Profile of a career contractor
You won't usually find a career contractor gossiping at the water cooler. When you're only as good as your last reference, doing your best to ensure every assignment achieves agreed outcomes is critical.
Career contractors know that many of their clients won't really have a full understanding of what it is that they need achieved, or how best to go about achieving it. Career contractors are often asked to help scope out an assignment, and in some cases, help finesse what the deliverables will be. Many executive contractors will play an important role in transferring skills to the organisation engaging their services.
Here are some comments from successful executive career contractors, highlighting why they enjoy what they do:
- "You can get in, do a job, avoid the politics, get a result, and get out."
- "You get the opportunity to take on really interesting work and build on your specialisation without getting bogged down in the day to day."
- "You control when you're working and when you're not."
- "You're paid for what you do, not for 40 hours a week when you're expected to work for 60."
- "You constantly meet interesting new people and face interesting challenges, it is never the same."
- "I like being the one who can solve a problem."
- "I'd had enough of full time work. I wanted to be my own boss. While I'm only as good as my last reference, I have greater control over what I do."
- "I like taking a few months off at a time. Contracting allows me to do this."
- "There've only been a few times in the last five years when I've worried about where the next assignment is coming from. As I've got more experienced, the number of jobs I've been getting has increased and the clients really trust what I say."
- "There's constant challenge. I'm never bored."
While career contracting can be a long-term career choice for many, for others, taking an executive contracting assignment is a great way to test how well you fit into an organisation. In today's skills short market, many organisations will make offers of permanent employment to well-regarded contractors.