We’re all familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote, ‘all men are created equal’. But how much do we really believe in that? Surely a statement so profound is a little outdated for today’s society, in more ways than one. For a start, we’re sure feminists would have something to say about it; what about women?
Aside from gender equality, social equality is also so hard to achieve in this day and age, with the environment that we’re being born into so often predetermining our wealth and success for the future. The place where you’re born, the family and support that you’re surrounded by, the education that you’re given; all of these and more help mould and shape the person you’ll become as an adult and the kind of career path you’ll take.
Here at Contractors Anonymous, we have to disagree that we’re all equal, as we believe it takes a special kind of someone to have the skills and adaptability to make it as a successful contractor. What do you think are the most valuable traits of a contractor? Read on to find out what we think are some of the key characteristics you’ll need to make it in the world of contracting.
There’s no doubt that, to be a good contractor, you need to be resilient. In this kind of role, it’s all about bouncing back. Depending on your contract, you might quite often find yourself heading into difficult situations within an organisation. So, you need to be able to take things on the chin, solve problems and come back fighting.
Of course, this is probably one of the reasons why you wanted to become a contractor in the first place, right? To some people flexibility comes easily, but to others, it may be a bit of a struggle. As a contractor, you’ve got to be willing to accept change and adapt quickly. You’ve got to be flexible, whether that means within your new team, changing contracts after a few months or commuting to a new location.
Even if you’ve got a few first-day nerves on the inside (which is perfectly normal), you’ve got to try your best to always have a confident exterior. You’ve been drafted in for a reason, so you’ve got to give your sponsor faith as to why you’re the right person for the job; confident in your decision-making. It can be daunting starting in a role where some people may take a prejudiced dislike to a contractor, so confidence will get you through these times.
A strong work ethic
There are certain types of employee in the world who just turn up to their job to get paid. If they could get away with it, they’d not do much else either. That’s never the case with a contractor. You thrive off working hard and knowing that you’ve earnt every penny that you’ve been paid. You want to achieve the best results possible in any organisation you work with, so will do whatever it takes to get there.
As a self-employed contractor, you’ll not only be good at what you do (be it project management, IT consultancy or anything else), but you’ll also be a great entrepreneur too. As your own boss, it’s your sole responsibility to run your business as well as carry out your day job and everything else in between. You’re in charge of your accounts, your expenses, your marketing, your taxes, any form-filling that needs doing; everything.
With all the above in mind, it’s absolutely vital that you’re passionate about being a contractor and passionate about the projects that you work on. That’s the only way that you’ll truly succeed. If you’re struggling with any of the other areas, a bit of passion, grit and determination will see you through and have you back on track to achieving the rest. Contracting is an exciting and fulfilling world, made for those with a desire to succeed.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Maybe there’s something else you’d like to add to the list? Make sure to let us know and, don’t forget, the Contractors Anonymous community is here to offer help in any of these areas where you feel you might need a little more support.