Without boring you all with details, my last two contract assignments were cut short; I was given 3 days notice on one, and 4 weeks notice on the other. Neither of these were due to performance – they both basically came down budget issues.
On my second contract, I got the feeling that I may not have been a great place to stay for the duration of my contract. Because of money/time spent getting me in the door, and the possible negative effect of my employer/recruiter, I decided to stay at least for a few months (and start looking several weeks before the end of my supposedly “extendable” contract).
These experiences have left me a little wary of contract work. It seems that if I land a bad contract, that my recruiter would take a hit (reputation or otherwise) if I quickly found another job. But on the other hand, the client company won’t think twice of ending the contract early for any reason.
I know that the counter argument to this is “maybe your recruiter shouldn’t have put you into a crappy assignment”… either way, it seems that since I am relying on him to provide me with work, that I should try to not damage his reputation with client companies. I’m basically brand new to contracting (these were my first two contracts) so these concerns are new to me.
TLDR: Is contract work, by its very nature, largely unstable? Am I worried too much about my recruiter? Should I be quicker to start looking for a new job even after just weeks at a new company (when the environment seems unstable)? If so, do I look through my recruiter or just find another position by any means necessary?