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Currently, I am working as a third party contractor to a client in the financial services industry. In approximately 2 months, my contract ends. I enjoy my responsibilities, my coworkers and have a great relationship with my manager. My manager is pleased with my performance and has in the past stated that he wants to work with me "in the long term" at the end of the contract term. He also mentioned that full term employment is the ultimate goal for this position. Other coworkers reported that I work well within the team and my manager seems to agree that I appear to be a good fit for a long term hire. Evidence that I observed:

  • Assigning me with more responsibility and projects
  • Willingly introduces me to more and higher levels members of the organization
  • Keeps me updated on the happenings of the greater organization

Having said the above, my current manager who interviewed me did say at the time of the interview that company finances are tight and he might be restricted from FT hiring for the foreseeable future. No specific timeframe was mentioned.

How can I initiate a discussion with my manager, showing my strong interest to transition to a FT employee without appearing arrogant or presumptuous and also bearing in mind the company's budget constraints?

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If you have a good relationship with your manager, then I would suggest arranging a meeting with him, and asking him what it might take to make your arrangement full-time. Let him know that you understand the possible budget issues, but that you really enjoy your work and the organization, and would love to be a permanent part of it, if at all possible. You could title the meeting request 'Future Possibilities' and note that you want to discuss the future possibilities of your joining the organization permanently in the description, if there is one.

Hopefully your manager will then be able to either reiterate his strong interest in bringing you in and what needs to occur to make that happen, or let you know that with current budget constraints there isn't a possibility at the moment, but he would definitely like to keep in touch after your contract ends for future possibilities.

(TL:DR)

If you don't ask, you won't know. So just ask, as you would any other question. Respectfully, with positive overtones, expressing your desire to join the team, but mindful that the possibility may not be available right now.

What I did:

I was in a somewhat similar situation last year, being in a short-term contract position in a public organization.

I actually arranged for a brief meeting with my manager on another topic. During the course of that conversation, the topic of further work came up, so I broached the subject then. I mentioned my pleasure at having a very positive experience in the position so far and my thought that I would enjoy continuing to work for the organization, then I asked about the possibility of making the arrangement permanent. My manager seemed quite receptive to the idea, but did note that they were being asked to cut back on employees, rather than bring any new ones on, so the possibility wasn't logistically feasible. Oh the joy of public budgets. I was assured that, were circumstances otherwise, I would have most likely been brought in (all other aspects considered). I said thank you, good to know, and went back about my business, maintaining my work ethic and quality standards to the end, because that's the professional thing to do even when disappointed that it has to come to an end.

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