In This Article
Looking for a career change or some extra income? Join us as we discuss the ins and outs of contracting with Lata Hamilton. From fixed-term contracts to day rate contracts, learn how you can use recruiters, temp agencies, and platforms like LinkedIn to find the perfect job.
Plus, find out how Hamilton tripled her salary by utilizing different kinds of contract jobs. Finally, discover the importance of knowing your worth – get the tips that will make sure you’re getting paid what you deserve!
About Our Guest
Lata Hamilton is a Change Leadership and Confidence expert, and the creator of the “Leading Successful Change” program. After tripling her salary in just 3 years to almost $200,000, her mission is to help millennial women carve their own paths in their career, leadership and life, and find the confidence and authenticity to truly earn their worth. Lata has worked with some of Australia’s biggest companies on changes that have impacted over 100,000 people, operating model changes impacting thousands, global cultural transformations, and digital transformation that is literally changing the way that we work.
Connect with Lata
LinkedIn: Lata Hamilton
Additional Links & Resources
Staffing agency Tiffany recommends: https://grahamjobs.com
Intro/Outro: You know what it is. That’s right. It’s time to talk money with your money, nerd and financial coach. Now tighten those purse strings and open those ears. It’s the money talk with Tiff podcast.
Tiffany Grant: Hey everyone. I am excited because I have lots of Hamilton on the line now, lots of all the way from Australia, but she’s here to talk to us about something that we can implement right now.
And that is contracting. So, Hey, lots of, how are you?
Lata Hamilton: Hey, I’m really well. Thanks. It’s a bit later here, but it’s really awesome to be chatting with you today.
Tiffany Grant: Yes. Well, I appreciate you staying up for us, um, and dropping these gems. So let’s just hop right into it. Um, let’s start off with what is contracting?
I like to give my audience just a baseline and then we can kind of build from there. So what is contracting?
Lata Hamilton: Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I guess when I sort of started my corporate career, I didn’t even know that contracting was an option. I didn’t even know that it existed. I sort of knew that there was like casual work.
Um, you know, I’d worked in a cafe and worked in advertising agencies. Um, so I sort of got paid by the hour. Uh, and like, I kind of just thought, okay, cool. You can either get paid by the hour, casual rates or salaried. Um, and I didn’t even know that like contracting was an option. So in Australia, there’s like two types of contracts.
There’s like fixed term contracts, which is like, um, a set period of time that you’re working for, um, an organization, um, or an employer. And, um, but then there’s a different type of contracting, which like, I’d literally like never heard of in my entire life. And this was day rate contracting. So, um, you know, depending on where you’re based, it might be called different things.
It might be called like kind of freelancing or, um, labor hire, or there might be different names for it. But essentially what it is, is it’s like you get paid by the day. So it’s not like you get paid by the hour, like casual. Um, And where I really came into it was actually around project work. So because projects are big, short, sharp pieces of work that need to be done by a particular.
deadline, um, they are looking to bring together a team really, really quickly. Um, so because of that, they’re like, Oh, we need to, you know, pay a little bit more, bring people on, but not necessarily permanently. Um, and so yeah, contracting became a really fantastic way for me personally to actually, um, Grow wealth really, really quickly.
I actually tripled my salary in the space of three years, um, by, by doing two things, by making the move into projects and I work in the space of change management, um, and then also by moving to day rate contracting. So it was a very, very lucrative move for me. Oh, nice,
Tiffany Grant: nice. And we do have those options here as well in the States.
And so I want to ask you, how did you find these contracts? So how did you find the people that were willing to hire you on for these projects?
Lata Hamilton: Yeah, it’s a really great question. And, um, you know, like earlier on in my career when I was just sort of starting out, I started out on a grad grad program and it was very much about like you going and like applying on job, um, job ad sites and, and platforms and things you applying for roles, um, and sort of, that was kind of just.
