With the immanent launch of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ this December, here at Contracting Wise we’ve been thinking about the comic book hero and his unique powers. While it’s fair to say that contractors don’t need to walk up walls, you’ll need certain attributes if you’re going to survive and thrive in this fast paced sector. We take a look at what contractors can learn from the Marvel icon and his repertoire of skills.
Strength and fast healing powers
If there’s one thing we can say about our creatively dressed hero, it’s that he’s not adverse to a spot of danger in order to get the job done. Similarly, contractors need a healthy level of risk tolerance. As a contactor, you’ll be responsible for finding your own work, negotiating contracts, and administering your business – and that’s before you’ve started the assignment! Contractors need to be comfortable working on their own and managing the inherent risks of self-employment – and the inevitable pitfalls. While Spider-Man can rely on his strength and powers of fast healing to recover from set backs, a contractor must be the kind of person who can roll with the punches and come back fighting. It’s this resilience and self-reliance that forms a contractor’s backbone, so if you’re the kind of person who would rather delegate a problem to HR or sit all day in a swivelchair, then contracting probably isn’t for you.
Super agility and flexibility
Whether it’s avoiding attacks mid-air or dodging his metal-armed nemesis, Dr. Octopus, we’re all familiar with Spider-Man’s nimble gifts. But agility and flexibility don’t just relate to physical athletics, these attributes can refer to a specific way of thinking. Contractors requite a kind of ‘elastic control’ when working on a project, with a willingness to try out new things but also to stand back and take stock if they don’t go to plan. Flexibility also means looking at the bigger picture and your long-range objective. This could mean regularly taking stock of your targets and prioritising tasks accordingly, or it could relate to how you adapt to survive the tough times and make the most of opportunities. If you don’t like change, or if you’re inclined to stick your head in the sand rather than dealing with a problem head-on, then think twice about a career in contracting.
Spider-sense early warning system
“Uh oh, my Spidey-Sense is tingling!” Spider-Man’s intuitive sense of danger often allows him to land the first blow before his enemy even knows what’s hit him. While we’re not advocating knocking out your competition, threats can come in many shapes and forms, from economic downturns in your sector, new government legislations and the stress of keeping on top of everything. Contractors need to develop their own early warning system that allows them to predict when a project is veering off-course, or when outside forces could create difficulties. The ability to anticipate problems is usually demonstrated by people with natural curiosity. Curiosity about the world allows a person to see connecting patterns of cause and effect, giving them what’s know as ‘vision’. By developing their predictive sense and keeping themselves informed, contractors might not always be able avoid problems, but they’ll have the edge when it comes to neutralising them with innovative solutions.
Despite his many awesome abilities, Spider-Man is nothing without his web slinging. If you think about it, it’s the ability to spin his webs that supports all of our hero’s talents: Sure, he can crawl up a wall, but without the ability to web-swing he’s essentially stuck on a roof. Okay, he can head-off impending danger, but it’d be a slow journey on the bus. While contractors are unlikely to demonstrate the ability to shoot webs from their wrists, they can develop a safety net that will help to support their main talents. A safety net could mean taking out specific insurance, hiring a specialist accountant, working with a recruitment agency or getting a second opinion when it counts. In short, using professional services that allow you to reduce risk while supporting you to do what you do best will allow you to swing your way to contracting victory.