The Way We Work
September 15, 2010 by Tamara Rice

Are you just dabbling in contract work, or are you in it to establish a new and thriving career? Apply a little time and these key habits to transition yourself to a successful contract career.

Career Contractors ...

• Treat contract work like a business. Why? Because it is their own small business. Market yourself. A great contract worker understands (or learns) how to market herself and her skills. Network, network, network. Network to find other contractors who have related skills. For example, a graphic designer might take note of a few website development gurus to refer work to -- and may find the favor returned.

• Hunger for success. The old adage couldn't be more true: The early bird really does get the worm. Be a seeker. Always be on the lookout for new employers and keep applying to relevant jobs. A career contractor doesn't wait for the next great job to find him -- he goes out and finds it! Look ahead with confidence. He will also seek jobs that push him higher in pay, deeper into his field of expertise, and broaden his range of experience.

career contractors• Are true professionals. Don't let working remotely or working from home hinder your professional performance. Have a routine. Career contractors keep regular work schedules and let employers know when they can expect to find them online. Organize. Stay on top of tasks, deadlines and conference calls. Set up your own system of organization and use it.

• Communicate well from the first contact to the last. Your ability to communicate -- whether you are a blog post writer or a software programmer -- will directly affect your contract career success. Practice clarity. Career contractors are professional and clear at all times. (Read: no texting lingo.) Stay in touch. Don't take a job and then drop off the radar until the day your project is due. Stay in contact through emails or calls, updating on status, clarifying issues, etc. Career contractors keep the lines of communication open with other team members throughout the assignment.

• Build relationships. Whether you are networking or just working, keep relationships in mind. They are part of the bigger picture. Be social. Career contractors take a few minutes now and then to get personal with people and aren't just work robots. Offer satisfaction. Career contractors think about pleasing the client, not just completing an assignment. Repair damage. When you screw up, be the first to own it. Honesty fosters trust, and trust builds your career.

career contractors two• Go above and offer to go beyond. Career contractors don't just wait around for opportunities to shine, they chase them. Add value. When you can improve the projects you are working on, take the initiative to share your ideas for improvement. Offer more. Offer to manage others -- if you’re leading the project, you’re getting more visibility throughout, and more people are seeing your talent.

Are you a career contractor? Tell us how you made the transition from dabbling freelancer to careerist!

Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.

  • Perwez Alam

    Hi, i’m new in oDesk i have no idea how to make cover letter can you help me or guide me ? Thank you

  • http://oDesk Joyce Castro

    Hi Gleb , i'm new in oDesk i have no idea how to make cover letter can you help me or guide me ? Thank you

  • http://www.smreo.com Iee Gwan-hong

    Thanks Tamara!

    Its a nice post and very useful for me to start with.
    Anyway, I'll do whatever. ♬

  • JaganJoshua

    Thanks Tamara!

    I'm very new to oDesk. Its a nice post and very useful for me to start with.

  • victor

    Am just joing this platform today and i which to grow, if any body in the house can help i think i will appricate

  • sonia

    Did you get any help from anyone?

  • http://www.webdesignegypt.tk/ Web Design Egypt

    Thanks alot
    it’s good article and it’s the best tobic

    • http://www,elryad.com تصميم مواقع

      it's goood

  • http://yahoo.com janice pil

    hi! everyone i`m new here in oDesk, there is so much to learn here. I`m willing to learn, can anybody give me a tips to pass a test. thank you.

    • http://www.samcorpbd.blogspot.com Md Shariful Islam

      Hi, be success--- try to know or learn basic for each test before sit for exam/test. There are many ways to learn. Happy to inform you that,

      I Stood FIRST on oDesk Readiness Test for Agency Contractors: 03/04/2013
      ***** Score (out of 5): 5.00 1st Place!
      ***** Rank: 1st out of all 2,26,889 test takers

      I also stood first (1st place, 03/04/2013) on oDesk Readiness Test for Independent Contractors and Staffing Managers:

      ***** Score (out of 5): 5.00 1st Place!
      ***** Rank: 1st out of all 27,78,912 test takers

      My profile: https://www.odesk.com/users/~~ef5ca7f45f53eca5

      I believe, Success= Honesty+Sincerity+Commitment

  • Hammad

    Hi all!
    Please guide me how to make a COVER LETTER to impress and to get a job.
    Thanks.

  • chris_kossowski

    Great guidance. Agreement with these guidelines is easy. Upholding them under pressure is maybe not so easy. Thanks for posting!

  • http://www.clicknet-eg.com Shimaa Marzouk

    thanks very very encouraging tips, i will bookmark it to read again and again

  • Ernie

    Thank you so much for the tips. It will help me start my career.

  • Nester

    Lovely site and i am so impressed with all the areas.There is so much to learn here.I am just new on this site. And desperately looking to start a assignment.

    Thanks for all the support team.

  • Jennifer

    Hi, good day! I'm new in oDesk. I really wanted to have a job here to earn money and I believe joining here is a great opportunity but I don't know how to start. My profile seems not interesting and I don't know also how to make cover letter. I don't have special skills like most of the contractors that are here. I'm maybe more on data entry. Please, if somebody here could help me I will be very grateful.Thanks...:)

    • Gleb

      Hi Jennifer,
      I'd be glad to help you:) You can mail me at desperate.knight@gmail.com with "oDesk help" subject and I'll try to answer your questions.
      Cheers:)

  • Mellonie

    Great article Tamara! Thanks for the tips :)

  • Sheikh Mahbub Alam

    I want work oDesk.com

    • ziaul islam

      fine

    • nazaer

      so don't wt

  • Leton

    Hi,

    I am new in ODesk,i dont know how to create my profile or how to pass odesk test plz help me about this,give me instructions or hint plz…1I am very interested to work here. Thanks.

