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The Contractor Mindset

Posted on:July 5, 2023 at 11:58 AM

Think of your job as if you are a contractor and your company is your current biggest client. This mindset is helpful to frame the nearly impossible task your company has promised or fairly evaluating and compensating you for your work. As an independent contractor, you understand that each job is not your last. That your livelyhood depends more on your personal well rounded skillset, rather than specific knowledge of the internal workings of any one of your clients. You understand that you always need to keep sharp in case your contract falls through or you need to drop a client. You also need to be always paying attention for more and better clients in the future.

All of these are great for orienting and navigating the corporate review cycles. It really simplifies the equation and takes out the “nurture” and support sides of the company you work for. I expect to be compensated fairly for my work. If you, the client, do not feel I’m providing more worth to the company than I am compensated, then we can re-negotiate my contract or I’m happy to move on to the next client.

In my experience it’s incredibly difficult to change how performance is evaluated in a company and I’m not sure there’s a perfect way it can be done. With the contractor mindset, neither the carrot nor the stick are relevant. I’m not bumbling through the corporate ladder playing politics and making friends to work my way up the chain. I’m turning inward, providing the best services I can, showing explicitly what I’m doing, and expecting fair compensation. If there’s too big of an imbalance (work/compentsation), then I’ll happily end the contract.

Stay sharp friends!