Contractors: Are you missing out on performance development?

Being a contractor has its perks…ample pay, lower tax, increased flexibility, limited commitment, and no performance reviews. While most of what I’ve just mentioned are clear benefits, one item in particular is up for debate.

Performance reviews are often viewed as a stressful, pointless exercise where individuals are assessed and are left underwhelmed by the results. As performance reviews (in most firms) directly influence pay rises, bonuses, and promotions, employees naturally focus on the best methods of having a “successful” performance review. While this is completely understandable, it is very unfortunate as it distracts employees from gaining perspective to help them develop as professionals.

Performance reviews are opportunities disguised as threats

Contractors must be very lucky as they do not have to get involved in the politics of performance reviews and can simply focus on the job at hand. However, in reality, performance reviews are opportunities disguised as threats. While they can come across as a top-down method of maintaining discipline across a workforce, they are really an opportunity to gather valuable feedback, improve self-awareness, and develop as a professional.

Gathering feedback at times which suit you and from people that you value and trust is always highly beneficial, whether you are an employee, a leader, a CEO, a founder, a mentor, a client, a student or a contractor. As a contractor, you need to take performance management into your own hands as your employer won’t force it upon you. With apps such as Candid Colleagues, you can gather feedback from your peers at times which suit you (e.g. completion of a milestone or project) and from people who you trust and value (e.g. clients, managers, team members, mentors, business partners, etc.). Gathering a portfolio of feedback throughout your career can serve as a reference which can help develop your skills, improve your self awareness, and even help you land your next role.

Acknowledge the value of feedback and take performance management into your own hands. Check out Candid Colleagues, releasing in early 2017 for Android and iOS devices. If you are interested in receiving exclusive access and directly contributing to future releases, sign up as a beta tester here.