What’s next, project manager?

Matthew Franceschini
October 25, 2012

Are you a project contractor near the completion of your current contract, looking for your next opportunity or concerned that the next phase of contract terminations may affect you? If so, what—if anything—are you doing about it?

Despite the growing popularity of contracting, the very nature of working as a project contractor means there are ebbs and flows; contracts will inevitably come to an end, and unless you have something lined up, it can be hard to know where to begin when looking for your next.

Here are some tips when looking for your next assignment:

Negotiate

Upon the conclusion of your contract, the first point of call should be the organisation with whom you were engaged. In many cases, there may be the possibility of staying on with the organisation; there could be extensions to the project, room to do more or another project entirely for which you may not have even been considered.

If nothing else, communicating with your organisation and expressing interest for future work is a great way to establish a relationship so that, in the future, you may be the first to mind choice for a new project.

Use your networks

When transitioning from one organisation or industry to another, you will no doubt cultivate a detailed network of associates, colleagues and innovators. Maintaining relationships with these people will leave at your disposal a wealth of opportunities you may not have even come across via the traditional forms of job seeking. After all, many project roles and contracts are not advertised via recruitment agencies. Touching base with these networks at the end of a contract is a fast and effective way to gauge what’s happening in the industry, where the jobs are and who’s hiring.

Go online

There is no doubt that the internet is now one of the prime areas of real estate for potential employers to attract candidates. The multitude of job search websites on the internet offer a veritable smorgasbord of potential roles.

Despite the usefulness of such resources, they should not be the only ones used. The growing importance of social media in looking for work is not be ignored, and using platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook to engage with organisations will spread your net and multiply your chances of finding work. By developing a digital presence, you can start conversations with organisations that interest you, put yourself on the map and potentially even attract prospective clients.

At the end of a day, a combined approach will help guarantee you aren’t without work for long; negotiating, networking and going digital will see you starting your new contract in no time at all.

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Matthew Franceschini
Matthew Franceschini is a co-founder and the CEO of Entity Solutions, a contractor management agency. He has more than 10 years’ experience working in the contract workforce management industry. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and is also the Vice President of Independent Contractors of Australia.
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