So you love your project and you love your client. The money and the hours are good and you can do the commute in your sleep (literally), but you are not sure if your contract will be extended past the original end date.
What can you do about it?
What you may not realize is that you can absolutely influence the outcome of your contract by doing the following:
1.) Become invaluable by learning your client’s business
A contractor is, by nature, viewed as a temporary fix to a specific client problem. That was your ticket in the door, but time is on your side. Use your original contract duration to not only complete your main job, but also look for opportunities to provide more value to the client. Learn the client’s business and become a Subject Matter Expert (SME). This will help you to anticipate your client’s needs and will position yourself as a true client partner. In turn, the client will view you and your role as an investment and an asset to the company, making you someone they would like to keep around.
2.) Get your fingers in multiple projects simultaneously
This is not always possible, but if the daily tasks of your project ever slow down, offer to help your client on another project while you are waiting for things to pick up. I have personally benefited from doing this because project 1 was ultimately canceled and I was already embedded in project 2, so I continued on at the client.
3.) Network outside of your department
Unless your client is very small, there are usually many opportunities outside of your department. Make an effort to get to know other contractors, employees and managers in areas that utilize your skillset. When your contract is coming up to the end date, get the word out that you are available. The other department would rather have a resource that is already proven than taking a chance on a new resource. There is also the side benefit of putting urgency on your current department to renew the contract before they lose you to the other department.