Re: when is it ok to leave a contract job?

Subject: Re: when is it ok to leave a contract job?
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2012 12:35:35 -0700

On 11/1/2012 10:11 AM, Becca wrote:

I started the job on October 8. So far I've been lucky to spend 20 hours
at work, and that mostly checking my email and reading blogs, because
they're not ready for me yet. They *may* have more for me next week, or maybe the week after that. But again, I was told pretty definitively in the last
meeting I was in that all I'll be doing is ensuring that the formatting
is correct, even when the work does start coming in. (we have a hard
deadline by March, so I anticipate February will be very busy)


Is it kosher to start looking for a new contract, this early in a project?

It is always acceptable to look for your next contract. As a contractor, it is generally expected that you will line up future work. Whether you can leave a contract when you want to largely depends on the state laws where you are physically working and the wording in the contract.

For example, California is an "at will" state which means employees can leave at any time without notice and employers do not need to give notice to terminate but must provide the final pay immediately. A contract drafted by a company in another state cannot circumvent California state laws.

Some states permit employment contracts that provide for liquidated damages in the event the employee leaves the contract early.

and if so, should I even mention this current project on my resume?

You can mention it to avoid gaps.

i should add that the company I'm contracting for has spent a lot of time in my first 2 weeks training me - marketing, and a clinical discussion
(this is a medical devices company) and regulations (that have no effect on my work, but do on our general field)... I hate to leave so soon
after they've invested so much in me, but... lordy, I'm bored.

Being bored is not a good reason to leave a job. Especially when you post this sentiment to the internet, like you have. You can discuss the matter of your work with your client or your employer, if you are working for a third party. It sounds like the work you are doing is not within the scope of the contract you signed or work order you accepted, whichever is the case. Either the scope of work needs to be changed or the work you are doing needs to change.

Quite often, companies have the funding to secure new employees before work is ready. Sometimes, an employee the company is authorized to hire is not necessarily what the company needs, but the company must work within procurement requirements.

Generally, it is best stay with a contract if you did not reject the work as soon as you learned you the work you would do was not within the scope of work you were given, unless the contract is too intolerable for you to finish. You are building a reputation for yourself and you want to maintain a good reputation.

Also, I agree with what Craig and Dan said.




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when is it ok to leave a contract job?: From: Becca

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