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Don't Overlook the "Super-Contractor"

Career Exploration

Considering a job as a contract employee can conjure up images of unemployment when that contract ends. This fact alone keeps many people from pursuing contract work. After all, who wouldn't appreciate the stability of a traditional full-time job with no set end date?

There is, however, a type of contract work that offers much more stability. In fact, rather than hire you into a contract position, there are companies that offer full-time positions as a member of their staff, and those companies then "farm out" their talent pools to other companies or governments. Effectively, you aren't really a contractor, but your employer is. We'll call these companies, for lack of a better term, "super-contractors". You've heard many of their names, such as Boeing, Lockheed, HP, etc.

What you may not recognize are names like AECOM, Fluor, CH2M Hill and Bechtel. These are "design, build and operate" companies that enter into contracts with companies, organizations and governments to create and operate facilities, highways, skyscrapers, pipelines, sports arenas and pretty much anything else you can think of. They employ an enormous amount of talent in many disciplines, not just construction. They offer careers in finance, security, purchasing, business strategy, engineering and many more fields.

The stability in these companies comes from the fact that the same talent is used and reused across many different projects. Every job requires purchasing, finance, project management, etc. Rather than constantly hiring and firing, these super-contractors save money by having permanent employees on staff to move from project to project.

Of course, not all jobs are equal, even at a super-contractor. These companies may supplement their regular staff with contract employees during times of fluctuating demand. They may also downsize their regular work force when economic conditions require it. On the whole, however, working for a super-contractor can be a financially stable and exciting career.

As a bonus, many super-contractor companies are very familiar with military veterans, and often appreciate military experience when hiring. They also often have opportunities, once you're on board, to volunteer for particular projects, move around within the company, and stretch your talents into other areas. So, if you're looking for a career full of possibilities, you owe it to yourself to check out the super-contractor companies I've mentioned above, and others like them.

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