The changing nature of employment is indicative of the changing nature of business. Employees and organizations alike are navigating new approaches to work, the latter to pave their own career paths and the former to adjust and adapt to the demands of the market. A particularly salient example of this is the proliferation of contract work, popular not only in private industry, but increasingly in the public sector.
With such an increase in the amount available, the focus has shifted on how to find contract work – at least, much more now than in the past. Whether you classify yourself as a contract worker, and independent contractor, consultant or other designation, the following tips will help you secure the lucrative contracts you seek.
Contract workers need to think of themselves as a business in their own right. As a contract worker, you are effectively offering a service to a customer (work for a given employer). The service you offer needs to be properly marketed, and this involves getting your message across to the right audience. What is your personal brand? What is it that you are offering? Who can benefit from what you are offering, and how can you reach them? It’s not all that different from a traditional job application in the sense that you are marketing yourself to a potential employer. What is different is contract workers cannot passively apply for jobs; they must proactively seek exposure.
Be in a constant state of learning
When organizations seek contract workers, independent contractors and consultants, they are often searching for candidates who are at the leading edge of their trade. In order to position yourself as a viable choice, you need to be up-to-date on the latest knowledge and techniques relevant to your industry. There are a number of ways to do this: complete certifications, be active on social networks, maintain a strong presence on industry platforms, and so on. Keep in mind that employers are looking for a very specific set of skills. In order to secure the work you want, you need to tick off the boxes on their checklist. Keeping an eye on the job market and what key criteria employers are asking for in postings is a good way to stay informed.
The importance of networking is common knowledge. Chances are, you have already built up a repertoire of industry contacts, and maybe even have an in with decision makers in some organizations. Maintain an open channel of communication with these people, even if they aren’t in need of your services quite yet. This will keep you top of mind when opportunities arise, and could even result in them recommending you to people in their networks.
Use contract employment placement services
Employment services specializing in contract and temporary-term work have a wealth of opportunities perfect for people just like you. They have established relationships with employers who are seeking candidates to fill contract roles, and are in the business of facilitating the contract employment process. And best of all, these services can be used without any cost to you.