All contracts eventually come to an end, but with many contract roles due to finish at the end of the year, what does this mean for contractors who are facing an uncertain market and considering what 2021 might hold for them?
If your contract is ending soon, here is our advice to help you line up your next opportunity for the New Year.
Get Ahead of the Game
As most contractors will be well aware, it’s relatively common for contracts to finish during the “end-of-quarter crunch,” with December being a particularly big month on the contracting calendar. Many businesses aim to wind down projects and phases in those final weeks before ramping up the next one in January, meaning the start of the new year can be a challenging time for those who have finished their contracts to secure new placements – and even more so in the current market.
So, what should you do?
The best way to maintain your pipeline of work is to get ahead of the game and prepare for your next move while others are focused on deadlines, Christmas parties and last-minute gift shopping. Whether it means approaching your current employer about an extension or working with your recruitment agency to explore other options, being proactive at the end of the year can give you an edge over the competition and help you start 2021 off on the right foot.
Speak to Your Recruiter
When your contract is coming to end, meeting with your recruiter should be your first port of call.
It’s important to discuss what you did/did not enjoy about your current placement, your goals and what you want out of your next role. You should also mention any roles you’ve seen that you like the look of or companies that interest you. The more we know, the better we will be able to help you!
Remember to be honest, as well as open-minded about roles you may not have previously considered – sometimes, stepping a little outside of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do for your career.
Polish Up Your CV and Portfolio
While your CV should always be up-to-date in case you need it, this is especially important when you will soon be actively looking for work. You likely gained new skills, experience and achievements over the course of your latest contract, so take the time to update your work history while the role is fresh in your mind so that it won’t be a last-minute panic when you come to applying for a role. You should focus on any new technical skills, programming languages, database knowledge or certifications you have obtained, particularly those that are in high demand within the Data sector. Don’t forget to also add any relevant updates to your portfolio where applicable.
Your recruiter can provide CV writing guidance to ensure you’re ticking all the boxes for a prospective employer, along with helping you customise your cover letters, providing interview tips and answering any job search questions you may have.
Step Up Your Networking
The adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is a cliché for a reason, and it’s all the more true when you’re looking to line up your next placement. Aim to get your name out there and build your network by attending industry events and conferences, or joining online groups (such as our TM1 Group) – you never know when the people you meet may become mentors, referrals or even future employers!
The good news is that the end of the year offers a big advantage when it comes to networking. Year-end get-togethers and company Christmas events provide valuable opportunities to expand your list of contacts and potentially get your foot in the door to somewhere new. Even if events are being postponed or held virtually this year, making a concerted effort to connect with your peers at this time of year will pay dividends for your career in the long term.
Whatever the direction you decide to go in when your contract comes to an end, working with a specialist recruitment agency will help you get the most out of your career.
Speak to our team of Data recruitment specialists today to discuss your options and find your next contract opportunity – we look forward to helping you start 2021 off with a bang!