Even before I opened my private practice, I applied for therapy contract jobs in preparation for opening day. I interviewed with several different agencies.

However, all but one were a flop.


Because the terms of the contracts did not align with my personal and professional vision.

My main reason for starting a private practice was to grow my own business and to have autonomy of my own workday and schedule. I knew before starting the contract interview process that I’d only accept contract work that aligned with these two things.

During the interview process

Some requested that I work with clients outside of my preferred niche.

Others mandated that I maintain a minimum caseload.

While a few required that I sign a non-compete clause.

They all have benefits but they didn’t pass my personal and professional values and vision test.

However, the 7th contract opportunity passed with flying colours and completely aligned with my personal and professional values and vision!

Now let me flip the script here.

Do you accept contract opportunities that pass your values and vision test?

If your answer is, “Ah, I don’t know,” trust me, you’re not alone.

When you have a greater understanding of what your personal and professional values are, you have a clearer understanding for which contract terms fit within or outside of your private practice vision.

For example:

If you’re seeking experience in various practice areas and you want to work with a wide array of client referrals, an open-ended contract referrals process may align.

Maybe you want to obtain a consistent caseload, a minimum caseload requirement may be a fit.

Possibly you want to join an existing agency or practice that conducts administrative, billing, and marketing on your behalf while providing you with consistent referrals, a non-compete clause may not be a dealbreaker.

It’s important to understand what’s important for YOU because knowing which direction you want to move towards helps you align yourself with contract opportunities that are mutually beneficial for both you and the contracting agency.

If you’re considering contract opportunities and you want to ensure that you’re vetting and accepting contract work that aligns with your personal and professional values and vision follow my 7 steps.

7 Steps to Accepting a Contract Offer

On a sheet of paper write your answers to questions 1 through 4:

(1) First, identify and list all of your personal and professional values.

(2) Then determine what is/are your main reason(s) for starting a private practice.

(3) Ask yourself, what do you want to see your yourself and your practice in the future? This may be a one year or two year vision.

(4) Next, prioritize your list and categorize it columns of “negotiable” and “non-negotiable”. For me, autonomy was a non-negotiable.

(5) Apply & interview for contract jobs.

(6) If you receive a contract offer, try to re-negotiable any terms that do not align with your values and vision.

(7) And finally, accept contract offers that align with your values and vision.

Tah-dah! You’ve accepted a contract that aligns with your values and vision.

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