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Thread: doing contract work

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I wondered if I was just uniquely confused about length of the contract etc.. Even though I was told 6 months in the interview but promised nothing of course.

    I am not part of a team per se but there is another contractor there in our group who started about when I did (but is with a different contracting firm), I asked him the length of his contract, he didn't know exactly either, several months is all he knew.

    Then in a meeting I found out, although I had heard bits of it before, they are still pushing for funding to keep us on for 2019, this seems decently likely to happen, and the boss most definitely wants it to (but the ultimate say is at a higher level), so yea no wonder stuff is so indeterminate!!! I can try to find out assuming they got the 2019 funding, how long they plan to keep me on in 2019.
    Your agency can also help in these situations. As Steve has said, you can contact them near the end of your assignment. If you don't know what that is supposed to be, someone at the agency probably does. I would contact my rep at the temp agency and ask them to start looking for a new job for me. The rep would contact HR at the company I was working at, HR would contact my supervisor, and the rep would learn if they wanted to extend my position or end it.

    I found that frequently direct supervisors did not want to tell people they were being let go (it's not the easiest conversation to have, even with a temp), but had no problem telling HR the truth. It's a round-about way of getting the info, but it is info that you really need in order to plan your life.

  2. #32
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    I don't know why there is any expectation these contracting agencies "look for a job for you". I don't think that's how it works. Never hurts to try, sure that's always true, but that is different than thinking they look for jobs for anyone. Now is it possible they could place you in another job? Sure it's *possible*. And since you at least got in somewhere might there be more willingness perhaps than with a total stranger? Sure. But frankly there was willingness with total strangers too, with them there seemed to be willingness to spam anyone whose resumes they had for jobs (I am decently suited for this, so perhaps it was just luck or perhaps they did a little more diligence than some do who throw everything but the kitchen sink at you).

    But I can't even imagine them "looking for a job for me". I've never actually met whoever works at the contracting agency (just the tag team I talked to over the phone), they don't keep in touch with me, I doubt they are local, I sometimes doubt they are even in the country, but maybe that shouldn't matter and there's actually no way to know anyway. I can push them to look for me as part of being more aggressive in pushing stuff to happen, but it doesn't mean I have any real influence there, it is kinda just saying "remember me, keep an eye out for me, thanks". Now I understand looking for a job for myself of course, I did that for 10+ months already.
    Last edited by ApatheticNoMore; 10-25-18 at 12:42pm.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #33
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I don't know why there is any expectation these contracting agencies "look for a job for you". I don't think that's how it works.
    It's pretty simple: They get paid when you work. They do not get paid when you don't.

    I contracted for ten years at four different companies and worked with all kinds of contractors from other companies and this is all I saw.

    As I wrote earlier, it is in your contract company's best interest to find you another placement when this one is finished. The contracting company has spent money to hire you, do background checks or Mantoux tests (or whatever may have been necessary or maybe none of them were necessary), get you paid, send the right forms to the gubmint and the company at which you work, etc. They will stand paying you for "bench time", if your contract is set up for that and you do not have another assignment at the end of this one. If they don't find another assignment for you, they'll likely have to advertise for someone else who will need the testing and payroll setup and all; at least you are now a known quantity for whom they can vouch (at least a little).

    To get paid back for these expenses and to make a profit, they are taking a cut of the rate they charge your hiring manager for you. Or (much less likely) they charged a finder's fee to that company. This is how they make their money. If they want to keep the gravy train running, they'll help you find another assignment. n.b., they're making an introduction and stating your (hopefully positive) history with them; you still have to convince the hiring manager that you can do the job. But that's no different than any other interview.

    Think of it like working with a real estate agent to buy a house: the agent incurs expenses while you look but does not get paid back for any of them until you close the sale on the house you bought. House doesn't close? They don't get paid. It is in their interest to find a house you like enough to buy.

    Certainly there are edge cases around this: the company at which you are placed may be ending its association with the contracting company (for various reasons; at my last "permanent" job they streamlined dozens of contracting companies down to the half-dozen they used most); the contracting company may be getting out of that line of business (though it's still worth it to them to get you hired on elsewhere); etc. But your contracting company is invisible only if you let them be. They are making money from your labor. It is not unreasonable to push them to represent you so they can make even more.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #34
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    Have to agree with Steve. Once you have proven yourself with an agency, they do tend to at least try to find you more work. Some of that depends on how well the company you work for likes your work. Sometimes it even depends on little things like showing up on time every day, getting along well with others, etc.

    My agency placed me mostly in jobs that matched my skill set, but if there were no other jobs, they'd offer me "make-work" jobs to fill in the gaps. I think I did a two week stint as a receptionist once, because I needed the money. Then a better job opened up for me and the agency switched me to that. I didn't have to take the receptionist job; I chose to because I didn't want the hassle of filing for unemployment. Once I talked the agency into letting me work on a project they thought I wouldn't like--that project ended up keeping me working for several months and I was tasked with training new hires on the project and got a raise for doing so!

    The more money you earn for the agency, the more likely they are to try and keep you employed.

  5. #35
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    I will pursue stuff with the contracting agency further (that is placing me in another gig when this one ends). I will look for full time work but barely have the space to breath to do that (but hey would if unemployed hmpf ugh!). It's not like I never interviewed for any, it just didn't happen.

    On moving across the country for work. My contractor coworker was thinking of going to northern CA not even for a job, for a job well not everyone can or wants to move but, but for a contract I believe, another short term gig. I think this is happening now to a degree, people up and moving all over the place chasing short term gigs, one after another, and I suspect some people have even more desperate reasons for wanting to like fear of losing their stay in this country if they can't work (but I'm not an expert on how that all works). Oh well I may not be believed, but I'm just trying to say what seems to be going on here to a degree.

    How to survive? I'm not sure.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I will pursue stuff with the contracting agency further (that is placing me in another gig when this one ends). I will look for full time work but barely have the space to breath to do that (but hey would if unemployed hmpf ugh!). It's not like I never interviewed for any, it just didn't happen.

    On moving across the country for work. My contractor coworker was thinking of going to northern CA not even for a job, for a job well not everyone can or wants to move but, but for a contract I believe, another short term gig. I think this is happening now to a degree, people up and moving all over the place chasing short term gigs, one after another, and I suspect some people have even more desperate reasons for wanting to like fear of losing their stay in this country if they can't work (but I'm not an expert on how that all works). Oh well I may not be believed, but I'm just trying to say what seems to be going on here to a degree.

    How to survive? I'm not sure.
    I don't know if this is economically feasible with these jobs, but could you go up there and rent a place, like traveling nurses do, or just a room for the duration?

  7. #37
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    could you go up there and rent a place, like traveling nurses do
    The "traveling nurse" model was the one that came to my mind, too. I know of a couple and they are around the country for anywhere between six weeks and several months. It suits them. It's not for everyone.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #38
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    I met a couple of nurses who had a great place to live in NC. They commuted to Atlanta and worked weekends only for a very nice chunk of money. They stayed in Atlanta and even might have slept at the hospital during the weekend.

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