July 2018 is proving to be an epic month for sport. The British Grand Prix has sped past, Wimbledon has been served up, the Tour de France is kicking into gear, The Open will soon be teeing off and the Hockey Women’s World Cup is set to flick away. Oh, and there’s been some football on too but we’ve not heard much about that…
All this athleticism has got us thinking about notions of sportsmanship and what that means for contractors and freelancers in their professional lives.
What is sportsmanship?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines sportsmanship as “Fair and generous behaviour or treatment of others, especially in a sporting contest.”
The average person tends to think of sportsmanship in terms of fair play, teamwork, being a gracious winner or loser and other such concepts. The Hollywood version tends to be high on emotion: the Jamaican bobsleigh team carrying their broken sled across the finish line to rapturous applause in Cool Runnings, or Lightning McQueen refusing to win the race and instead returning to push Strip Weathers along so he can finish his final lap in Cars.
However you look at it, sportsmanship basically means being a decent person and not being selfish – concepts which a lot of contractors and freelancers can bring into their day-to-day professional lives.
How can you be a sporting contractor or freelancer?
You might be reading this thinking “that’s all well and good, but I have to look after my own business.” That’s fair enough. Of course, you have to make sure you have enough money coming in to pay your bills and put food on the table – that’s only common sense.
However, you don’t have to be ruthless.
Most contractors and freelancers have been there at one point or another. You’re being bombarded with offers of work, you have too much on your plate and there’s no way you can accept any more. But instead of just saying no to the work, think about whether you know someone else who you can recommend. Perhaps a fellow contractor or freelancer who you know isn’t so busy at the moment or could do with the extra cash. Or perhaps someone who’s just starting out who could use the boost.
Doing this not only helps someone out, it means that if the roles are ever reversed, they might just think of you too.
Additionally, rather than hoarding away your knowledge and experience so as to leave others at a disadvantage, why not share it. Speak at networking events, post on LinkedIn, maybe even offer to mentor those new to the field.
It might sound like a bit of a utopian view of self-employment, but bringing sportsmanship into your professional life means that everybody wins, not just you.
At Kingsbridge, we always endeavour to treat our customers fairly so, if you want to speak to us about contractor insurance, you can call us on 01242 808740 or get a quote from our website. Meanwhile, we’ll be getting psyched up for the Badminton World Championships.