With the end of the year approaching many of the Bayard Associates (me included) have contracts that expire, so as usual there is a flurry of exercise surrounding considerations with regards to what will happen next year, what contracts are available and what are the best options?

When Associates join The Bayard Partnership, I always advise them to put aside some of their income into a savings account and to use it for taking time out at the end of each contract. Typically, Bayard contracts tend to run for at least 6-12 months. However many of the Bayard Associates have worked for their clients (albeit on different projects) for a number of years. However during the period running up to the end of a contract, the Bayard Associates, like nearly all the freelancers I know, start to worry and take their focus off their client’s problems and concentrate too much on their own future.

Following on from my article last week ‘Who is your Guru?’ I believe that it is essential to take some time out, to let your contract run until it finishes and only then start to look around. This gives you a natural break, letting you refresh your batteries and find new energy and insights.

When your bvba is earning more than 120,000Euro per year, you should be able to afford a couple of weeks off, unwinding, reading books and catching up on updating your life plan: ‘where am I going? Am I happy? What do I want?’ kind of questions. This exercise is easier said than done, but the benefits often result in you having a real choice of opportunities and quite often, even obtaining higher day rates than in the previous year, more than compensating for any revenue lost during your time out. Hopping from one pond into another without taking the time to think before you jump is at best opportunistic and at worst, simply foolish.

Luckily here in mainland Europe, in today’s interim market there is more than enough work for everyone, so we need not worry. In two to three weeks, no one will forget us. All we need to do is to focus on what we want, what we are good at, how can we grow and most important of all; how we can best serve our client and society in general?