When is the right time to look for a new contract?

Cedric Ferreras March 12, 20202 mins read

It is a key question and one that I get asked all the time. Do you keep your head down and wait to begin your search once your current engagement is complete or do you take a more proactive approach?

My advice to anyone whom of which is contracting, is that the key to securing the most interesting, challenging and lucrative engagements is to keep yourself consistently employed, or, even better, re-engaged by the same organisation on multiple occasions (this is often even more powerful than a reference – if an organisation liked your prior work enough to put their hand in their pocket to bring you back, you must be someone that delivers value!). So, if you are not sure that you will have something to roll on to when your current contract finishes, my advice is to get out there and start conversations!

From my perspective, the question that a consultant/contractor needs to ask is, how strong is my network?

Do I have good relationships with key decision makers in organisations I contracted for previously? Do I know where the big programs of work are taking place now, and in the next 3-6 months…. and beyond.

If so, am I connected to the right people within those organisations to get a look into that juicy role?

There are many ways you can build your network; a few key tips are:

  • Ensure you have an exit interview/conversation/coffee (whatever is appropriate) with the key influencers and decision makers before you leave an organisation. Ask them to give you frank and honest feedback with regards to your performance and if they would engage you again in the future. Hopefully all is positive, and if so, ask if you can keep in touch and maybe meet for lunch or a coffee in a few months’ time.
  • Establish a relationship with a recruiter that is a specialist in your area who you can trust to keep you abreast of what is happening in the market
  • Sell yourself! LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools that we have to showcase ourselves, use it wisely and make sure it communicates your value add and core specialisations.

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Cedric Ferreras - R1870889's picture
Consultant | IT Contracting Recruitment
cferreras@morganmckinley.com

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