If you're new to working a contract position, it can be nerve wracking when your assignment is nearing a close. Some people thrive in temporary roles and find the variety stimulating. Others like the stability of permanent work but take a contract role for interim income. Whatever situation you find yourself in, there are things you can do prior to your job’s end date to alleviate the stress of “what’s next?”.
Assess the skills you have built
Temporary opportunities enable employees to learn skills that they may not have otherwise. Even if your job is seemingly simple, you've likely gained experience that you may not have even realized. A receptionist position, for example, is a gateway for people who want to develop their interpersonal, communication and organization prowess. These are fundamentals to many positions that you can parlay into a rewarding next step. Take some time to think about what you’ve learned and make a list. Boil that down to the things that you think are most transferable to future opportunities and bullet them down. This can be a great stepping stone if you’re looking to grow in a career. If you’re happy pursuing similar roles, you are now all the more desirable to future employers.
Don’t wait for your contract to end
We all have a tendency to procrastinate, and life often gets in the way of our best laid plans. Since you already know this is a temporary opportunity, be on the lookout for others you could be a fit for. Sure, job searching is the last thing you feel like doing at the end of a busy day, but a little advance legwork can help save you in the long run. Accepting a last minute job simply because you need to work will lead to an unfulfilling path, so take some time to research your best next move. A couple of sites that can help you in this respect:
- The Muse -- Subscribe to their email distributions and receive career advice straight to your inbox daily. The Muse is a great resource for the best companies to work for, career and job search advice.
- Inc.com -- This popular site offers articles from all over the employment spectrum, but there are many a diamond in the rough when it comes to job seekers. Articles often focus on understanding your own skills and how to best promote them.
- LinkedIn -- If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, go make one now! In all seriousness though, LinkedIn is not only a place to find potential job opportunities, but the legwork as far as research is already done for you - right on the company’s LinkedIn page. You’ll get an idea of company size, what kinds of projects or newsworthy events are taking place and other important insights.
- For the tech savvy, Salary.com published an article on the best apps for job seekers
Get (good) referrals
When working in any position, contract or otherwise, you want to put your best foot forward. As simple as that sounds, if your current position is “temporary” your attitude towards it may shift, even subconsciously. It’s important to build a good relationship with the people you are contracting for. Even if you don't need to supply a referral for a future role, background checks are a very common practice and someone will likely be giving your last employers a call prior to making a decision.
TruPath is a partnership minded search firm with a mission to place qualified, culturally aligned talent. As a trusted recruitment source for more than fifteen years, we have the industry knowledge and a proven model to help our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate.