2015 Tune Up

Another year has almost come to a close. What kind of year was it for you as a professional contractor?

Like all of us, it’s easy to accept the status quo. In many ways, it’s that much more important for a contractor to sharpen the tools on an ongoing basis, chiefly because you interview more than those who choose the salaried path. Your wares are up for assessment by new employers, on average more than once a year, and you have your own career path to manage. So if you were to think of yourself as a car being booked into a mechanic for a tune up, how would you scrub up?

Key things to ponder heading into 2015:

  • How well do you interview? Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that your background and projects will speak for themselves. When you’re at an interview it’s you that’s doing all the talking, not your CV. Who can you talk to in order to get some useful interview feedback? As a starting point, consider watching our YouTube video on how to tailor your preparation for an interview.
  • What type of culture do you fit into. Really an extension of the above but important enough to have it’s own place on the list. Do not underestimate how big a deal, perceived culture fit is at an interview. It’s now one of the most important things of the hiring decision. Simply put it’s two things - how sensitive you are of respecting the existing culture and how you present yourself as being adaptable to this. Do you come across with the right attitude to integrate?
  • Where’s the growth? What can you point to that you’ve done in 2014, which demonstrates your professional growth? Additional responsibility on projects? New certifications/qualifications? New skills or technologies mastered? It’s ok if you didn’t move much in 2014, but don’t accept that in 2015. Plan for growth.
  • Mentoring. You can grow just as much by mentoring someone else as you can being mentored. Nothing solidifies learning as much as teaching someone else. Contractors are often a bit short on support whether for solving problems, conquering technical challenges or sound boarding ideas. Bring those in your network closer and formalise some of your relationships to either offer or receive mentoring support.

The above are the beginnings of some reflection and planning that can make a practical impact on both your success and enjoyment as a contractor and are inspired by comments we’ve heard every day from both employers and contractors.

Feel free to reach out to myself or one of the contract team to chat about how we might be able to help.

Happy holidays.

Nathan