Getting That Contract Extension
Starting on the first day of an engagement, every consultant should make a goal to be offered a contract extension. There are many factors that influence whether a contract extension will be offered. Consulting is all about relationships and skills so remember that one can’t exist without the other. In my experience, the most successful consultants are the ones who are excellent communicators, self-motivated, technically competent and willing to take direction. The project budget determines whether there are available funds to continue consultant contracts. While these financial decisions are made based on funding, they can be strongly influenced by a consultant’s performance on the project.
Clients invest time in bringing a consultant into an organization. Larger organizations can be quite complex and may take several months for new consultants to understand the projects, players and technical environment. It’s in the client’s best interest to extend consultants that they feel have transitioned well into their environment, fill a needed skillset and fit well with their team. It is the ultimate compliment to be asked to extend.
Below is a checklist of recommendations that will best position you for an extension:
- Build relationships and good rapport with your manager, team members and end-users
- Participate in meetings and volunteer for assignments
- Be willing to do whatever the client needs – flexibility is always appreciated
- Meet your deadlines and communicate in advance to your manager if deliverables will be late
- Practice good communication and organizational habits
- Document what you do
- Take the time to mentor other team members
- Do self-study to keep your skills sharp
- Be a team member not just a consultant
- Do an outstanding job
The DCS Sales and Recruiting team begins working on client contract extensions sixty days prior to the contract end date. Your Recruiter will contact you to discuss the contract end date and if there is an opportunity for extension. Our goals are to keep you engaged and happy.
By: Amy Noel, Executive Vice President, Sales and Recruiting at DCS