There are basically three things you bring to a team and project when you start a new contract: skills, experience and attitude. By improving each of them, you can secure great references from clients and impress during interviews which will significantly increase your chances of scoring your next contract.
You can’t do much about your experience, but you can do a couple of things to enhance it…
add to your experience through charitable/volunteer work;
put your experience in its best light highlighting how it can benefit an employer.
In order to get a job you need to stand out from the other candidates. Remember it doesn’t matter how many people are looking for a job, you only need one! You can differentiate based on skills and most definitely on attitude!
What can you do to add to your skills?
(i) Take some courses;
(ii) Get an unpaid job (intern) that gives you new skills;
(iii) Do some self-learning online.
If your skills are too generic, can you consider going back to school and starting a new career?
This is THE number one way to differentiate from everyone else but to truly take advantage of it you need to really buy in to your new attitude. It is not enough to say the words, you need to live and breathe it.
Recognise that your job is an important part of your world so be truly grateful that you have it no matter what the job is!
Do everything you can to be a great contractor. Even if it’s not your ideal contract, do it better than anyone else would and with a smile on your face. You can find a better contract after this one’s over.
Refrain from telling a client “that’s not my job.” Add value by helping out on other projects and mentoring other contractors or employees when possible.
Dress for success take pride in yourself. Take your cues from those around you but always try to dress at the upper range of your peers. If you’re in a casual environment where jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable, always wear presentable and clean jeans, a collared t-shirt, and nothing inappropriate.
Go the extra mile. Putting in a little extra time when it’s needed can make a huge impression.
Adopt a positive attitude. You have a job, your health, live in a great country etc. Don’t get dragged down by negativity.
The world is full of people that expect the world to cater to them they expected their parents to give them “stuff”, they expect their government to provide them with “stuff”, they expect their client to pay them while they give as little as possible back! You can beat them to the jobs every time, IF you can demonstrate a positive ATTITUDE.
How do you differentiate yourself to clients and recruiters? Do you do anything extra that you believe has led to success? Share your tips and help other contractors across Canada find opportunities too!