Help me let my (temporary) boss know that I love my job and want to stay on permanently.
August 11, 2009 8:21 AM   Subscribe

How can I show higher ups at a workplace that I really love it here and want to stay on permanently?

I'm doing a temporary job for a public TV Station (freelance, not through a temp agency). I really like the people and activity, and the location is great for me. The job I am doing will end in 1.5 weeks. There is a possibility that something permanent will open up soon.

I want the CEO and other managers to know that I am VERY happy here and would love to stay on if possible. I did email one manager, and he was very receptive.

The CEO is an older man and for someone who runs a TV station, he is something of a Luddite-- he doesn't even have a computer in his office. So email isn't really an option. He does have a mailbox that I can easily access. We have met a few times and he's a nice guy.

Besides doing the best work I can and being a good employee, how can I let the higher ups know how I feel without sounding too brown-nosy or desperate (although I am; I'll be unemployed again when this job ends)? Maybe a thank-you type note in their mailboxes? Mention it when we cross paths, and if so, what do I say?
posted by miltoncat to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd send a letter to the CEO. Express how much you enjoyed the work environment, thank them for the opportunity you've had so far, and let them know to consider you for further employment if it's available. As long as the general tone is that of a thank you letter (and not begging) I don't see it doing you any harm.
posted by reptile at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2009

The thank you note idea is a good one. Make sure it's hand written, and says pretty much what you've said here. When asked, be forthright and tell them what you'd be willing to accept to remain there, and tell them why - you love the job, the people, etc.

Luddites love thank you notes. Heh.
posted by Pragmatica at 8:29 AM on August 11, 2009

Employee engagement is a hot topic amoung HR types during a recession.

The simple fact of the matter is well over half of employees aren't engaged; they do the minimum, maybe put themselves out a little, but seriously would rather be someplace else. A good manager can tell just as a good manager will notice an engaged employee.

So how do you set yourself apart, become noticed? Its remarkably easy to do but hard to fake; demonstrate competence in your job and interest in "the bigger picture".

Make sure you do what's asked of you and then some. Excel. But also ask questions, initially questions about how your role and how your department operates, but then broaden your queries to include other departments.

Speaking as a manager, if I see solid performance and genuine interest in what we do, to me that is a staff member I need to hang onto.

Folks that do the minimum, don't really care about the job or the broader organisation, well, even in a buoyant economy those folks are cheap, easy to come by.

Engaged employees are completely different beasts. Rare, and worth every pence they cost.

Become engaged. It will be noticed.
posted by Mutant at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2009 [5 favorites]

LudditesEveryone loves thank you notes. (Pragmatica)

Seriously, so few people these days use them that they seem incredibly thoughtful. There's a story about George W. Bush having gotten so far in life because his mother had taught him to always write thank you notes, and I'd believe it—I certainly owe my job at least partly to them.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:42 AM on August 11, 2009

I don't know what your relationship to the CEO is like, but would it be out of the question to invite him to lunch to discuss your time with the station and the fact that you're interested in staying long-term?

Could you schedule a meeting to discuss some of the work you're doing with the CEO and/or some of the other top-level people at the station?

While notes are welcome, I've found that, in the various business settings in which I've worked, face-to-face communication is attempted infrequently, and is almost always appreciated.
posted by xingcat at 8:43 AM on August 11, 2009

Show up early. Stay late. When you're done, write a nice letter thanking the CEO for the opportunity and very softly mentioning that "if they ever need anyone again..."

Don't mention the permanent job you know is coming up. Let that be a happy coincidence that he discovers.
posted by rokusan at 8:52 AM on August 11, 2009

Seconding the engagement bit.
Show an active interest in things 'just above' your current role and responsibilities. Showing initiative with a thank you note is a good idea as well.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 12:55 PM on August 11, 2009

Slight contrast to what rokusan says (though most of the message is right on):

You want "keeping" you to be an easy decision/action. Waiting til right at the end to make a move almost certainly means that paperwork has been filed and your status has been confirmed as gone. This is fine, and easy enough to undo, but it is a lot easier to use (or at least give the opportunity for) the "less effort/paperwork" option.

Deliver the thank you note now (or soon). Anyone with a meaningfully supervisory role over you should get a note or a quick meeting.

-It was great working here, I really loved the experience
-Is there anything I should be doing to tie up loose ends before I go?
-I am sad to go, please do not hesitate to give me a call if you need any such help in the future
-Thank you for everything, best of luck!

If you do this stuff now, the powers that be have the information and the time to make it happen before the last day. It will be a happy coincidence, and just in time! You also take a pro-active stance in keeping other would-be suitors at bay.
posted by milqman at 12:59 PM on August 11, 2009

I agree with most of what has already been advised! Here's something to keep in mind: When writing the thank you note, be sure to mention what you learned/how you grew and how this benefits them. Good or bad, most people think in terms of how things will affect themselves (a justifiably instinctual consideration). Tell them how you're going to use what you learned about the company, or better, in terms of skill, and how you're going to knock their socks off with it in the future (if they choose to hire you full-time).

Best of luck!
posted by platosadvocate at 9:12 PM on August 11, 2009

Doing the best work you can, etc., is honorable, but it in no way conveys that you are interested in a permanent position. Neither does a warm thank you note. For all the CEO knows, you love being a freelancer. Make an appointment with the CEO to discuss your future at the company. Don't focus on how happy you would be or what you personally need. Instead, tell him how you will add value, and then ask him directly for whatever position you envision for yourself.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:18 PM on August 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

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