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How Important is Your Reputation to You?

If you are a professional of any type then your reputation is one of the assets that you should cherish. It is what defines you over and above your technical skills (whatever they might be ... technology, accounting, sales or any other type of skill).

I have written several blog entries that focus on the expectations of a Professional IT Contractor. Eagle even responded to a changing landscape by introducing a certification for contractors who have demonstrated such professionalism. I blogged about the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) commitment to professionalism in IT. Back in February of 2006 I blogged about ethics in a hot market as they applied to both IT staffing companies and individual IT contractors. Most recently I wrote a blog about whether it is enough to be "good at what you do", or is more required.

What is my point? Recently, as markets have heated up, we have seen an increase in unacceptable practices from some contractors, so here are a couple of points ...

1. The vast majority of IT contractors demonstrate their professionalism consistently.
2. A very small number of IT contractors give our whole industry a black eye!

Here are some VERY basic thoughts that those in the minority might want to consider.

1. DO NOT make a commitment unless you have every intention of keeping it.
2. If you commit to a job then take it ... do not consider other offers, you are off the market!
3. If you commit to an interview then go to it ... should I even have to say that?
4. If you sign a contract consider it binding ... because legally it is!
5. Once the negotiations are done and the commitment is made, then you need to demonstrate your technical prowess and set the stage for your next gig ... focus entirely on doing a great job.

Ours is a great industry with a ton of promise, there is lots of room for the professional IT contractor to have a great career ... protect your reputation!