I started working as a contractor out of college because with my relative lack of professional experience it seemed like the only kind of work that I could find. Now I'm coming up to month 8 of my current contract for a large company which has a clause in it that says the client is allowed to hire me full time. What's the best way to go about bringing up these discussions? Should I talk to my manager, my team lead, the department head or somebody different altogether?
In most companies, your direct superior will have the most influence over these matters. Whether its upper management or HR, no one is going to make a move without checking with him/her first.
Something that has worked for me in the past was to:
- Get a general idea of how valuable he/she feels I am and if its positive,
- Give them a gentle reminder that I will be forced to hit the open market soon before the contract comes to an end as it will take me time to get a similarly enjoyable working environment.
- So if any decision regarding my situation wasn't made early, we could both end up being victims of circumstance and that
- Putting me under full time employment will settle the issue once and for all.
If there is a member of staff who generally oversees what you do like a project manager or team leader, then take it up with them. If you're doing bits and pieces for various people/departments then this might be a little more difficult.
In the meantime, it wouldn't do any harm to informally put the word out that you're enjoying your time there and would like to be a permanent fixture.
If you have any tangible feedback like documented reviews, emails about something that went well or such like, start putting these together as documentary evidence.
Don't be discouraged if nothing comes to pass from all of this. They might only have the budget for a temporary staff member (however good you are). On the plus side, you now of course have the experience which you felt was a barrier to you getting work elsewhere.
Very best of luck.