What is the effect of being employed full-time for longer period of time on finding job as contractor afterwards?

As far as I know, when companies are looking for contractors, many short- and medium-time projects are an advantage, especially when someone was a contractor then. But if someone has a few years experience as contractor, and then works as employee for, say, 5 years, would it be evaluated negatively? In Poland I've met with negative attitude for people working as employees in contractor industry (they were considered claiming, too security-oriented and inflexible).

Should I expect the situation, than when another candidate with similar experience will be taken into account, but he will have only contractor positions in his CV, he would be preferred?

I'm especially interested in Western-European realities.


I think you should step back a bit from the question. In my experience the good clients usually are hiring based on your presence. The CV is a guide to that presence. Employee positions are not really necessarily either relevant or irrelevant to that presence. So it depends.

If you are just starting out, chances are your CV will have mostly employee positions. That isn't itself a problem, but how you frame them might be. Ideally you want to look at the experience as if it was consulting. What did you do there that is relevant to your freelancing or consulting direction?

I think the fundamental question you have to ask yourself is "how do I want to position myself?" Then add relevant employment and contract positions there. Pay attention to how you present it though.


From first-hand experience, who has juggled permanent and contract positions serially and in parallel, this is not generally a problem... clients are assessing you on whether you can do the job.

It may be, of course, that this is an easy excuse to give, if you're approach was unsuccessful!

If it was a problem, first-timers would struggle (more than they do) to get their first gigs!

On the other hand, I've met several long-time contractors who, having decided to return to permanent employment, have found potential employers to take a fair bit of convincing that you are not only after a bit of short term stability, or training, before returning to contracting.

But that was not the question you were asking...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.