In my last blog I talked about how my clients can get the best from contract resources. I received many messages from clients about my views and examples of how clients achieved even more value from contractor placements.
For this blog I flip the viewpoint - this blog is my advice to contractors.
Set out below are my top 5 actionable recommendations for contractors seeking to make the best impact on their next assignment.
- Get up to speed. Nothing impresses a client like a contractor with insight and knowledge. Bone up on your subject matter and the requirements of the role, consider key industry topics, issues and challenges and research your new (temporary) firm and its competitors. Arrive armed with fresh perspectives that will set you apart as an expert who has real value to add.
- Get ready. Proper planning prevents poor performance, as the saying goes. Whilst seeking your next role be sure to collate all your company documents, certificates of incorporation, tax information, insurance evidence and referee details. Having these to hand really speeds up the required checks and on boarding processes. Most of my clients - and I - appreciate receiving a professional-looking pack detailing all your relevant information. It showcases you as a serious, credible and professional contractor.
- Get indispensable. It goes without saying that you want to do a great job. But don't stop there. Find ways to add even more value. Once you've nailed the day job - and I mean really nailed it, so the client recognises you're delivering the core - create capacity to help out others; coach or train, provide another pair of hands, highlight opportunities for improvements where you see them. Surprise the client by doing much more than they expected.
- Get connected. Even though you're on a short-term contract, relationships matter. Within your sphere of influence, work relationships hard. Get to know people. Listen. You will find that it both helps deliver your responsibilities and helps the client recognise your impact. The network you build will be important in the future, I guarantee.
- Get feedback. As well as seeking and using feedback during your role, seek more formal feedback from key stakeholders before you leave. Ensure you speak to every key stakeholder and document their views. Your commitment to listen and improve (and of course your sterling delivery) will confirm you as a great contractor. It is also very helpful for your next role.
The market continues to demand contract resource and competition is high. Stand out from the crowd. You and your clients will see the benefit.