Successful Contracting

Tulisan dibawah ini saya ambil dari news-letter management company yang digunakan pada project georgia saat ini. Saya cukup salut dengan kinerja management company ini dan orang-orangnya juga profesional. Management company yang dimaksud adalah Access Financial. Tulisan berikut ini sangat bagus bagi mereka-mereka yang bekerja sebagai kontraktor ataupun konsultan:

Successful Contracting

Contracting has many advantages in comparison to the more traditional full-time employment. Being in charge of one’s own time allows for more flexibility when picking and choosing from different assignments.

A contractor can build up a portfolio of skills quite quickly by experiencing different positions in various companies. Contractors are expected to jump from job to job so there is no negative connotation if this is the case. Terms of employment are usually shorter (typically 3-18 months) and one of the more obvious benefits is that contract rates are much more lucrative than those of equivalent full-time employees. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages to being a contractor. Contractors do not benefit from sick pay and paid holidays and have no job security since contracts come and go and there is never a guarantee that another contract will be available. The current economic climate has made contracting much more competitive with fewer opportunities available for a growing amount of willing contractors. Employers are in most cases selecting the contractors who have most experience and skills in a particular domain. It is thus increasingly important to build up one’s skills and experience and to complete projects undertaken successfully to make sure that as many opportunities as possible are created from a current work experience.

A guide to successful contracting:
1. Have a suitable contract in place and charge the right amount.
Do not charge too much and do not charge too little. Carry out some market research to find out approximately how much others are charging according to their skills and experience. Try to place yourself in the same region and if need be, especially in these more competitive times, try to make your offer more attractive as to obtain the contract.

2. Delivering expected results.
Projects need accurate specifications and processes. Often the client will want you to start work as soon as possible and expect results rapidly and it is therefore important to agree on realistic deadlines. Who is writing the project specifications and setting the deadlines, the contractor or the client? Carry out research and planning as much as possible to provide accurate timeframes. Always get a brief and/or clear specification up-front, before you promise, design or build anything. Have it agreed upon and signed by all parties, including the client. Ascertain the client’s needs and match those needs with the design and development skills in an assembled project team. Ensure that the project team, however small or large it may be, has everything it needs to complete the job to a high standard on-time and on-budget.

It is all too easy for the contractor to carry the blame if something goes wrong and it is therefore in your best interest to take complete responsibility for everything you do. For that reason scoping and nailing down the finer details is of vital importance. If you do not feel informed, you need to make sure you get that information. If you are missing something that you need, ask the client. Communication is key. Stay organised and keep a record of all your communications with your team and direct supervisor. If you are going to be held responsible, you will want to make sure you can stick to deadlines for deliverables and have all information and
resources which you need made available.

3. Communicate your achievements.
Perhaps informally on a regular basis. Make it tangible, so your client can easily measure and evaluate your performance. It is a good idea to do this a few weeks before the end of the contract, so it can then be renewed or perhaps you can obtain a contract for a later date.

4.  Build your relationship with the client.
Build a relationship based on trust and respect. This could help lead to contract renewals or great performance reviews and references. Long-term success requires a sustainable commercial relationship on a financial level but also on a human level. If you do a good job and act professionally, your contract may be extended and/or you may be offered a full time job with the company.

5. Network with permanent staff
Some of them could become managers or one day start contracting themselves. In the long-run this could be beneficial to your career.

6. Network with other contractors
Build and maintain contractor relationships. This can be one way of securing future contracts through referrals and networking. Maintaining close relationships can also keep you up to date with market developments and opportunities. Being a successful contractor requires a slightly different skill base and mind set than most people realise. Understanding how contracting companies operate, how they value your worth, and how to negotiate the best possible terms will make all the difference between being just another resource and being a highly paid, in demand professional.

7. Continuous training
Keep up to date with new developments and processes within your industry. Increasing your knowledge and skills is a good way of remaining competitive.  A survey published by the Chartered Management Institute found that contractors, despite the downturn, are still motivated to succeed. 50% are committed to developing business contracts or networks and 24% of the survey participants in the consultancy sector claimed they intended to take up a qualification and build ‘transferable skills’. It is estimated that if contractors use their down time wisely and  continue to build their skill set, they can improve their salary by 10-20% a year.

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3 thoughts on “Successful Contracting

  1. Hello I am looking for two HLR/C-NTDB Engineers in the United States.

    1. These activities take place 3 – 4 times per year and each lasts about 2 months. The work is in the USA.
    2. The two (2) resources are expected to be very competent and familiar with the solution (or similar solution for some other customer) and execution of similar tasks.
    3. Work might be daytime or evening or night shifts. In average 10 hrs per day. Sometimes weekends are included as well.
    4. In general we are looking for Level 3 Tester Engineers, very well versed with the SUN boxes, knowing the UNIX, Solaris, and Linux. Understanding and some experience with CNTDB, HLRd is mandatory. Continuity is important so that we do not need to train them every time there is a new activity.
    5. NSN will provide some introductory training – on-the job training to get these two (2) engineers up to speed. Afterwards we would expect that they could be productive without any additional training.
    Additional information/requirements.
    HLR/C-NTDB Engineer
    MAIN PURPOSE OF THE ROLE AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:
    Support of Software upgrade activities of HLR/HSS/C-NTDB including following:
    • Support change management service delivery;
    • Execute the installation of the new Software;
    • Perform the regression tests of the new software in the LAB;

    REQUIREMENTS:
    Education
    BS Electronics Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Telecommunication or equivalent
    Technical Competence
    • HLRi/HSS/C-NTDB/AAA/UMA knowledge and experience preferred.
    • Has excellent IP and Unix experience and skills
    • Has excellent knowledge in network technologies, including TCP/IP, routing/switching, network security, Network Management, DNS, Radius, LDAP, etc.
    • Has been working as a Unix admin or has done admin tasks on Unix, such as installing OS, partitioning disks, backup/restore and log checking up
    • Has advanced troubleshooting skills on IP, Unix or Linux. Can independently use network analyzers and tools to troubleshoot difficult network problems
    • It’s preferred to have professional certificates: Checkpoint CCSA/CCSE, Cisco CCNA/CCNP, HP-UX Admin, Sun Solaris Admin or SuSe Linux, Redhat.
    PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES:
    Personal Attributes:
    • Ability to learn fast
    • Self motivated well-organized individual who can prioritize work and handle multiple tasks.
    • Ability to interact with a variety of people and work well with others in a fast paced environment.
    • Ability to take responsibility and work independently.

    If you are interested in this position please contact me at the email address provided above.

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