  • Abderrahmane

    ?????? ????? ? ???? ???? ? ??????
    ?????? ??? ?? ???? ?????

    ?? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ?

    ??? ?? ????? ????? ????? ?

    I speak "Arabic - English - Frensh - spanish"

    I repair laptops and desktop - and im learning "Level chip repair"

    I can help you Thanks.

  • Liberty P. Quipit

    This is a very informative and well written article.I am new in oDesk. Thank you, Tamara, for the tips. Writing my profile is the next hurdle to take. I surely need help.

  • http://www.google.com Engr. Kartick Chandra Ghosh

    Hello My name is Kartick Chandra Ghosh,I am new in ODesk, will you give me advice what to create my profile and creating cover letters for job applications.

  • http://www.runningwaterinternational.org Isaac Soita

    I feel the concept is clear not only as a contractor but also as basic code of ethics. One ought to be pro active and not reactive. It really makes sense Tamara. We appreciate your contribution to us new starters
    Am new on O desk trying to manoeuvre any assistance will be appreciated mostly on Admin Support. How should I prepare cover letter and profile. I have tried t make my profile but am not sure if it is correct. I would like to be a member.
    Isaac Soita
    Kenya

  • http://www.webskyline.com Laubach

    It is a great article. I know from my own experience, it is important to deliver better results as expected from the employer. Often employer are less knowledgeable of the topic they want contractors to do. That is why contractors sometimes should suggest new ideas or different methods of solving a problem.

  • http://yahoo Arcibal Alanano

    Hi everyone! this is my first time to visit and join this organization...i'm very grateful for the oppotunity...
    Thank you and I hope that you will guide me to be a successful contactor....It is a big challenge for myself and i'm ready to get started...

  • ruel quicoy

    Hello My name is Ruel Quicoy,I am new in ODesk, will you give me advice what to create my profile and creating cover letters for job applications. I also wanted to pass the readiness test. Please give me a hint. I am interested on taking part in customer service and data entry related jobs

    please help me..:)

  • Tom Oscar Ojole

    Such is truly a wonderful message. It reminds me of my customer service concept of taking the HEAT to repair the damage.

    Hello My name is Tom Ojole,I am new in ODesk, will you give me advice what to create my profile and creating cover letters for job applications. I also wanted to pass the readiness test. Please give me a hint. I am interested on taking part in customer service and data entry related jobs

    I am in Kenya and this odesk is not much embraced here. I'm going to be the ambassador because certainly i am going to succeed in this career.

  • Anberber Angagaw

    Hello My name is Anberber Angagaw ,I am new in ODesk, will you give me advice what to create my profile and creating cover letters for job applications. I also wanted to pass the readiness test. Please give me a hint. I am interested on taking part in Graphics design.

  • Madelein

    Thank you Tamara, it is well laid out and logical, if we only get to apply it just as well, things would be 100%.

  • rasika

    Thank you very much,
    I had been dabbling in my work because of my unawareness. I was so fed up. So I wanted to learn well about o desk before working. This was the first article I read in that attempt. I got a clear message. I have no enough words to thank you. Thanks again.....!

  • Saif

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to oDesk. Guidance given by Tamara is an eye opener. I am glad I did not rush to make my profile. My two cents worth of advise to all new comers, do not rush to create your profile and apply for jobs, first read everything you can about the workings of ODesk. Good luck all.

  • mahmood ul hassan

    well. it is of-course transparent message for every one.
    i am looking it from many days and i learn always new points and guide line, her each guide point has several positive mining which brought me on a stage where i am feeling i know some thing no matter i got work or not.
    thanks

  • genaro87

    Hello everyone. I am new in ODesk, will you give me advice what to do and how to do it especially creating my profile and creating cover letters for job applications. I also wanted to pass the readiness test. Please explain about Team Application. Thanks.

  • Mohammad Nurul Hossain

    I am very interested to work here to earn money.Such as data entry . How can i get this job and start just now. Pls assists me.

  • Abdul Rahman I

    Thanks for this insightful message. This will be a very good career contractor's template for new ones on odesk.

  • http://ODesk.com shahrukh durranee

    Hello i am new in ODesk i dont know how to create my profile or how to pass odesk readness test plz help me in this,give me instructions or hint plz...1

  • Usman

    Writing will courage to those who are at every level of career to make it more professional. Some great advice are given not only think about completing assignments but completing them in good manner.

  • http://www.HireMrSpreadsheet.com MrSpreadsheet

    Great tips, very clear. This just reminded me about important point or two that I have overlooked; am motivated to get back on track! :)

  • http://www.odesk.com/blog Tamara

    Thanks, fellow contractors. So glad the sentiments ring true.

  • http://www.elmotaheda-web.com Elmotaheda web

    Thanks
    it's good article and it's the best tiobic

  • http://ladygonzaga.wordpress.com/ Stephanie Gonzaga

    Nice post Tamara! I definitely agree with a lot of points here like:

    "A career contractor doesn

  • http://twitter.com/seodragan Dragan

    Thanks for this clear message of how people should interact and social manners that should be embraced by all, and not just contractors.