Interview with Ramit Verma
Where are you contracting?
I am currently contracting for Acxiom who are an integrated marketing agency providing their clients with the data and technology to successfully manage audiences, personalise experiences and create profitable customer relationships.
What position do you currently hold?
Senior Planning Consultant.
Key deliverables of your role/project?
To identify and create solutions that help clients to optimise their multi-channel customer engagement programme, driving increased ROI across multi-channel marketing activities articulated in relevant terms/metrics based on client goals/priorities.
How long you have been with Acxiom?
Since July 2013
Where you were previously?
Creator London where I was working as a Campaign Migration Consultant.
Why does contracting work for you, what are the benefits?
I chose to become a contractor because I was looking for independence and the fact that it has enabled me to better shape my career with my own hands. One of the other obvious benefits that most people associate with contracting is of course the extra money, which has certainly been the case.
I also feel that becoming a contractor has given my career extra mileage. The reason for this is that being a contractor means that I am responsible for my own learning and training and that I am able to pick the projects and roles that I undertake.
Being a contractor has definitely allowed me to develop a lot both professionally and personally.
How has it impacted on your work life balance?
Honestly, the initial first 6 -12 months were the hardest as it was a new experience for me. It’s a big commitment contracting but you learn how to balance this. I don’t tend to take big periods of between my contracts and prefer to make sure I have something lined up to start immediately after my current role has expired. The longest period I’ve had off since I started contracting was a month over Christmas which was nice to have the time to spend with the family. But it’s my choice not to take of longer periods of time, it’s definitely something I could do if I wanted too.
What experiences have do you gain from being a contractor?
The most important experience you will gain by contracting is developing interpersonal as you are constantly working with new people and new companies as every client that I have worked for has varied massively from the company culture to the colleagues that you’ll work with. For me the importance of quickly building relationships internally is the main experience.
I wouldn’t agree with the view that becoming a contractor necessarily means that you don’t get involved with office politics; I would say yes and no. It depends on the organisation that you are working for.
What does it take to make a successful contractor?
I would definitely say their skill set. Being a contractor is a lot about your personal traits you need to be a self starter, dedicated and committed towards your work as well as being organised.
What are the challenges of being a contractor?
The biggest and hardest challenge I found was adjusting myself to the culture of a new organisation, adjusting to the working environment. Coping with the political factors of an organisation (when you start you need to justify why you are earning more money than them). Lastly the technological factor as every company has different technologies and you need to make sure you are fully skilled on and as a contractor it’s your responsibility to take care of your own training.
Is there any advice you would have for someone thinking of becoming a contractor?
I would say that the foremost advice I could give would be to carry out thorough research of the skillset they have to see how much demand there is for this in the market, this will dictate how much a contractor could earn and how much work there is out there for them.
Lastly, be true and honest with yourself would you be able to cope with the challenges that come along in the 1st six months, once you’ve transitioned into working as a Consultant is incredibly rewarding.
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