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Contracts & Commercial Management: A Good Place To Be

November 23, 2010

Right now, 85% of those who work in the contract management / commercial management field see current job prospects as ‘fair to excellent’.

In the midst of such uncertain economic conditions, this is perhaps one of the most surprising findings of the latest IACCM ‘talent survey’ . Overall morale amongst this community remains relatively high, with 75% declaring that they either ‘like’ or ‘love’ their job (down around 5% from historic levels). They especially like the challenging work associated with the role and particularly enjoy negotiation.

So is life a bed of roses for anyone choosing this career path? Well, no – there are some drawbacks. For one thing, many see limited career opportunities. Even allowing for the fact that a relatively high proportion are approaching retirement, around 39% feel ‘squeezed’ in terms of possible advancement. This results in almost 1 in 2 questioning whether they will still be pursuing this role 10 years from now. And for many, it means they see their best hope of progress in leaving their current employer – and with the job market apparently quite buoyant, this is not an unrealistic expectation.

Pay levels are not a big issue for most of this community. The biggest negative when it comes to their current employer is the failure to invest in people – almost 50% cite this as a cause of dissatisfaction. Taking second place in the list is ‘company culture’ – a factor that has shown steady increase over the years and may merit separate investigation.

When it comes to things that contracts and commercial staff dislike about their job, ‘administrative responsibilities’ is the clear winner, with the issues over career path and concerns about clear role and responsibilities vying for second place.

The IACCM talent survey remains open for input and all participants will receive a copy of the final results. The study will offer comprehensive insights to employee perceptions of their role, its value, current and future skills and the factors that keep staff in these roles engaged. The final report will reveal differences between buy-side and sell-side practitioners, as well as variations between major geographic regions. To participate in the study, simply visit

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