Contingent Workers: You Never Stop Learning

Contingent workers

Life is full of things that come and go. Friends, money, health, a 32-inch waistline. Education, however, is the one thing you get to hold on to for life. Once you have it, no one can take it away from you. Continually building upon it and developing skills is any worker’s economic imperative. Whose responsibility this is, however, is shifting.

Once, it was the purview of the hiring organisation. Now, with the rise of contingent workers, education is in the hands of the individual, for better or worse. If you’re a contingent worker, skills development is the only way to stay competitive in an increasingly competitive environment. But, in order to get the most out of your time and effort, you need to draw up a career map.

Your education is in your hands

In a previous article on contingent workers, I argued that training is now the responsibility of the worker. Before, the organisation employing workers fulltime was responsible for training so they’re employees could climb the corporate ladder. But there is no corporate ladder for contingent workers. That, however, doesn’t mean there’s no chance of promotion.

The problem is that promotions aren’t mapped for you. As a contingent worker, you can’t apply for the vice-chairman of procurement position with a 25% pay rise. Instead, you need to know when to increase your rate.

You get what you pay for, and you get paid for what you give

To command a higher rate, contingent workers need to demonstrate that they have the necessary education and experience, which means they need to actively manage their skillset. Contingent workers need to be aware of their skills gaps and be proactive in closing them, which includes taking on challenging contracts that force the acquisition of new skills or previously underused ones.

Planning is crucial and never-ending for contingent workers. While the level of control they have over their careers is generally considered a positive, it can be mentally taxing to continually ensure your skillset is up to date, if not ahead of the pack, especially if you’re used to an organisation doing this for you.

New Year resolutions

So what resolutions do you need to make for the new year? If you want to keep up with the new breed of contingent worker, or even lead the pack, you need to:

  1. Identify the gaps in your skillset.
  2. Take steps to close the gaps.

However, identifying gaps in your skillset isn’t easy. Hardly any of us have the necessary objectivity. The team at Skills Gap Analysis, however, know how to find what’s missing. Get in touch now for a comprehensive assessment of your procurement skills and recommendations on where you need to focus your education.