This article, on contracts direct, is by reader KontinMonet.
It‘s been several years since I actually used an agency to get myself a contract.
So, how do you get contracts without using agencies?
One word: Network.
1. Stay in touch with people, especially if they move to more high-powered work.
2. If you’re looking for work let them all know.
3. Ask them if they know anybody (perhaps a mate of theirs you don’t know) who might know of some work.
4. Ask your partner if he or she knows anyone. It might be your partner’s hairdresser or builder who’s heard of something going.
One Page CV
5. Have a one page CV handy for these tentative contacts, usually a minor re-hash of the front page of your main CV.
I heard of one 63 year old chemical industry consultant who got a two year contract because a networked contact told him that a major agro-chemical company was moving a lab out of London.
If the contact likes the look of short CV, they’ll ask for a full CV.
6. Have some high quality references. Over the years, I have gained CEOs and CTOs who are willing to give me a reference.
IT Contractor Comment
It’s something that contractors don’t do enough of and that is network.
They should keep in touch with other contractors with the same skills as they have. When they are out of work they should contact them all to see if there is anything going at sites where they work.
They should keep in touch with clients who employed them before.
You never know when they might want you again.
Keeping the Agency Fee
If they do go looking for you it would normally be through your agency.
You would, of course, prefer it if they came directly to you. Contracts direct would allow you to keep much of the agency fee as well.
Also, I’m sure you doan’t always tell all the agencies where your CV is lodged when you change your contact details.
Wouldn’t it be awful to think that when you were out of work, and at your lowest ebb, that a previous client was trying to contact you but couldn’t find you?
Couldn’t Find Contractor
I remember once trying to find a contractor who had worked for us before to do some more work.
I couldn’t find him. Neither his agency or any of his work colleagues, including contractors, knew his contact details.
It’s possible that he was out of work at the time and maybe struggling to pay the bills. He would never have known that we wanted him.
Make sure this can never happen to you. Maybe it has already!
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