Posted on June 2015 By Speller International
The contract life. It’s a reality for many professionals in the SAP industry. But as you prepare to move on from your current contract, early preparation is the best tool to ensuring a safe and smooth landing into your next one.
The length of contract positions can be as varied as the work itself and while some may be lucky enough to gain extensions and long-term contracts, you cannot always rely on this. It is important to see out your current commitments and show loyalty to your existing employer over your next employer first. People who continuously cut contracts short in the promise of a longer engagement should consider that contracting may not be for them. You are only as good as your last contract so burning your bridges may not be the best move in the long term.
Having said that, currently being within a contract is the best position to be in when trying to find your next one. The networks, experience and drive you have while working are the most valuable tools to use for locking in that next role and reducing the risk of downtime between jobs.
So while the end of your contract period may be the most chaotic with ‘Go Live’ projects, deadlines and a seemingly endless line of reports, it’s those final two months when you should activate your ‘5R’s Action Plan’ and secure a follow-on contract.
Reach out to people in the SAP community, including those in your own network and agencies such as Speller International, the SAP recruitment specialists. Come in for a coffee and chat with one of our consultants. Find out what’s happening in the market and learn about opportunities that are available to you right now. You should also cast a wider net by setting up Seek alerts.
Figure out if you are likely to be offered an extension, and get your recruitment consultant to do the same. More importantly, do you really want to extend your contract? If the answer is no, consider what you want out of your next role and workplace. Think about what you like and dislike doing in your current contract and how to secure a new one that ticks all the boxes.
And if you do not wish to extend, it is important to let the employer and recruitment consultant know sooner rather than later to allow them time to find a suitable replacement if required.
What are you worth? What’s the going rate for your skillset? Don’t undervalue yourself, but do be realistic. Work out a day rate that is fair within your parameters and decide on your pay range. Knowing the minimum you are prepared to accept will help you choose and negotiate future contracts.
Update, update, update! Ensure your résumé includes all the key achievements from your current contract, and review as you go along. Don’t forget to reflect your achievements in your LinkedIn profile as well. Settings can be adjusted so that updates are not displayed until you are ready to share them, but there is a real benefit in showing your network what you have been up to. You never know who’s looking for someone with your growing expertise!
Retreat or Retrain
The end of a contract can be a great time to take a break for yourself or with your loved ones. Decide if you want to take a break and for how long, then schedule your holidays between your contracts. It is also a good time for professional development and further training. Let your recruiter know so we can plan around those dates. Some contract start dates are flexible but these can only be negotiated when we know your plans.
So when your next contract drawing to a close, kick that job-hunting gene into gear and utilise the assets you have on hand. If you prepare yourself properly, you’ll be ready for some exciting new career opportunities.