Like I’d heard of like recruiters and headhunters before, but I never really exactly knew exactly what they were or how they worked. Like, do you pay them? Or like, who pays them? How do you get one? Like, are you good enough to get one? Um, and so in terms of like, Um, with project work, especially and especially in the change management space that I work in.
Um, so change management, if, if you don’t know what it is, it’s like pretty much anything that happens in an organization, um, any kind of organizational change, like a new process, a new system, a new team structure, move to remote work, move back to the office. So anything happening in an organization, we help the people get ready for that.
We help them get confident, informed and inspired around that, um, through communications, training and business readiness. So with that, because that sort of concept around the type of work that we do is really needed when it comes to project work, um, and because often these organizations are trying to find the right specialized skill sets for a short amount of time.
Actually, a lot of project work is hired through recruiters. So, um, when I first was getting my, um, well, actually the, the way that I even found out about day rate contracting was because a recruiter called me. I just moved into change management. I’d only been working in change management for a few weeks.
I’d gotten a pay rise. When I made the move to change management, um, and I was on a fixed term contract. So I had a, I had a specific end date and I was being paid a salary and had a specific end date. Um, and then I got this random call from a recruiter, like offering me this like incredible day, right.
And I was like, I almost fell off my chair. I was like, what, what is this? Like, it was just crazy. I was like, is this real? Like, is this a. Spoof call kind of thing. Um, and so I checked in with a colleague of mine and I just said, Oh, like I got this call from a recruiter for like another change role and it was a junior change role.
Like, like we’re not talking like, you know, heaps of levels above what I was doing and she’s like, yeah, that’s right. Like that’s, that’s the average for the market. And I was like. Say what now? Um, so that was how I actually first discovered it was because a recruiter reached out to me. And I think that that’s something that’s really important to note is that it’s literally recruiters jobs to find talent, to feel roles for their clients.
So often what will happen is a client, like an organization or a project. We’ll go to a recruiter and they’ll say, we need like this particular person or this particular skill set or this particular role, um, or even potentially a group of them if they’re like standing up and brand new project. And then that recruiter, it’s like their job to like, stay ahead of the market and stay abreast of the people who are in the market, um, and their experience and kind of network and like, it’s their role to actually.
often reach out to, um, to candidates or potential candidates. So they might post a job ad and get people coming in, but then they actually do a lot of outreach as well. And I can actually honestly say that two of my best jobs that I’ve ever had contracting, um, were because. recruiters reached out to me.
Um, so most of my contract roles have actually been hired through recruiters. Um, and they, I always say like they can be your greatest asset. Um, so definitely like build relationships with recruiters, get to know them, get to know the ones that are in your area, in your field. Um, because they can absolutely be your best friend, your best ally when it comes to, to finding roles proactively for you.
Um, so that you are not necessarily always having to go and chase them. You can actually attract fantastic work and fantastic roles to you. And now
Tiffany Grant: that you say that, when you say attract these recruiters, um, like what tools are you using? Like, was this through LinkedIn or was it another platform?
Lata Hamilton: Yeah. So, I mean, every platform kind of works the same where it’s like the more active that you are, the more likely that you are going to be to come up in search results and to come up higher in the algorithm.
So recruiters have all of these incredible tools. Like I’ve, I’ve got. incredible relationships with a lot of recruiters in my field and even broader than my field as well. Like I, I think recruiters are amazing. Um, there can be obviously like every profession, there can be some out there that maybe aren’t as, as, um, uh, relationship building.
But actually a lot of the ones that I’ve worked with, especially in the change management space have been absolutely incredible. Really like cream of the crop in terms of the work that they do. And so these recruiters, they have like special tools. So like, while you might have the candidate portal for, um, like a job site, um, or for LinkedIn, like your.
You’re like, you have your own personal profile. These recruiters have a completely different portal access and they can like go and search for people, search for candidates. So I really highly recommend that you just always like keep your information up to date. And, um, when you have gone through and like updated on a job site or updated.
