What I have found over the years is that there are two types of contractors:
Get A Job Contractor (GAJC) & Build A Practice Contractor (BAPC)
“Get A Job” Contractor
When this type of contractor is looking for their next contract, they have a mindset that the dollar amount they will be paid and travel convenience are their top priorities. The higher the amount of money being paid and the less travel that is required, the better. This person gives little thought to the type of work or project. They are failing to consider how this project will either increase or decrease their marketability for the next project. This contractor accepts projects based simply on money and convenience rather than the idea of gaining experience and furthering their career.
“Build A Practice” Contractor
Like the type above, everyone is looking for convenience. The difference is that this type of contractor, even though they are a contractor, has a mindset of managing their career. They realize that six months to a year from now they are going to be competing for their next contract. They realize that each contract they take is building a portfolio of work that shapes how the next potential client will evaluate them. So where the GAJC may start with travel requirements and dollar amount, the BAPC starts with evaluating the type of work and how this next project, once completed will make them stand out as an industry specialist. They put themselves in the position of interviewing for projects that will enhance their portfolio of work so that they become known in the marketplace as a specialist in their niche.
In my opinion there is nothing wrong with a GAJC. When some people evaluate getting in to contracting, the main thing they are looking to do is increase their income and nothing more. To them the travel is a trade off for the additional income. So, if they can increase their income while keeping the travel to an absolute minimum, that is what they are going to do every time.
The only downside is this. In a market like the one we have today, more jobs than people, you can get away with this type of mentality a lot easier than when the market cools off. Companies are settling today for people that they will not have to settle for when the market shifts.
When the market cools off, the people who look at themselves as a business practice and have built a portfolio of successful projects in a niche space, will be the ones who have a long term consulting career in the Healthcare IT marketplace.