1) There is no “30 years
and a gold watch”.
- No matter how well you
do your job, no matter how great your knowledge or skill, your
employment will always be “short term”. You have to watch out for
yourself at all times.
2) You have no enemies,
or friends – just clients.
- When you do not know where
your next paycheck is going to come from, it is wise not “burn
bridges” or grow too attached to one company. You may be working for
the “jerk” and/or “competition” the next day. Loyalty ends with the
3) Your reputation
dictates your livelihood.
- It does not appear on your
resume or your degree, but it is there when you are evaluated. It
takes years to build, and only seconds to destroy. It is intangible
and not easy to quantify, but it exists none the less. When
times are bad, it is the one thing that ensures that access to good paying work is available.
It is a Contactor’s greatest asset or deadliest weakness. Treat it
wisely and you will be awarded.
4) Know your costs before
agreeing to a contract.
- Know how much it will
cost to live near, or commute to, the client – in terms of taxes,
insurance, housing, food, moving expenses, etc. You only get one
chance to set a pay rate that you and your loved ones can live
comfortably in good times, and tolerably exist in bad. Rarely, if
ever, will you get the chance to “renegotiate the contact”.
5) Live Light, Be
- Keep nothing physical
that you are not willing to pack up and carry 300 miles in the
middle of the night yourself. Know where your important documents
are located at all times (birth certificate, passport, college
transcripts, certifications, etc.) so you are able to present them
to the client when the contract paperwork is to be signed. To be a
Contactor is to react quickly to change and manage it without pause.
Seek another profession if you cannot do this.
Usage Note: You are welcome to occasionally reprint or quote
these rules pretty much anywhere (presentations, papers, blogs with ads,
etc). If you're not outright merchandizing, you're probably fine. Just
be sure to attribute those reprints or quotes to me at
Questions about the
Rules/Requesting Interviews/Making Merchandizing Offers: Please E-mail me first, I will not accept phone calls unless agreed to by
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