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New to contract work? 5 tips on how to avoid gaps in between contracts

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New to contract work? 5 tips on how to avoid gaps in between contracts

15 Jul 16:00 by Katie Duke MCIM - Parity

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Finding contract work is different to finding permanent employment – and getting it wrong could lead to long gaps without work. Here are some tips to help you minimise downtime and maximise earnings.

A recent survey by Nixon Williams looked at over 1,000 contractors across a variety of sectors. When asked about the length of their current contract, 61% said it would last 3 to 12 months and 11% said it would last less than three months. This demonstrates how contractors are in an almost continual state of seeking new employment.

When an assignment ends, most contractors want to get started on the next job without delay. A short break can be nice, but you don’t want it turning into a prolonged lull that could leave you sidelined and short of money. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to keep your contracting career moving along at a steady and successful pace.

1. Plan ahead of your contract ending

The trick to successful contracting is to stay ahead of the game. Look for your next contract before your current one has ended. Not on the last day or the last week, but well in advance of your assignment coming to an end. This will increase your options and give you time to make a selection that suits your circumstances.

2. Keep your CV up-to-date

Continually update your CV to reflect your latest experience. And, depending on the specific work you will be targeting, create alternative versions to focus on the skills and capabilities those employers will be looking for.

3. Explore possibilities with your current employer

Once you have demonstrated that you are a competent and reliable worker, your employer may be able to find another position for you within the same organisation, however to make the best move, whether within the existing organisation or elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to seek expert advice from people like Parity Professionals, who know contracting inside out.

4. Promote your services

Identifying and making yourself known is a lot easier in today’s online world of websites, social media and job boards. Whether through online platforms such as LinkedIn or through more traditional methods such as phone calls, face-to-face meetings and networking opportunities, making personal contact with people is vital to contracting success. Many successful contractors, however, opt to take advantage of specialist agencies, such as Parity Professionals, to get themselves known by relevant employers. As well as helping you secure your next contract, we perform a variety of tasks to help your contracting career flourish.

5. Keep in touch with your agency

While Parity Professionals are the experts at finding employment for contractors, we are not always aware of your situation once you commence work. We may not be aware, for example, if your current contract is likely to be extended, or even curtailed. Keeping us informed of your current circumstances and future requirements allows us to get to work and seek out the very best opportunities for you.

With Parity, you can take a professional approach to finding contracts and ensure that the gaps in your career only occur when you want them to.

Is your contract coming to an end? Take a look at our latest roles or call us on 0208 171 1729.