Over time, more and more professionals have opted for interim or portfolio careers. This has traditionally been more prominent in international labour markets, including the US and UK; however, resourcing with interim professionals has become increasingly more significant with corporate Australia. Executive contracting offers greater flexibility in the hours and periods of work. It allows professionals to specialise in a narrow field and consult as an expert to multiple organisations. And there is less need to become involved in the politics that so often accompanies a permanent role.
While executive contracting is the ideal career option for many professionals, it is not right for everyone.
Executive contractors need to have deep skills in their area of specialisation: skills that organisations will want to purchase. Organisations will often try to over-skill when they engage an executive contractor for an assignment because they want to know that the job will get done effectively and with a minimum of lead-in preparation.
Executive contractors need to be comfortable with periods of uncertainty, as the availability of assignments can at times be unpredictable. This is usually less dependent on your skill set, and more dependent on the market and your timing.
You need to hit the ground running when you begin an assignment. Long periods of induction and time to acclimatise into an organisation are more facets of permanent employment than executive contracting.
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.
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. Many organisations will make offers of permanent employment to well-regarded contractors.
If you would like to explore executive contracting further as an option for you, you’re welcome, and encouraged, to come in for confidential career counsel by contacting an SHK consultant, or by submitting your CV.