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What is it like to work as a contractor?

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Posted on 4/04/2016 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

Our team have seen an increase in the number of candidates seeking contract and interim assignments in recent years, but what is it really like to work as a contractor?

We chatted to Dawn Cunningham who has been working as a contractor for a number of years, most recently in the role where we placed her as Interim Buyer at Ella’s Kitchen; a fast growing organic baby food retailer in the FMCG sector.

We asked Dawn a few questions on what life is like as an interim professional:

1. How long have you worked as an interim / contract specialist?

I have been working on and off for around 4 years as a contractor now.

2. What prompted you to take an interim or contract role?

I initially got into contracting when I came back to the UK a few years ago. It was during the financial crisis so it was at a time where it was significantly more difficult to secure a permanent role; contracting at that time meant that I did not have to take a drop in salary.

3. What do you enjoy most about working in an interim / contract role as opposed to a permanent position?

What I enjoy the most about working as a contractor is the variety in roles. Every company I work with is very different and that means that there is never chance to become bored.

4. Can you provide any impact statistics to show how you have added value at your latest assignment during your time with Ella’s Kitchen?

I have been successful in my role at Ella’s Kitchen, sourcing niche organic baby grade compliant ingredients that were in new product development as we were at risk of stocking out to customers. I sourced the products and got them approved before stock out happened and on some items achieved cost savings.

Based on these achievements, Ella’s Kitchen extended my contract by 6 weeks. During these additional 6 weeks I successfully categorised their dried ingredients, put in place contingency plans, negotiated over £21,000 worth of savings by increasing purchasing power and put together a training manual on how the manufacturers should source products.

5. Are there any negatives about working as an interim / contract candidate in your opinion?

Sometimes I do feel sad when I have to leave a company as a contractor because I tend to build up good relationships with colleagues in the same way that permanent staff do.

It can also be a shame if unfortunately, I don’t get to see a project to the end because the contract I am working comes to an end before completion.

6. Do you think there is growing market for interim management roles?

I do think there is a growing market for interim management roles because companies like to ‘try before they buy’. Contractors are thought to be a less of a financial commitment and using contractors can benefit a company hugely.

7. Will you continue to pursue interim or contract roles in the future?

Yes, I will.

Find out more interim and contract roles here or speak to one of our experts on 0161 825 0825.

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