meet. Talk to everyone from the janitor to the CEO. Not only to advance yourself professionally, but to make genuine connections. Outside of possibly making lifelong friends, there’s also the chance that someone knows someone else who can point you in the right direction, or maybe your boss is also an entrepreneur and doesn’t mind sharing a little knowledge. You have to believe that you can learn something new from each person you meet, and soak up as much information as possible.

Be Always Learning Every experience and every person has something to teach you. Be inquisitive and open to learning any and every thing you can. That accounting program might seem useless for your career goal of being an academic advisor, but it will make you look like a genius when your new university switches over to it and you are the only one who thoroughly understands it. Gain skills in as many areas as possible, and remember, the more skilled you are, the bigger an asset you will be wherever you decide to settle down.

Embrace Change Too often, we are stuck in our own way. While planning is essential, do not be afraid to change the plan along the way. If you enjoy your short-term position, do not be afraid to change your plans, and make it your career. Temporary positions are the perfect opportunities to try out different positions, and see what works for you. Rather than beat yourself up for not sticking to the original plan, celebrate gaining entry into a career that you actually enjoy.

No matter how long you plan to be with your next employer, remember to stay encouraged. With that in mind, boldly go to the office and make yourself both comfortable and useful. Every experience, including that temporary job you despise, is preparing you for your big break.

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