You have accepted an interim position, for example replacing someone on maternity leave. This is often the opportunity to show what you are capable of to a potential employer… who won’t let you go! How to get the most out of an interim position.
“You have to view an interim position as a probation,” insists Caroline Boyce, director of talent acquisition at American Iron & Metal. “If you leave with the idea that your position is temporary and you are just passing through, you will not get the most out of it.”
The prevailing attitude is therefore one of engagement. “An interim position is the beginning of a process to make you indispensable,” continues Caroline Boyce. “If you are pleasant, create relationships with your colleagues, are interested in the company and have its interests at hears, even if it’s temporary… there are permanent employees that never get to that point!”
So its a great way to stand out and pave the way for a permanent position. It was by filling in as a 3-month replacement that Mrs. Boyce began her career in human resources management more than ten years ago.
Marie-Pier Lauzon can testify to that. Engaged to complete the maternity leave of the coordinator at Culture Cible, a Montreal cultural media cooperative, when the first temp had just left, she was offered a position at the end of her contract.
“Up until a month before the coordinator returned, there was no position available for her,” says Marc-André Mongrain, president of Culture Cible. “It was really due to the candidate’s quality that we thought we had to find a way to keep her.” The staff therefore reshaped the division of tasks within the cooperative in order to take her on permanently.
For Mrs. Lauzon, the interim contract let her add concrete experience to her resume in a field that she was interested in, but for which she had not studied. “I thought I had 6 months to learn as much as I could,” she recalls. “I really invested myself in this.” It was this motivation that made the difference in her career.
However, all interim contracts do not lead to permanent positions. The main thing, whatever the outcome, is “to finish your contract,” emphasizes Caroline Boyce. “So you come out with the feeling of a job completed and a good reference, which will help you find either a permanent position or another interim post.”