Information on LinkedIn, or when you’re active on LinkedIn, you’re more likely to come up in recruiters algorithm and recruiters search. So then you’re top of the list when they’ve got a great role and they’re looking for somebody to place.
Tiffany Grant: Yes, that is awesome. Those are awesome tips, y’all. So make sure you all are updating your LinkedIn and staying active over there if this is something that you’re interested in.
And I’ll also add because I used to work for a staffing agency and temp agencies are so underutilized in my opinion. Um, that was how I was able to get my first job out of, um, school, you know, my first real job. And I’m doing air quotes, um, out of school. And then also, you know, sometimes they’ll reach out like, Hey, we have some project work or direct hire work, um, that you can do.
And it’s just awesome to, even if they don’t have anything for you right now. Just going out there, applying at those agencies. And then that way, when things do come up, they can just search in their internal databases as well, um, and reach out to you. So I definitely agree with you. And I feel like this is an untapped thing that most people don’t realize or don’t do now when you, uh, tripled your salary.
So let’s talk about that. Right. Um, so. You had the recruiter reach out to you about some project work. Now, how, were you taking on a lot of different projects or was it like one project? Like, how did that all work for you to triple your salary?
Lata Hamilton: Yeah. So, I mean, I actually, I didn’t take that particular role from that recruiter.
Cause I’d literally been in my new job for just a few. A few weeks, really. And so I still had a lot to learn. Um, I just made the career change into change management and I’d actually gotten a pay rise. So my background had actually been in marketing, um, and about a year or so prior to that, I’d been in a different role.
So I’d gotten a pay rise, um, changing companies once I’d then gotten another pay rise, changing companies again. Um, and then I found, and then I kind of discovered just how lucrative it could be to do day rate contracting. Um, but you know, like I really had to do. I really had to understand what it actually entailed.
And what I would say to, to anybody is like, absolutely go and do your research. Um, go and find out exactly what is covered in that employment type for you and make sure that you’re comparing apples with apples. So like, make sure that you’re better off overall by choosing that because while the dollars, like, like, you know, I almost fell off my chair at the dollars.
I was like, what, how can I be paid so much for one day’s work? But there are other considerations in terms of like, well, what are you missing out on in terms of other benefits and things like that, that a salaried person might get or a person who’s employed on a different employment type might get. So you really have to go and do like your due diligence and make sure that it’s the right thing for you.
Talk to whoever is like, you know, I’m not a financial expert. I’m not a financial advisor or anything like that. Um, I can just kind of share. like what the employment types are, but then it’s best for you to kind of go in, um, I guess, talk to the people that you trust and the people that you get financial advice, whether that’s an accountant, tax accountant, financial advice or whatever, um, to find out if it’s the right thing for you and how you can set yourself up best.
So I spent a bit of time doing that. Like I just wanted to understand exactly like why that, um, amount was so high. Um, so I spent some time doing that and then, um, But it was kind of always at the back of my mind. And I, at the time I was actually, um, I had moved into my own apartment. So I just bought my own apartment and I was living in that now, um, out in the suburbs and my job was in the city and the commute was just starting to kill me.
It was like an hour. Each way it had this like 20 minute walk, the train was packed. And so this job that I really, really enjoyed and like probably the best boss that I’ve ever had. And these projects that I was absolutely loving and working on. So I was in one organization, um, on a fixed term contract, I worked on one major project and then that one wrapped up and then I went.
Started working on another project, but I just couldn’t do the commute anymore. And I was really like, you know, for my own wellbeing, my own health. Um, and, and then also because it was a fixed term contract. So I was like, well, I have this option to kind of move if I want to. I was actually made permanent in that role, but I still made the decision to actually, um, move and I started applying for roles and I ended up getting a role through another recruiter.
Um, that was more local to where I was living at the time. And that was really when I, so in that move, I kind of doubled, doubled my income. Um, and so yeah, over the space of three years, I think I probably changed organizations like three times, um, and changed careers and changed the way that I was employed.
