Taking the right finance or accounting contract can be a smart career move. It can build your network, professional brand and bank account. But how do you identify whether a contract role is of value?
Here’s how to know if the opportunity in front of you is a good one.
The Benefits of Contract Work
- It can expose you to different industries, areas of the business and thought leaders (all in a very short amount of time)
- It can be your “in” to a company where there are no permanent roles available. If you impress your manager it’s likely he or she will want to keep you, even if it means renewing your contract in another functional area
- Contract roles build your network
So now that we know that contract work can be a smart career move, here are the steps for identifying the right opportunity.
Step 1: Ask Yourself Key Questions
- Why am I seeking a contract opportunity?
- Which role is most likely to advance my goals?
- Will job A or B give me the industry experience I want?
- Is there a skill set gap that one accounting contract will help to fill?
- Is there an opportunity to work with industry leaders or people that I can learn from?
- Will this particular organization build my resume, or professional brand?
- If money is my key driver, is there a difference between the two roles?
- If I am seeking a more permanent opportunity, will this contract job provide access to one?
Read “How to Get the Right Job” from the Harvard Business Review for general tips on how to source the right opportunity, including the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself before you start job searching.
Step 2: Look at the Job Posting
Now that you’ve established your list of priorities and overarching goal, it’s time to look at various job postings. Make sure, for example, that the duration of the contract is clearly stated. Identify the relevant hard and soft skills. Are you going to have to work cross-functionally, for example, to be able to do your job well? The more thorough the job posting, the more time the organization has taken to craft it, meaning that you’re not likely to be surprised when you walk through the door.
Step 3: The Interview
Remember that any interview is a two-way street. Just as the employer is evaluating if you’re a fit, so too should you be assessing the value of the opportunity in front of you. Consider asking the following questions:
- What are the potential challenges of the role?
- Will it be difficult to source the information I need to do the job well?
- Has this project been approved? (Project based contract)
- Who are the key stakeholders that I’ll need to interact with? Are they on board with this contract?
- What are the deliverables at the 3 month mark? (If the contract is a longer one)
Your prospective employer’s answers will help you determine the quality of the contract and whether it’s worth your investment of energy.
Interview Pro Tip: Watch this short video to learn how to peak during your accounting interview.
Contract roles offer a variety of benefits. From being able to charge for each hour you work, to building your resume, it can make sense to take on a finance or accounting contract opportunity. To identify a good one start by doing some self-reflection. What is it that you most hope to gain from the role? Once you determine that take a close look at the job posting. If it’s well-crafted, there’s a good chance that the key stakeholders have bought into the process and communicated what they think is important for success in the role. Ask questions during the interview that help you to understand what is expected of you and the type of environment you’ll be walking into. With this kind of information in hand, it will be much easier to identify a good finance or accounting contract.
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
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