Successful Contractors keep getting their contract renewed. Here’s 10 ways to get it renewed and to become a successful contractor.
1. Be good
This may sound obvious but if you know what you are doing and give value for money then you will be one of the last that they get rid of when they are looking to dump a load of contractors and you will get your contract renewed.
2. Keep the Rules
Don’t bring attention to yourself by getting in late or having long lunches. Permies will always notice this and point it out to their bosses.
3. Don’t Annoy the Permies
Too many contractors think it is only important to keep the person who makes the decision about renewals on board.
However, they listen to their permanent employees a lot and if the permies give indications to their boss, and they surely will, that you don’t fit in, then there is a good chance that you won’t get your contract renewed.
4. Don’t Annoy Your Client
This may seem obvious – yet too many contractors don’t take this piece of advice.
They want to tell their client how to do things and if the client doesn’t take their advice they either sulk or become objectionable.
Also, some contractors may not rate their young permie client and they make that obvious. The client will make sure that these contractors quietly disappear when it is time to have their contract renewed.
5. Be Sensitive to your Immediate Boss
Your boss / client will have concerns and objectives. It is imperative that IT Contractors are sensitive to these and understand them.
To be able to help him or her would be a real bonus and put you in their good books and get their contract renewed time and time again.
Be part of his or her solution and not part of his or her problem.
6. Be a Team Player
Don’t just do your own work but help out others in the team – especially the permies.
If you are popular with the permies and help them to both do their work and improve themselves they’ll make sure that the Powers That Be are aware of that.
7. Make Sure You are not Overpaid
Often contractors who are good negotiators are contractors who are out of work for long spells – especially in a downturn.
What should happen when companies are looking at contractors and which ones to not renew is that they look at the abilities and achievements of the different contractors compared to their rates.
However, what often happens is that they keep the cheaper ones and don’t renew the more expensive ones – unless they really are good and must be kept.
If you think you are near the top of the pile in terms of rates then don’t ask for a rate increase in a downturn.
8. Understand the Culture
Different companies have different cultures and it is important to be sensitive to it and to fit in with it.
Too many contractors try to impose their own culture, or one they have enjoyed elsewhere, on the new companies where they work.
This usually doesn’t work and causes antagonism. If it’s not a dress down company culture then don’t dress down. If it is not a flexitime company then work to their rules. You are more likely to get your contract renewed if you fit into the client’s culture.
9. Surprise Them With a Bit Extra
Everybody likes a bit of a surprise so if there is an opportunity to do something extra for the company or client then take the opportunity to do it.
It will show you in a good light and they will think positively at renewal time.
This may be your staying on a little later to help a permanent colleague (or preferably boss) or it may be teaching them some new skill. It doesn’t cost much and is very much appreciated.
10. Have your Client value you as a Friend and a Colleague
I’ve seen contractors accuse other contractors of ingratiating themselves with the boss.
They befriend them and even socialise with them and give them both advice and help and support. Some contractors seem to believe that this is cheating.
However, it is incumbent on any supplier to keep the customer happy.
These are the guys who keep getting their contract renewed and renewed and renewed whereas the complainers tend to go from three month contract to three month contract.
Make sure you are one of the former.
Contract Renewed Conclusion
You may think that a lot of the advice I have given is obvious and just common sense.
However, the problem with Common Sense is that it is not that common.
I’ve seen loads of contractors in my career not following the advice above, obvious though it may seem, resulting often in long periods on the bench.
So, if you want a long and successful career as a contractor – just do the obvious.
Note:- – If you have any advice yourself on this matter that would be useful to contractors, please post it in the Comments.