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Encore! Five Tips for Landing Repeat Assignments

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Obtaining your first contract engineering assignment may take some effort. But once you get your foot in the door, you may never have a better opportunity to enhance your income and reputation.

If engineering managers offer you additional assignments, you can sidestep competitors, decrease interview and idle time, and improve your negotiating power.

engineering contractor assignmentsAfter all, repeat customers are the foundation upon which profitable businesses are built. For instance, an analysis by SumAll found that 25 to 40 percent of the total revenues of the most stable businesses come from returning customers. Furthermore, steady customers help your small business weather lean economic times. In a recent 12-month period, businesses with a 40 percent level of repeat customers generated 47 percent more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10 percent level of repeat customers.

Since most engineering managers prefer to rehire a proven performer, following these tips can catapult you to the top of their request list.

Exceed Expectations

A satisfied manager is more likely to think of you the next time they need a contractor. To make sure you’re meeting his or her expectations, ask for feedback at critical points throughout the assignment.

“Clients appreciate you asking them to share their thoughts,” writes Genevieve DeGuzman. “It shows that you aren’t looking at them as just a one-off opportunity, but that you’re trying to establish a relationship. That inspires loyalty to stay with you on future projects.”

Furthermore, a manager who’s familiar with your work can offer you valuable insight about your engineering skills and ways to remain relevant in the contract engineering world.

Follow-Up

Check in with your colleagues after you complete an assignment in case they have questions about one of your designs or plans as they enter the next phase of the project. You never know when a conscientious and timely probe might spawn a new opportunity.

Create Opportunities

Keep an eye out for opportunities that may benefit you and the engineering firm as you complete your scope of work. For instance, you may spot an untapped opportunity to design a new product for a client or accelerate the engineering process by viewing the project holistically.

Consultant Adriana Beal credits her holistic view of projects and systems thinking with forging more creative and satisfactory solutions for clients. These clients have rewarded her resourcefulness with additional assignments.

“When a new challenge arises, the client will remember the benefit of bringing in an external consultant who is mindful of such causal relationships,” Beal writes.

Forge Relationships

A stellar performance doesn’t guarantee an encore. Relationships are the key to garnering a repeat performance. Have lunch or coffee with your project manager from time to time. Don’t overlook opportunities to bond with firm principals and clients; engineering managers often solicit recommendations when it’s time to engage a contractor. Plus, an informal lunch is the perfect venue to recap your expertise and express interest in future projects.

Stay In Touch

Update your contacts as you add projects, skills and tools to your engineering tool belt. Touch base with managers as you near the end of an assignment. Certainly you want to use social media, but don’t overlook the power of personal outreach. Send engineering managers an email from time to time, share a link to an interesting article, or extend an invitation to a networking event. And remember to highlight achievements and long-term client relationships on your resume, online profile and portfolio, since endorsements and testimonials boost your credibility and generate referrals.

Or, as Florante Valdez notes: “If you have just attended a workshop or training that you will add to your service, be sure to send out a brief note. And yes, you can ask if they have a job opportunity for you.”

Other information of potential interest

How to Create a Personal Brand to Promote Your Engineering Skills

Want a Raise? Top Paying Cities for Contract Engineers

Survive the Screening: Mastering Telephone Interviews

Help PEAK find the right placement for you:  Submit or Update Your Resume

|

One thought on “Encore! Five Tips for Landing Repeat Assignments

  1. I am seeking positions in the Puget Sound area.

    Ph# 206-495-7936 mobile

    I have over ten years at Boeing Airplanes, working in various Engineering groups and/or aircraft types.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Encore! Five Tips for Landing Repeat Assignments

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Obtaining your first contract engineering assignment may take some effort. But once you get your foot in the door, you may never have a better opportunity to enhance your income and reputation.

If engineering managers offer you additional assignments, you can sidestep competitors, decrease interview and idle time, and improve your negotiating power.

engineering contractor assignmentsAfter all, repeat customers are the foundation upon which profitable businesses are built. For instance, an analysis by SumAll found that 25 to 40 percent of the total revenues of the most stable businesses come from returning customers. Furthermore, steady customers help your small business weather lean economic times. In a recent 12-month period, businesses with a 40 percent level of repeat customers generated 47 percent more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10 percent level of repeat customers.

Since most engineering managers prefer to rehire a proven performer, following these tips can catapult you to the top of their request list.

Exceed Expectations

A satisfied manager is more likely to think of you the next time they need a contractor. To make sure you’re meeting his or her expectations, ask for feedback at critical points throughout the assignment.

“Clients appreciate you asking them to share their thoughts,” writes Genevieve DeGuzman. “It shows that you aren’t looking at them as just a one-off opportunity, but that you’re trying to establish a relationship. That inspires loyalty to stay with you on future projects.”

Furthermore, a manager who’s familiar with your work can offer you valuable insight about your engineering skills and ways to remain relevant in the contract engineering world.

Follow-Up

Check in with your colleagues after you complete an assignment in case they have questions about one of your designs or plans as they enter the next phase of the project. You never know when a conscientious and timely probe might spawn a new opportunity.

Create Opportunities

Keep an eye out for opportunities that may benefit you and the engineering firm as you complete your scope of work. For instance, you may spot an untapped opportunity to design a new product for a client or accelerate the engineering process by viewing the project holistically.

Consultant Adriana Beal credits her holistic view of projects and systems thinking with forging more creative and satisfactory solutions for clients. These clients have rewarded her resourcefulness with additional assignments.

“When a new challenge arises, the client will remember the benefit of bringing in an external consultant who is mindful of such causal relationships,” Beal writes.

Forge Relationships

A stellar performance doesn’t guarantee an encore. Relationships are the key to garnering a repeat performance. Have lunch or coffee with your project manager from time to time. Don’t overlook opportunities to bond with firm principals and clients; engineering managers often solicit recommendations when it’s time to engage a contractor. Plus, an informal lunch is the perfect venue to recap your expertise and express interest in future projects.

Stay In Touch

Update your contacts as you add projects, skills and tools to your engineering tool belt. Touch base with managers as you near the end of an assignment. Certainly you want to use social media, but don’t overlook the power of personal outreach. Send engineering managers an email from time to time, share a link to an interesting article, or extend an invitation to a networking event. And remember to highlight achievements and long-term client relationships on your resume, online profile and portfolio, since endorsements and testimonials boost your credibility and generate referrals.

Or, as Florante Valdez notes: “If you have just attended a workshop or training that you will add to your service, be sure to send out a brief note. And yes, you can ask if they have a job opportunity for you.”

Other information of potential interest

How to Create a Personal Brand to Promote Your Engineering Skills

Want a Raise? Top Paying Cities for Contract Engineers

Survive the Screening: Mastering Telephone Interviews

Help PEAK find the right placement for you:  Submit or Update Your Resume

|

One thought on “Encore! Five Tips for Landing Repeat Assignments

  1. I am seeking positions in the Puget Sound area.

    Ph# 206-495-7936 mobile

    I have over ten years at Boeing Airplanes, working in various Engineering groups and/or aircraft types.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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