While joblessness stats languish, agencies are reporting a hiring bump in one area: temp work, which is understandable for companies apprehensive about their long-term health.

 

Still, for the horribly unemployed, landing a short-term contract job can feel like finding a lifeboat that happens to be headed toward a waterfall. Sure, you’re enjoying dependable pay, if not benefits. Yet it all ends so soon.

 

For temps aspiring to flip contract jobs into full-time occupations, career counselors offer this advice: Be prepared to make an emotional investment.

 

“One big mistake that contractors make is that because they see themselves as temporary, they don’t try to make themselves part of the team,” says Alan De Back, author of “Get Hired in a Tough Market.” “They don’t build relationships with the permanent employees.”

 

Pamela Mitchell, author of “The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention,” agrees. “If you look at it as a stopgap, you’re not going to get as many benefits out of it as you could.” She sees contract positions as the great opportunity hidden inside the ongoing jobs crisis, “if you manage it correctly.”

“Just because you’re on a contract to do one particular thing doesn’t mean you need to be limited to that,” she says. “Assess what makes the company successful — is it sales? Subscribers? Make sure you’re as close to that as possible.”

Plus, don’t be afraid to flaunt your skills.

“When you’re on a contract position, they don’t really know much about you,” she says. “Let them know about your background, and your experience, and the other ways they can use you.”