Don’t Get Too Comfortable

Contracting goes against many values held by permanent employees.

As an employee we seek job safety, predictability and we want somebody else to take care of our health benefits, tax and so on. As a contractor we want the opposite of that and more.

One thing I see many contractors do is to get too comfortable in their contract and become what many contractorsjokingly refer to as a permtactor. This means they get involved in office politics, have office romances and even put family photographs on their desk.

As a contractor you need to look to move around every six months. This means you will have variety and keep your skills current and sharp.

Don’t get too comfortable.

Paul Browning

6 Responses to “Don’t Get Too Comfortable”

  1. They say variety is the spice of life, so I feel that this piece of advice is very important to prevent you from stagnating.

    So thanks for the advice once I get my foot in that door I will remember to spice my life up every 6 months or so.

  2. Hmmm. I never though of putting family photos on the desk as anti-contracting. I like the workspace to be comfortable, even if only temporary.

    But I see your point. As a contractor it’s important to stay current and to stay very comfortable with adapting to different situations and styles. A way to do that is to take on new assignments regularly.

    Does anyone have suggestions for how to respond to a current company that wants to keep you on for project after project, to accomplish the objective of taking on new assignments regularly, while also leaving open the possibility of being invited back?

  3. Neither contractors nor so-called permanent employees can afford to get too comfortable; contracts and jobs end, sometimes suddenly. It’s important for contractors and employees to continually upgrade their skills, seek new ways to make a contribution to the organisation, and maintain a network of professional colleagues. Be always prepared for change!

  4. Neither contractors nor so-called permanent employees can afford to get too comfortable; contracts and jobs end, sometimes suddenly. It’s important for contractors and employees to continually upgrade their skills, seek new ways to make a contribution to the organization, and maintain a network of professional colleagues. Be always prepared for change!

    • Good point that employees can’t afford to get too comfortable either. But they (we) should be keeping our skills updated and our eye on the ball in terms of being ready when change occurs. Paul is advising that as contractors we would need to deliberately be moving on regularly. Interesting point to think about.

  5. So you have to ask yourself how comfortable you are with change. Do you love it? So you seek it out? That is a good mindset for being able to be a contractor.

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