Five Reasons to Build Your Career With Contract Work in Supply Chain & Procurement

July 2, 2015

building blocks career

It’s time to rethink your assumptions about whether supply chain contract work be a meaningful career move. Here are five good reasons why this professional track could be right for you:

1. When you’ve already held several permanent, full-time supply chain positions throughout your career, amassed considerable experience in your field, and are ready for a change. Once you have achieved a high level of subject matter expertise, along with establishing a large and active professional network, the transition to consulting and providing those services for clients makes a lot of sense.

2. The tax benefits of operating as a sole proprietor or an incorporated contractor are financially desirable. It’s difficult to beat the benefits that come from entrepreneurship on this front, and the financial freedom paired with the lifestyle flexibility earn top marks from many self-employed contract supply chain and procurement people. You can write off many business-related expenses, including travel, a home office, taking professional development courses, and more.

3. Working for yourself means you’re the boss. It’s a different mentality, and can provide a rewarding career challenge too. The client/consultant relationship is a different dynamic than the employer/employee one and that’s often the refreshing shift that many supply chain and procurement professionals are looking for. It balances career advancement with a diversity of project-based roles and increased responsibilities and new experiences.

4. It’s a desirable selling point for many organizations. Hiring a contractor doesn’t hit a company’s bottom line the same way as a full-time employee, and particularly with a pre-determined contract duration, it also helps organizations capitalize on the knowledge and experience of a highly-skilled and innovative workforce. Being able to leverage the expertise of a specialty consultant on a project basis allows employers to gauge cultural fit and experiment with a fresh perspective on their strategic processes, future objectives, and better manage the ongoing talent deficit in supply chain.

5. Contracts allow you to keep your options open. If you decide after 6-12 months on a contract that you really would like to return to working in-house as staff for the company, you’ve got a great case to make based on your accomplishments and contributions as a contingent worker, and a leg up against competitors by already knowing the business pain points. Or, if you know you’re ready to move on to a new project or experiment with a different category of supply chain management and strategic sourcing, there’s a natural and tactful end point to concluding your professional relationship with a client. You can grow your business as an entrepreneur, you can use consulting as a stepping stone, you can test the waters of a new sector – it’s all up to you. And isn’t it nice to be in the driver’s seat?

What’s your contract work success story? Are you a consultant in supply chain who loves the variety, the pay, or the lifestyle? Share your feedback with us in the comments!


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