When you are considering taking a contract, many people know to consider the following:
Is the project a good fit to your skill set?
How will you fit in culturally with the group at the hospital?
How much will the position pay?
What is the expense reimbursement policy?
What will the travel be like? How long will it take in travel time to get to the client site each week?
How often will you be required to travel to the client site?
Will they have flexibility if it is necessary for you to work from home occasionally?
The answers to all of the questions above give the consultant insight into what they are going to be dealing with this current contract.
If you are good at what you do, you have inevitably had a time when you had to decide between two different projects. How much consideration did you give to the two firms that presented you the two projects? Specifically, how much consideration did you give to the following questions as well?
How likely is this firm to have projects for me after this one?
What is this company’s strategy for obtaining projects for your skill set?
Will this company work on your behalf to find you your next engagement?
Will this company proactively find me something new after this or do they just fill assignments?
So even though you are a contractor that does not mean that you cannot develop a long term relationship with a firm. There are many firms out there that, once they have put you on a contract and know that you perform at a high level, will want to have a long term relationship with you. There are organizations out there that, even though they only place contractors, will work proactively to find you your next engagement. If a company knows you do a good job in an area where they provide services, why wouldn’t they want to have you on another one of their engagements?
Understand that there are some firms that only look to fill project assignments they receive from their clients. But also understand, and I know I am repeating this, that there are firms that will look for contracts on behalf of the tenured consultant who they have a relationship with. So, with a little extra effort on your end, you can begin to take contracts with an organization or two that will make your life quite a bit easier.
At our firm, Healthcare IS, we realize that there are many benefits for consultants in becoming contractors.
Some of which are:
Higher income on an hourly basis and
The ability to have input regarding the project you accept
This flexibility insures the locations you end up traveling to and the work you are going to be committed to performing.
Even though there are benefits to being a contractor, once someone has been at it for a while, they may begin to realize the most stressful and difficult part of being a contractor is finding their next assignment.
When I say “finding,” what I am referring to is the process of reaching out to multiple firms. Some of which you don’t know when your engagement will come to an end.
How much easier would it be if each time your contract gets within 30 days of the end date you already have someone looking for your next engagement?
Just know that there are firms that will work proactively with contractors just like a consulting firm will work proactively to find the next project for their hourly employee. You just need to invest the time to establish the relationships so that both parties can benefit.