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How to stay positive when searching for your next contract

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Tuesday 27th Feb, 2018

Tips for staying positive when hunting for your next contract and rising above common job search frustrations.

Searching for your next assignment can be an incredibly exciting time, but it can be a disheartening one too. Trying to secure a new contract can be time-consuming and use up a lot of the energy that you could be putting into your existing assignments. But it's necessary and important to stay positive throughout the process, even when you receive a setback.

So, how can you achieve this, even when you're receiving knockbacks along the way?

UK workers' biggest job search frustrations

Recruitment firm Robert Half UK questioned 1,000 job hunters in the UK to find out what irked them most about the process of looking for a new contract.

More than half (52 per cent) of respondents said the most frustrating aspect of searching for a new assignment was a lack of feedback from clients or recruiters, while 44 per cent cited poor communication from the other side as a major bugbear.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent of those questioned said they were often left feeling disheartened by delays in decision making from the client and having to attend multiple interviews with the same recruiter was an irritation for 35 per cent.

One-third of workers found it hard to juggle keeping track of different opportunities with different firms while searching for their next contract, and 23 per cent reported that this often made it difficult to schedule in interviews.

What's more, 16 per cent of respondents said they became frustrated when a role's requirements changed during the hiring process and 15 per cent revealed they had been left feeling disappointed when it came to discussing contractual terms.

Matt Weston, Director at Robert Half UK, commented: "A company's recruitment process needs to be balanced against the expectations and frustrations of jobseekers.

"Companies should be thinking about how they can streamline application and interview processes to ensure that frustrations such as delays in providing feedback and poor communication don't cost them the best candidates."

Many businesses will be working on improving their approach here, but in the meantime, how can contractors stay feeling positive while they wait to secure their next assignment, seeing as there can be so many frustrations to deal with?

Tips for staying positive while searching for that next contract

Remember that, as a limited company contractor, you have so much more control over which assignments you go after and take on than if you were working for someone else. If you make it to the final stages of a selection process but still aren't sure if an opportunity is for you because there have been too many frustrations along the way, you don't have to accept - you are the one in control of your career.

Being proactive and making the first move with prospective clients can help to make you feel more positive about the contract-hunting process, rather than sitting around waiting for clients to come to you.

But at the same time, it's important to make sure that your search for more work doesn't end up taking over your whole life. After all, it's likely that you made the move to contracting in the first place in order to achieve a better work-life balance, so try to bear this in mind, even when the contract search gets tough.

Making sure that you stay as professional as possible both in person and over social media is also important, as failing to do so could be where you're falling down in the recruitment process. Before you begin looking for your next contract, take the time to clean up your social media, get rid of any inappropriate photos or comments and ensure there's nothing that could count against you when going after that next contract.

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