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So you have become a contractor or consultant, but you are not sure what to do next.
Every situation is different, so there isn’t a single solution. What we do know is that 90% of all contractors who we are currently engaged with are incorporated.
There are several reasons for this:
In our experience, professionals who are incorporated get more work and are paid higher. So, if you are serious about being a contractor, becoming incorporated will increase your chances of landing a contract and allow you to make more money. Getting incorporated is now one of the easiest things to do. We do recommend you seek accounting advice to ensure incorporation is the best option for your specific situation before starting the process.
Here are some helpful links to start the process:
Insurance is critical to the survival of any small business.
You might be wondering, “what insurance do I need as an IT contractor and how do I get it?” or “my business has little in the way of track record and no previous business insurance, will that make it more expensive?”
Not to worry, Ignite has you covered. All consultants working under contract with Ignite are extended our coverage for free GLI and PL Insurance.
This insurance policy covers against all liability exposures of a business. This covers any bodily injury or property damage incurred that the insured is deemed liable for. Premises and operations coverage for bodily injury incurred on the premises of the insured, and/or as the result of the insured’s business operations.
An error or omission which causes financial harm to another can occur on almost any transaction in any profession. This type of insurance helps to protect a professional, an individual or a company from bearing the full cost of defence for lawsuits relating to an error or omission in providing covered Professional Services.
An interview is like an exam. Walking in unprepared is like taking a test without studying.
It can be done but you are rolling the dice on whether you will succeed. The more energy you invest in preparing for your interview, the greater the odds are that you will end up with a positive result.
The person you are meeting is not just considering you for this role, but will consider any other possible opening and every other role that may come up in the future. First impressions only happen once. Before you step foot into an interview room, you must know as much about the company and the position as you possibly can. In today’s world of communication, there’s no excuse for lack of research.
After you have studied the company, write out answers to a list of questions a contractor should ask:
Here are some questions you may get:
Too many people second-guess themselves after an interview. By closing strongly and asking the right questions, you can eliminate the post-interview doubts that tend to plague most interviewees.
If you feel the interview is going well and you would like to take the next step, express your interest to the hiring authority and turn the tables a bit. Try something like the following: “After hearing more about your company, the position and the responsibilities at hand, I am certain that I possess the qualities you are looking for in the (title) position. Based on our conversation and my qualifications, are there any issues or concerns you have that would lead you to believe otherwise?” You have a right to be assertive. This is a great closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, this is a great opportunity to overcome them. You have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on positive note.
Make sure you answer the following two questions: “Why are you interested in the company?” and “What can you offer?”
Express thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration. Ask for the interviewer’s business card.
When you leave, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. Also, don’t forget to call your recruiter. Immediate follow-up is critical.
Writing a resume should be a simple job. But for many people, it’s the most challenging action they may ever undertake.
Everyone has their own opinion, yet no one answer is either right or wrong.
Most professionals in our industry use a chronological resume, one which lists projects, employment and education history in order, starting with the most recent experience. There are many reasons for this, but all the consultants we place, use a chronological resume.
Ignite has enclosed a resume template for you to use as a starting point. Over the years, our Account Managers have found this format brings great success in placing exceptional people.
When writing your resume, consider the following points:
While these points alone will not get you hired, it is the best way to highlight your skills in a way a potential employer can easily identify them.
Being a parent is the toughest thing a person could think of doing, but managing has to be the second most difficult thing any professional person could do. Many managers think managing staff is like parenting kids, but using this method can be hazardous. Take two reasons: First, kids will rarely ever quit and leave; second, the relationship with most employees is usually only 3-5 years.
That’s just for starters. There are also some parallels between kids and staff. If treated poorly, they will refuse to do anything at all, and they hate being told exactly what to do. The bottom line is that staff and kids are endlessly complex.
What makes a manager’s job so extraordinarily difficult is that, in order to motivate and keep a staff member productive, the effective manager has to tailor-make every decision and task for that individual staff member in such a way that it perfectly fits that person’s entirely unique emotional, psychological, and intellectual needs.
1. Not Fully Delegating Work
Doing your staff’s work for them equates to you “working in the business” rather than “working on the business”. Managers should always be “working on the business”. There is no question that, in many cases, it is quicker and easier for you to do the work to ensure that in that instance it is completed and correct. The problem is, this teaches your staff dependence and little knowledge is transferred to them that would allow them to do the job correctly long-term. The result is that in 5 years, you will more than likely still be working like crazy, none of your staff will have learned how to do their job, and your company will have moved on. In today’s world, standing still is akin to moving backwards.
2. Poorly Defined Roles
Related to work delegation is a poorly defined role with no real job description. Positions in companies evolve and often will grow around a person and their own personal skill development. When that person leaves the role, filling that hole will be difficult if it is unclear what they did. A good manager will have each team member write their own job description and have them update it annually to keep track of the changes. If you don’t like some of the tasks they are doing, you can manage those right away.
3. Being a Friend
No question a sign of being a great manager is bonding with staff on a personal level. However, a manager who takes it to the extreme and become friends with those who report to him/her will cloud their own judgement. This results in decisions that are aligned to the staff and not the company. Do not confuse them. If you act like a friend towards someone who works for you, they will naturally assume that you will not fire them, even if they mess up. That assumption is very unfair, both to them, and to your organization. That you cannot be a person’s boss and their friend is a tough lesson that every manager learns, sooner or later.
4. Small Rule Breaks
Allowing small rule breaks can turn into a slippery slope. A minor indiscretion could cause a significant impact through a long chain of relationships in an organization. No one wants a rule nazi (politically incorrect?) for a manager; however, small rule bending may lead to more significant rules being challenged and/or broken. Remember, the greatest casualty from bending the rules is your reputation as a manager. A house with one cockroach has hundreds unseen.
5. Ignoring Problems
If you are a driver who continues to drive 1000km after your engine light turns on, you many have an issue with ignoring problems. Regular maintenance is the best risk avoidance strategy, and quickly addressing problems right when they are discovered will reduce the impact and ultimately the cost.
6. Accepting Excuses
If I eat fast food once because I am in a real hurry, “having no time” is the reason I ate high fat food. If I gain weight after repetitively eating fast food, then for me, “no time to eat healthy” becomes an excuse. Similarly, if I install a new script incorrectly while learning a new program,, the reason for my mistake is that I’m inexperienced with that software. If several months later I’m still incorrectly loading scripts with the same program, then whatever reason I might give for doing that can only be an excuse. A temporary personal issue is a reason; an endless series of personal problems becomes an excuse and a case for counselling. Reasons should only be accepted for a short while if an employee is unable to do their job well. If reasons are used repetitively, they have in fact become excuses for poor performance. Learn to tell the difference between a temporary reason and enabling your staff’s excuses. The former, you’re helping; the latter, you’re not.
7. Managing Distractions
Managers are often stuck in firefighting mode, but that comes with the territory for any manager. However, when managers are continuously in firefighting mode, their decision making is all based on this view of reality. Protracted time in this management often leads to staff burnout. Unless a manager can pull themselves out of this trap, they will stay in this zone and never grow or get promoted. Managers can also be distracted by external projects. For example, an organization rolling out a new ERP system can create many distractions for an organization. These can come in the form of either mental attention or financial constraints. Managers can often be so distracted with these external projects that management of their team can suffer. The results are often all kinds of issues.
Kids don’t want a manager and your staff do not want a parent. Remember which role you need to play as you juggle your time.