Employers hire contractors to add value and to apply their skills and experience to a project or company. Value means different things to every organization, so it is important to make sure you fully understand what the firm wants to achieve in the project or specific role they have hired you for.
This should start when you first speak to your recruitment consultant, who should provide a solid basis for your interview preparation. You can then ascertain the best ways to make yourself an indispensable member of the team.
Adding value is not only about applying your expertise but also about your productivity and the commercial outcomes you can deliver for the business. Simply completing the responsibilities outlined in your job description is enough to get you paid on a weekly basis, but may not make you a respected team member.
Here are some examples of ways you can add value, demonstrate your ROI and increase your chances of getting your contract extended or even your pay rate increased.
1) Be measurable to the bottom line
Always identify ways you can save the company money. Is there something you can do to generate revenue? Perhaps there is a process that can be streamlined?
2) Be visible
Make your presence known. Visit your colleagues or direct managers instead of emailing them, volunteer for extra project activities outside your job description, represent your team at meetings, or attend meetings so you can be more involved and meet a wider range of teams.
3) Build relationships
It important you get to know your team. You don’t need to become friends or socialize outside of work, but make an effort to be involved and be friendly at work. Enhance your skills: If there is additional training on offer you should take it. It shows that you are willing to learn and take a keen interest in the company, and may even provide opportunities for networking.
4) Be proactive
If you have a quiet day, ask your manager for something to do. Being proactive can go a long way and will also help with your visibility.
5) Be professional
Take your job seriously: be punctual, respectful of colleagues and company property, wear appropriate business attire and be diligent in your work. This also includes avoiding unnecessary internet use, such as Facebook during work hours.
6) Avoid politics
Try not to get involved in office politics. It can be difficult to do, but you will be more highly regarded if you avoid gossip.
7) Ask for feedback
One of the best ways to learn is by seeking feedback. This will demonstrate that you want to improve your skills and that you value your supervisor’s experience.
8) Be aware
Make sure your boss knows about any improvements you have made, but be modest and find a way to communicate the message in a self-effacing manner.
9) Take responsibility
It is your responsibility to fill out your time-sheets, expense forms and any other paperwork. They are basic requirements, but making sure these tasks are done in a timely fashion illustrates you are responsible, reliable and organized.
10) Respect your resume
Finally, deliver what you promised in your CV and in the interview. If you don’t apply your skills and experience to the best of your ability, then any additional value you deliver will be of little consequence.
By performing to the best of your ability, doing what you set out to do and going above and beyond your job description, you will be able to prove your value to the business, be in a strong position to have your contract extended, or at the least come highly recommended for future contracts.
Sinead Hourigan, director, Robert Walters Brisbane