And that’s actually how I tripled my salary in the space of three years. So I think. at the very beginning of my career, I just thought that there was one trajectory, one, one path as to how you can, um, I guess become successful in career and keep building and growing your pay. Um, and I just thought that was, you know, stay with one company for life, um, be super loyal, just keep getting promotion after promotion, pay rise after pay rise in one company, because that was the model that I had learned from my dad.
Um, he had been with one company for like 25 years, like literally like. The number of years that I had been alive, um, and I watched him just kind of like climb that corporate ladder, but you know, like times have changed and, um, I’m not my dad. I’m not a baby boomer. I’m not a male. I have a lot of creativity.
I have a lot of innovation. Um, not to say that he doesn’t, but like for me, variety and growth. is actually more important. And I am a very risk averse person. But at the same time, I’m like, if I can go and earn more doing exactly the same thing, like I would rather take that and any kind of, um, idea around risk.
I’m like, I’m happy to weigh that up and see if I’m actually going to be better off overall. And if I’m willing to wear that risk. So for me, like it ended up just being a really, really great career move because, um, you know, I had Just settled on, um, my property, uh, when I had moved into change management.
So a couple of months after I moved into change management and like within a couple of years, I was on track to like paying that off in like record time. I thought it would take me like 20, 30 years to pay off that apartment. And I was on track to paying it off within seven years. And I just had so much like.
Cash and so much wealth behind me as well. And it really sort of transformed the way that I viewed money. It really transformed the way that I viewed my own worth and how much my time was worth and how much my skills were worth because I was being paid in a really different way. Like it was almost like if you don’t work a day.
Then you don’t get paid, right? So it’s kind of like you start to think about, well, how much time, how much is an eight hour slot actually worth? Um, and so it really transformed everything. It, it sort of put me on the path to more pay rises down the track and more, um, income in the future. It really kind of helped bolt.
boost and bolster my own confidence. And I had my own side hustle at the time. And so it really helped to kind of like provide a great foundation of wealth and abundance to be able to really explore that side hustle and to be able to do it quite freely because, um, I just. you know, had a, had a lot of income coming in from other areas.
So I could just build that side hustle. And actually by the time, um, I decided to sort of move into my business full time, I had like 200, 000 in savings in the bank, um, simply because of the way that I had chosen to work in projects and in change management. And so like, that was such a fantastic. Um, foundation for me to actually make that leap and to make that, um, kind of jump, uh, because I was like, well, I’ve got this kind of safety net, um, of wealth behind me.
And that was absolutely fantastic. So yeah, that’s what I do now. I really love helping women carve their own paths for change in their career, their leadership and their life. And I guess not necessarily, um, follow the tracks that they were told they have to follow. Follow the tracks that maybe they’ve seen other people do before.
There are so many different ways to work. There are so many different ways to be employed. There are so many different ways to build wealth. So really starting to just explore and expand what you think is possible.
Tiffany Grant: Yes, I love that. And I am a firm believer in giving yourself pay raises, i. e. just. you know, job hopping, what they would call job hopping.
But really I’m like, for me, that’s exactly what I did as well in my career in HR before I went full time as an entrepreneur. Um, I, if you look at my resume, I think like 11 months to a year is like where I kind of tap out and then I move on to the next thing. Um, and that’s how I was able as well to I think double my salary at that point.
Um, so I highly recommend and I completely agree with you. The only thing I would add is if you decide that you want to do this moonlighting, um, so like you have your day job and then you just want to do this on the side. Just putting on my HR cap real quick, make sure that it’s not a conflict of interest with your regular job.
Um, make sure that you didn’t sign anything that says that you can’t do it. Um, but if not, then by all means, you can do both. Um, but I just wanted to put that word of caution out there as well, cause I’ve seen where people have tried to moonlight and then they lose their. Um, their job, uh, just because it was a conflict.
