When creating your resume, networking and, for some contractors, responding to RFPs, you should always consider your Return on Time Invested (ROTI). In a nutshell, it means that you should spend your time building relationships that are going to generate your revenue — short, medium and long term. You should invest your time to commensurate with the returns expected.
We can use the same theory to consider the term Return on Self-Investment. This is basically a way to look at investing in your own success. If you adopt a mentality that investment in your success is very beneficial to you, then you can differentiate yourself from other contractors.
In fact you can measure your ROSI (a) in your own advancement over time; (b) your increased productivity; (c) your performance against your colleagues; or (d) your self-satisfaction.
Here are some thoughts for you:
- Lifelong Learning. The Talent Development Centre has a few articles and the majority of independent contractors agree that this is important. The progressive contractor, looking to increase their ROSI will:
- Take full advantage of every learning opportunity and networking event;
- Always look for learning opportunities even if they have a cost (in dollars or in time invested);
- Develop good habits for learning, including reading relevant articles, periodicals and books;
- Will seek mentorship and feedback.
- Personal Branding. Again, we’ve written a lot about this, so the progressive contractor will:
- Invest in appropriate dress for work (looking a little better than their peers) ;
- Will seek to establish themselves as a thought leader in their field (get involved in associations, write thoughtful comments on blog entries, contribute articles, provide thoughtful feedback to management).
- Will network outside of work with industry colleagues, interesting organisations, charities, etc.
- Productivity. The progressive contractor will:
- Adopt and continually work at GREAT time management techniques & tools;
- Set goals to measure themselves;
- Monitor their ROSI to ensure they are investing in the right areas.
An interesting observation about the points above is that few have to do with financial investment and many are about time investments. That means many of these can be easily achieved with some simple planning and time management. So what’s stopping you? Be responsible for your own success!