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My Contract Is Coming to an End – Now What?

Every contract comes to an end, but what does that mean for the contractor who is now facing an uncertain future or wondering what’s next for them? Our Celarity recruiting staff weighs in with these 7 tips that explore steps a contractor should take before their contract expires. Here’s what Kelly Gunderson, Nick Burns and Katie Larson have to say.

Meet with your recruiter

“Schedule a one-on-one meeting to chat with your recruiter about your current position and if you want to accept an extension if given one,” says Kelly Gunderson, Celarity Client Development Manager. Are you happy? Why or why not? What other experiences can you share about the contract? Be prepared to discuss your experience and goals. The more the recruiter knows, the more they can assist you in finding a fit. Scheduling these meetings, at least 4 weeks in advance, is key.

Be honest with your recruiter

“Remember, whether you find something through your recruiting agency or somewhere else, your recruiter is your advocate,” says Gunderson. “They are there as an additional resource to help you in any way they can. Be honest with them if you aren’t enjoying your current position or if you are starting to look on your own. They want you to be happy.”

Update your resume and portfolio

In addition to helping you find job openings, recruiters can also provide resume writing guidance, interview tips and answer related job search questions. But it’s important to complete this process before the contract ends so they can help you in advance – when you are not panicking about finding another job. “Make sure you make all necessary updates to your resume and portfolio, if applicable. You want to make yourself as marketable as possible,” says Nick Burns.

Send the recruiter job postings that interest you

Help your recruiter help you by sending them job postings that look appealing to you. Be ready to explore new challenges and opportunities. “If your contract is ending, have an open mind to new opportunities – even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone,” says Burns.

Attend networking events

The Celarity Scoop calendar lists marketing and creative networking events. Attend to learn, meet industry professionals and expand your network. “It’s all about who you know in this industry,” says Katie Larson.

Ask if a contract extension is possible

“If you’re interested in staying on contract with the company a bit longer, schedule a one-on-one with your direct manager to find out what their plans are in terms of an extension,” says Gunderson. If you want to stay on long-term, let them know this – and also let your recruiter know this.

Moving on to a permanent role

Some contractors will end an assignment and indicate they are going to search for permanent, full-time employment and share that they are no longer interested in contract assignments. That’s not a problem for recruiters and it’s not a knock against the job seeker. But, communication about this is very important. Your recruiter can also help you with your search if you’d like to see jobs that may not be available to the public.

“Express this to your recruiter as soon as you are having these feelings,” says Gunderson. “It’s a contract for a reason. The company knows that it isn’t a permanent fix to their employment needs. They understand that as a contractor, you have the right to decline working past the agreed upon contract dates.”

And, if you are truly ending the relationship with your staffing firm, treat it like it’s a full-time role and put in your two week notice on the last day of the original contract term, says Burns. “Two weeks is standard, and even if the company wants you longer than your original contract, they will appreciate your two week notice.”

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