What To Do When Your Contract Is Ending
Time’s up on your contract, but not on your career.
Working with an employment agency means having a recruiter that’s there to advocate for you with any employer you choose. When a contract they’ve arranged for you is coming to an end, you’re not left alone to figure out where to go from here, and your options can stay as open as always.
In this article we’ll review our top suggestions for how to handle your career as one contract comes to a close, to keep you working in a way that works for you!
Schedule a meeting with your agency recruiter
Whether you want to extend your contract with your current employer, or re-explore your options in the job market, your first stop should be a face-to-face meeting with your recruiter.
Be sure to schedule your meeting well in advance of your contract end date; we suggest at least a month. This gives them time to analyze the feedback about your current placement and identify the items that go into choosing the best fit for you.
They will likely have a feedback/satisfaction survey already, but you can discuss the specifics about your experience and where you want to go from here, to help them tailor a solution just for you.
What would you most want to discuss with them about your contract?
Don’t hide anything from your recruiter
Just like a lawyer, providing them all the details, positive or not, is going to help them manage your case.
Remember, they are there to fight on your behalf to get the terms of employment you need. Even if you are going to be networking, or job searching on your own, bringing them in on the big picture makes sure they can act accordingly with your best interests at heart.
Is there anything you would hesitate to mention? Why?
Freshen up your resume
You always want your resume and/or portfolio to be as up-to-date as possible, but that’s especially true when you are actively looking for work.
During your current contract, you undoubtedly built new skills, experience, and should update your work history accordingly. Your recruiter can help you with the tools and templates you need to present a current resume, as well as customize your cover letters for any new employers that have caught your eye.
It also helps to do this while the experience is still fresh in your mind, so you don’t leave out any important details by accident.
What new accomplishments do you want to brag about on your resume?
Share leads with your recruiter
Part of the services that a recruiter provides includes notifying you about job postings that could be a good fit for you. That said, you can help them get a better handle on what you’re looking for by sending them examples of the leads you find on your own.
More importantly, your employment agency can reach out to establish a relationship with potential employers to once again help advocate on your behalf for contracts and placements, saving you from going in cold.
Have you turned up any interesting leads looking on your own?
Network, network, network!
Your contract gave you an opportunity to work alongside other members of your industry, but there’s a big wide world out there of other professionals that can serve you as referrals, mentors, or future employers!
Get out to industry events, and mingle with the people in the scene, not just in your company clique. Ask your recruiter for a list of conferences, events, and tradeshows, to help get your name out there and build your network.
What’s the next big event in your industry?
Ask about a contract extension
If you enjoyed your experience with your current contract, then staying on is another great option. You already have a solid relationship with your employer, and they know firsthand about your talent and motivation.
Talk to your manager at the company to learn what their plans are in regards to your position after the contract, and if staying on is an option. Keep your recruiter in the loop, so they can help make arrangements if necessary.
Do you know what your employer would say to an extension right now?
Consider permanent employment
For whatever reason you opted for a short term contract, you should know that long term employment is another option besides extending your contract, or finding a new one.
Particularly if you prefer to stay on with your current employer, they may have considered a contract as a probationary period during which they could establish if you were a good fit for the business. If they are happy with your performance, they can consider bringing you on full time instead of just extending or renewing your contract.
If you want to test the waters elsewhere, but are still looking for a long term position, talk to your recruiter. Not opting for contract work can open new doors that they may not have disclosed to you previously, and they can help you weigh the pros and cons of the options available to you. They may also need to find a replacement for your current employer, and this will help to maintain the agency’s relationship with them for future placements.
And speaking of maintaining relationships with the employer, be sure to let them know if you plan to move on with the typical two weeks notice. This shows you treated your contract seriously, and will help things transition smoothly so you don’t burn that bridge.
With the experience of your contract under your belt, are you ready to move on to something a bit more permanent?
Whatever you choose to do as your contract ends, partner with your agency recruiter to get the most out of your career. They’ll keep your horizons wide, and your future bright.