Now that the job market is flooded with more part-time work than ever before, finding a full-time job has never been more difficult. And according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report, nearly two in 10 U.S. workers are part-time—significantly higher than pre-recession levels. So unless your full-time job search strategy involves building a time machine to the pre-recession era, your best option is to focus on the next full-time opportunity available in your company. But how can you increase your chances of landing that coveted full-time position?
Here’s the secret: it’s all about how you play the game. People who are successful in turning their part-time gigs into full-time jobs know how to navigate the transition. They know the best practices of their current job, which people to bump elbows with and how their role contributes to the company’s bottom line.
Fake it until you make it.
As it turns out, pretending to be confident—even when you’re feeling anything but—actually leads to feeling more confident. The same can absolutely be said about your job. If you’re just starting out in a new part-time position, act like you’re already part of the team. Dive headfirst into your company’s culture and learn whatever you can about its core values, history and community outreach programs. Spending time getting to know your co-workers is invaluable. They’ll be more willing to vouch for your hard work when performance reviews come around, helping to increase your chances of visibility among decision makers in the company.
Set yourself apart.
Do you have a specialty in your field, or a coveted skillset that helped you land your current position? Concentrate on what distinguishes you as a valuable member of the team. Spend as much time developing your specialty or skillset as you can. Even if you don’t know what your specialty or skillset is, asking to be part of an upcoming project is not only an excellent strategy for showing initiative, it’s also a great way to find out where your strengths lie.
If you’re really looking to up your chances of being considered for a full-time job, you’ll have to go beyond the 9-to-5. Attend sponsored events or volunteer for organizations your company partners with. Show up early, stay late or offer to be a part of an extra project—even if you won’t get paid for it. Nobody rewards a wallflower in the working world, and these little moves help to demonstrate your commitment for the company.
After all, you don’t get what you don’t ask for! Talk to your boss about any open full-time positions within the company. Be sure to ask in a way that doesn’t appear to detract from how serious you are about your current role. If your company’s budget is tight, but they’re still looking to fill a full-time position, search for ways to demonstrate your value and present the case that hiring you is the most economical option. It’s almost always cheaper to train an internal employee.
If all else fails…
Sometimes, getting the full-time job just doesn’t work out. There could be a multitude of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with how capable and qualified you are for the position. In these instances, it’s best to remain professional and continue to foster positive relationships with your managers and coworkers. You never know what opportunities could be around the corner!