In Silicon Valley, contract jobs can be considered par for the course. For many employees, this brings a lot of unique frustrations not seen in other regions around the country. As Albert’s List member Lillian asks:

I joined a company in Feb., and they mentioned it was a long term deal. I found out right after I joined that the contract with the account I was assigned to work on ends June 30, so they were not upfront with me. Had I known this was a 4 month deal, I would have reconsidered.

They’re still in negotiation to extend this contract, so my company wants me to wait around for it, since I make really difficult hires for them and I’m doing really well in terms of relationships with executives, hiring managers, and directors (pretty much everyone all around).

The issue is I can’t afford to risk not having a paycheck since I support others besides myself, and if the contract isn’t renewed, I may be terminated.

I was looking for a long term gig, and now my resume looks “flighty.”

Most companies won’t even look at a resume that has less than 6 months in the current role. What should I do to maintain a competitive edge? Should I take a risk and wait, or start considering opportunities?

I’m a tech recruiter with prior hiring and management experience in academia/medicine and research.

A variety of members chimed in on the discussion. Among some of the nuggets of wisdom included:

  1. Simply listing it as a contract — this is Silicon Valley after all.
  2. Explaining the length of time as-is. With the vast majority of non-startups seeking contractors to be a part of their staff, this is a normal situation for most in the area.
  3. Indicating the direction of the market in particular with the company. Technology evolves so quickly and sometimes individuals are not shielded from the impacts of such change.
  4. Discuss in further job opportunities what ought to be set as an expectation.

The Albert’s List Take

Obviously contracts lead to a lot of self-doubt and discouragement. For those who have been contracting for years, it brings about the interview carousel. You keep your skills sharp, but on the other hand, you’re never at one place for very long. Like the many group members who offered their advice, we also believe that it’s simply a formality in conversation. So long as you can maintain a level of skill that remains in demand in the market, nothing else really matters.

What do you think?

Ask Albert’s List: How Do I Address A History of Contracting
Tagged on:     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *