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6 Steps to Take When a Contract Ends

Often in the freelancing world, contracts end. If you work for a client that gives you a definitive end date, count yourself lucky. Many times, the communication just slows to a crawl and you stop checking your email. Here are some steps to take when your contract ends: Tip #1 - Settle any outstanding payments Invoice your client if you need to. Make sure you’ve received your final payment or you know when it’s coming if it’s net 30 or net 60.

Tip #2 - Update your application materials Update your resume with your employment dates, job duties, and most importantly, accomplishments and results. Update your website, your LinkedIn profile, and any profiles.

Tip #3 - Network

Hopefully, you’ve done this throughout your contract, but if you got busy, you now have a lot more time to network. You may need to network to find your next opportunity. Speaking of next opportunities…

Tip #4 - Find a new contract

Contact recruiters and send them an updated resume. Apply for new contracts. Reach out to past clients and ask if they have any projects for you. Update your profile on any job search sites like Upwork or Fiverr if you use them. Hopefully, you’ve been doing this throughout your contract as well, but if not, here’s your chance. To minimize breaks in your work and in your income, you’ll want some projects, or at least project leads, lined up.

Tip #5 - Get some feedback

Getting feedback is important. Talk or email your client to find out what went well and where you could improve. This is also a good time to ask for a review, testimonial about your work, or a referral.

Tip #6 - Reflect on the project

You know I couldn’t end without talking about reflection. Take some time to journal about what went well and what challenges you had from your perspective. What lessons do you want to take with you to future projects? Are there new or different questions you want to ask during a discovery or kickoff call? Add these to your list. Do you want a contract similar to this one in the future or something different? Answering this question can help you hone in on what your specialty is, how you add value, and who your ideal client is.

The Flexibility of Contract Life Working as a contractor allows you and your clients a lot of flexibility. If you want more tips like this sign up for my email list and get notified anytime and every time I post a new blog entry or resource to help you on your contracting journey.

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