“Being in the Position, Makes You the Most Qualified” – Quote was created by myself.
It’s a quote that I regularly run into doing contract work. Contract work is typically the practice of serving others for specific tasks, basically for much higher rates and wages. Most cases, these rates are hidden from general employees and your title is meaningless, “Senior Consultant” is my most recent. Most people really do not understand the role of contractors and look at them as outsiders. They typically have one job to perform and serve that job for a limited amount of time. They are the first to get the ax when companies downsize. But in a lot of cases, they provide development of tremendous value. The reason is because they have discovered their skill, marketed it, and have the ability to test it in a number of environments.
That said, a contractor is often not looked at as a position in the hierarchy of an organization. Promotions only exist by attaining a new contract, raises are the same way. In addition, contractors serve multiple roles and positions that go beyond what a normal working employee would get the opportunity to serve. The attainment of projects and contracts, or multiple at the same time, allow tremendous growth and tremendous understanding of organizational structure. The switching from contract to contract opens up new ideas on infrastructures and technologies in a much quicker amount of time.
As a contractor, I have a couple of rules.
- Communication Skills must be Extraordinary – Communication goes so far and lacking in communication hurts credibility. Sitting at the negotiation table is commonplace, so communicating needs and requirements is almost second nature.
- Respect and Mannerism – Managing an environment as a contractor requires the utmost of manners and ability to respect all of those positions around you. Up, down, lateral, and departmental, understanding that the employee who is in the position, for several years, you must acknowledge an employees influence and knowledge of the inter-workings of the particular organization, that is power.
- Deliverable’s must Exceed Earnings – It is my rule that all of my work must pay for itself on a multiple. The higher the multiple, the more leverage I have with rates. If you earn $50k from a company, you must produce something that saves the company $50k and more in either software, efficiency, or actual dollars. That is how you distinguish yourself. While you are at it, why not be so productive that you pay for someone else’s Salary. If you earn $200k, you must produce that + more! You are not a resource, you are a game changer.
At the end of the day, being an employee offers security. You create deep relationships within an organization and hold a position that can be unchallenged. It is the position that you are in, that makes you the most qualified. Where you have been, will get you that position. For those who are willing to take a little bit of risk, I challenge you to explore the contracting world. It is very lucrative. Go fight for your position and make yourself qualified in everything that you can. Master the technology and challenge others. Life is way too short to be dolled out your job title.