So just make sure you’re covering yourself. I just wanted to add that, but thank you so much Lata. And I want people to find out more about this and find out more about you. So where would they find you if they were interested in exploring
Lata Hamilton: more? Yeah. So you can absolutely find me at latahamilton. com. Um, and I actually have a five step career change formula.
It’s like a free guide. The underpaid and overlooked coaching action guide. So it’s got my five step career change formula where you can actually have scripts, um, and like a five step career change formula to, to really help you go for that next pay rise, that next promotion or that career change. Um, so you can get that from latahamilton.
com slash worth it. And obviously you can find me on LinkedIn.
Tiffany Grant: I love that. Give it to me. I’m worth it. No, but thank you so much. Thank you so much. And if you all did not catch that, I will put that in the show notes and make sure you check those. And thank you so much, Lata. I’m gonna go ahead, even though I’m not in corporate, I’m gonna go ahead and download that as well.
Cause I’m just curious that I want to see what I can be doing better, even as I take on projects and contracts. So thank you so much. And I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.
Lata Hamilton: Thanks so much, Tiff.
Tiffany Grant: Bye.
Intro/Outro: Thank you for listening, joining and being a part of the Money Talk with Tiff podcast this week.
You can check Tiff out every Thursday for a New Money Talk podcast, but if you just can’t wait until next week, you can listen to previous podcast episodes at Money Talk with t.com or follow tiff on all social media platforms at Money Talk with T until next time. Spend wise by spending less than you make a word to the money wise is always sufficient.
Are you contemplating a career change or looking for ways to boost your income? This episode welcomes Lata Hamilton, a change management specialist from Australia, to discuss the ins and outs of contracting and how it can be a valuable way to grow your wealth and gain diverse experience in project-centric jobs.
Lata Hamilton introduces two types of contracts she has worked with in Australia:
- Fixed-term contracts: These have a set period of employment, offering a stable timeframe for working on specific projects.
- Day rate contracts: These provide payment on a daily basis for the duration of the project/tasks assigned.
Hamilton mentions that both fixed-term and day-rate contracts proved beneficial for her, as she was able to increase her wealth and amass valuable experience in a short period.
Building relationships with recruiters
Hamilton emphasizes the key role that recruiters play in finding contract roles. Building a professional network and maintaining connections with recruiters within your field can have considerable benefits when it comes to landing exciting contract opportunities. She suggests updating your information on platforms such as LinkedIn and other job sites to remain visible to potential recruiters.
The hidden treasure of temp agencies
Tiffany Grant, the podcast host, highlights the importance of staffing or temp agencies in the contracting world. They are often an underutilized resource in finding a wide range of jobs that cater to different skill sets. Don’t miss out on the opportunities they offer!
Tripling your salary: A personal journey
Lata Hamilton shares her inspiring story of how she managed to triple her salary in just three years. She achieved this by changing companies three times, taking on diverse career directions, and adopting various employment types.
Before you take the leap: Caution!
Hamilton advises her listeners to exercise due diligence before diving headfirst into contract work. Assess the financial viability of such roles compared to other types of employment. It’s essential to understand contract work’s implications and how it can affect your long-term financial goals.
Know your worth and leverage your skills
When it comes to contract work, it’s vital to understand your worth and recognize the value of your skills and time. Hamilton stresses the importance of being well-informed about your market value to ensure you’re compensated fairly in contract roles.
A word of advice for moonlighters
Tiffany Grant offers a word of caution for those considering taking on contract roles alongside their day jobs: Make sure to check your current company’s policies regarding conflicts of interest before diving into contract work.
Don’t miss this informative episode where Lata Hamilton shares her experiences and insights on contracting. You’ll discover the different types of contracts, the value of recruiters and temp agencies, tips on financial planning, and the importance of knowing your worth in the world of contracting. Happy listening, and may your wealth grow with every contract you sign!