You’ve agreed to a short-term position to help kick start your career. Maybe you want a prestigious name on your resume or you’re specifically looking to get experience in a niche area. Or maybe you’ve wanted an assignment with flexibility or an opportunity to explore a new industry. There are many great reasons to take on a temporary position , and there are many reasons why you might want to keep the position temporary.
If you’ve accepted a short-term gig, here’s how to politely express that you’re not looking for a long-term commitment:
Provide Parameters – If you’re going into an assignment with short-term expectations, make sure that you and your employer are on the same page . Discuss the scope of the project, the expected timeline and clarify your end date up-front. If you’re already in the middle of a short-term project, it’s not too late to discuss the parameters with your boss.
Put it in Writing – Now that you’ve confirmed the details, get everything in writing. Ask your employer to put together the terms of your contract and expectations in writing – preferably before you start. If your boss is dragging his feet, take initiative and write an e-mail where you confirm the terms of your employment. What to do if you’re already in the middle of a project? Again, communication is key. Make sure you talk to your boss, preferably in person, about your short-term expectations and summarize the conversation in an e-mail afterwards. As your end date nears, forward the e-mail to your boss as a reminder and to talk about how to efficiently wrap things up.
Make a Recommendation – If you know that you’ll need to bow out before the project is complete (hopefully brought to your employer’s attention at the outset!) or your employer is looking for someone for the long-term, don’t hesitate to refer someone else to finish the job. It will lessen the stress of you leaving, and you may have the opportunity to help train someone else (another experience in itself to add to your accomplishments).
Stay Engaged – You’ve only made a temporary commitment to the position, but don’t temporarily commit your work ethic. Stay engaged and motivated, even when you’re end date is just around the corner. Set goals until the very end to keep yourself motivated.
Keep in Touch – As you’re winding down your time in the office, make sure you keep the connections you’ve made in the office . Stay in touch on LinkedIn. Gather relevant contact information from co-workers. Once you’ve been out of the office, touch base to see how the ultimate results of the project. In the long term, the relationships that you make (and keep) may be more valuable than the work you created.