Written by: Eduardo Rastelli
As far as I can tell, contractors like contracting in roles they feel comfortable in, know they can be effective in and add immediate or short-term value. It is the nature of why the role is being offered on a temporary (contract) basis, the hiring team would like to see the reigns picked up quickly and the role delivered on without much need for the level of oversight, management, guidance, learning and time often afforded to many permanent employees. This means for a contractor it is very important to remain in roles which do not require much learning when you start.
What does this mean? I think it means we, as contractors, need to be a jack of all and the time allowed means only a master of a few. Never none.
The best contractors are the ones who have developed cross role skill sets and the only ‘learning’ which needs doing when a role is started, is that of the subject matter
Take Project Managers. A fairly generic role title and skill set, but a skill set which can be broadly applied. Some would suggest it would not matter if you have a delivered a project in Regulatory Change and then look to turn your hand to I.T. Implementation, the same rules or management mentality should be followed, and therefore allowing the role holder to be successful in delivering whatever needs to be delivered.
Skill sets are refined by learning the subject matter and developing those expertise. You cannot be an expert on MiFID II unless you have understood how it affects the banking sector and this likely requires spending some time immersed in understanding the requirements and witnessing how a firm is dealing with it. The ‘understanding the requirements’ piece is the specialist knowledge which refines a contractors profile, the ’witnessing how a firm is dealing with it’ are the widely applicable skills which help provide a much broader ability to change and implement (two words all firms like to hear). An ability to understand what needs to be done, then the ability to actually do it.
The New Year, new you adage is common at these times, but why would you not want to plan for a quiet time in your sector by expanding skills making you as a contractor more of interest outside of your ‘normal’ role type.
There are loads of sites which offer courses and sites which offer independent reviews of those you may be interested in to help pick which would be the most suitable and beneficial for your circumstance. We have listed a few suggestions in our last blog “New Year Resolutions for Contractors”.
So why not do one and add another tick to a box? As a course it can be written off as a business expense and with lots of firms offering similar courses, the opportunity to take one and qualify at a reduced cost has risen.
Personally I’m going down the Six Sigma route and will look forward to the journey that brings. Let us know how you all get on and we at iContract look forward to seeing a continually developing group of professional contractors grow.