As the year draws to a close, you might be thinking about taking some positive new steps towards your professional goals. As a contractor, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose which projects you will work on and you often get to work on innovative, exciting projects that require the most up to date skill sets. Apart from your compliance and administrative obligations, your work demands that you are always refining your skills by undertaking professional development (PD) of your own accord. So here are some extra incentives for staying on top of your professional development obligations in 2017.
1. Boost your earning power by upskilling
Competition is strong when it comes to contract roles and the life of a contractor means always having to be a cut above the rest in order to secure your next contract. By keeping your skill set up to date, you are ensuring you remain competitive and eligible for higher paid contracts. With each additional skill you add to your resume, which is currently in demand in your industry, you are increasing your potential to attract higher paid contracts.
2. PD courses provide great networking opportunities
As a contractor, you never know where your next contract role could come from. By attending seminars, conferences and courses related to your field, you are maximising your potential to expand your networks. Meeting like-minded people and creating solid networks in your industry can be extremely helpful when you are between contracts.
3. Market yourself better by adding new PD to your LinkedIn profile
In this digital age, it is essential for any contractor to have an active profile on LinkedIn in order to maximise their chances of being found by potential client organisations. Marketing yourself on LinkedIn can be as simple as creating an interesting profile and consistently adding any new PD courses you have completed. Listing new qualifications and seminars you have attended is a great way to let potential clients know that you are proactive with your professional development and that keeping your skills up to date is your priority. Furthermore, each addition to your profile brings you back up to the top of the feed and back into the minds of organisations looking for someone with your skill set.
4. Complete PD courses from the comfort of your office
Organising time off from work is not always easy. That’s why many education providers are now able to offer online courses so that people can learn from the comfort of their offices. This works particularly well if you are unable to block out an entire day for PD, but instead can use an hour of downtime where possible to complete your course slowly. With online courses increasingly becoming available in most sectors, it’s a great idea to do your research. You will surely find a course to suit your needs and availability, that won’t compromise work time with your client organisation.
A great example of an online learning centre that works well for many IT professionals is the SAP Learning Hub. SAP Learning Hub allows you to learn in your own time from anywhere it is convenient for you. With a 12 month subscription, you will have access to e-learning courses, the latest SAP updates and interactive support from SAP experts.
Start the New Year on a positive note by making a plan to get your Professional Development plan on track. Do your research and find out which skills are in highest demand in your field and look for courses that will address any gaps in your skill set or experience. Remember, any PD you do will help to keep you current in your industry and will assist you greatly in securing your next big contract.
Entity Solutions has a range of contractor services designed to assist contractors manage their additional obligations. To find out more about our services, please contact Entity Solutions on (03) 9600 0333 or via email at IProServices@entitysolutions.com.au.
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