To be a successful contractor in the life science world, you will need knowledge and experience that sets you apart from the competition. However, you will also need a whole host of other skills that will enable you to get the most from your job and from the people you work with. A contractor is not someone that works in isolation and to be successful in this career, you will need to be able to communicate well with others. Take a look at some of the top skills we expect to see in a contractor.
A contractor often works in new environments and to be able to have success, you will need to be able to be flexible when working like this. Being able to flex and adapt while learning new systems, processes, faces and names will help you transition smoothly to each job you undertake.
Organisation & Proactivity
Many contractors are self-employed, and your organisational skills must be up to par so that you do not miss out on necessities like tax, pensions and payroll. You will also need to manage your diary and plan for holiday time in advance so that you don’t let your clients down as well as sourcing new contracts, so you aren’t left without work. Being proactive means that you are truly in the driving seat of your career and that you chase down training opportunities to keep yourself up to speed with all the new developments in your area.
Everyone understands the value of networking, but it is particularly useful for a contractor, especially when you have a range of people in your network. Keeping previous clients, other contractors and industry specialists in your network will not only grow your name but will ensure you are never without work. Remember that networking can be done via sites like LinkedIn, where people can endorse you but don’t forget the power of face to face networking too, after all, humans like human contact.
While your industry expertise is crucial to being employable, you also have to have the communication skills to engage with others well, and it is these soft skills that will help you to work alongside others and fit into new workplaces with ease. Communication is just one arm of the soft skillset you will require, and it is also imperative that you can work under pressure, problem solve and work collaboratively all while remaining calm and collected.
Being able to sell is imperative for a contractor, and you must fully understand your value if you are going to be successful in getting the pay you require. The best way to sell your knowledge is to think of it as a product so that you can sell it without it feeling personal. You have to believe in the product you are selling and know-how to negotiate so that you get the payment that you deserve.
You may have all the skills we’ve already discussed but none of these matter if you cannot perform in an interview. Excellent interview skills include being able to demonstrate your work skills clearly and effectively as well as knowing how to talk to your interviewer in a way that makes them interested in you.
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