Author Topic: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job  (Read 1063 times)

meerkat

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Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« on: November 11, 2019, 05:17:23 PM »
Putting this out into the interwebs to see if anyone else might have some perspective. I'm currently in a job that usually has the title of Contract Specialist or Contract Administrator. I read contracts, make amendments or changes as needed, negotiate with counterparties, work with legal (although I am not a lawyer), and read RFPs/RFQs to see if it's something we can agree to. I regularly work with different departments and executives.

I'm also not that far from hitting a pay ceiling. They won't keep paying me more every year after a certain point and I'm ready for a change of pace. Switching companies isn't really helpful, the same position elsewhere pays the same and will have a similar ceiling. There's no clear career progression after this unless maybe I become a manager of several different teams that deal with contracts and I'm not at all wild about the idea of becoming a manager (the weeks my boss works 50 hours she makes about what I do per hour and she has way more stress). There should be something I can transfer my skills to but I'm not sure what.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

BECABECA

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Re: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 05:36:06 PM »
Since nobody knowledgeable has come along with any suggestions yet, Iím gonna spitball. It seems like your skills could be transferable to a universityís Proposal Development office and their Technology Transfer / Commercialization office. Do you live near any universities?

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 08:58:03 PM »
That sounds like it would have a lot of overlap with positions in a procurement department (e.g. procurement analyst, specialist, or manager). Not sure how the compensation compares though.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 04:39:31 AM »
Could you sell yourself as a consultant in this type of work for a higher hourly rate? You could build this up slowly, first as a side-gig beside your current job.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 04:41:32 AM by Linea_Norway »

tyler2you

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Re: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 08:02:52 AM »
Have you thought about going to work for the Federal Government?  We're always hiring contract specialists in the GS-7 to GS-12 range.  There is also career progression to Procuring Contracting Officer positions that are typically in the GS-12 to GS-15 range. 

FatFI2025

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Re: Career advice? Transferring contract review skills to new job
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 08:49:48 PM »
You're totally right, it's a dead-end job similar to a paralegal. Both tend to be nestled underneath general counsel and it's not a highly valued corporate function with an upward career path. So if you want to move upward, you'll need to lateral first.

One idea is to work on large proposals and to bridge over to business development. It will take awhile, but if you're high impact on the proposal team then the BD people will want you. Then you can become bonus-based and there's definitely an upward path on the sales side.

The other idea is along the lines of what @tyler2you mentioned. Complex regs and litigation in the gov space means contracts experts are more highly valued and there's a security clearance bump. You could try the GS route or government contractor route -- probably just try both.

Lastly I'm sure you do a lot of things that aren't strictly contracts administration. Maybe strategy? Some finance? If you peruse job listings, you might start to see opportunities where you're a stretch fit. You can either apply for those or see how you can do more of that function in your current role to qualify.

With this record hot job market though, I'd make a plan where you're moving roles sooner rather than later. Hiring managers are willing to look at stretch candidates. YMMV

PM me if you want to talk specifics. Good luck!!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 08:51:22 PM by FatFI2025 »