So you have decided to leave your permanent job to instead work on a contractual basis. Congrats! After all, there is nothing better than being your own boss, right? That’s true! Being a contractor means you have the liberty to work on projects that really interest you, manage your work schedule as you like and earn as much as you want to – without the trouble to answer to anyone other than yourself!
However, you should be realistic because like everything else, the contracting method to make a living has its downfalls too, such as facing the wrath of HMRC over IR35 legislation. Therefore, to succeed as a contractor, here are 5 points you must always remember:
- Embrace uncertainty
By becoming a self-promoted contractor, you lose the security and comfort that a permanent job offers. Getting a regular monthly salary becomes a thing of the distant past as you now start relying on multiple cheques to get cleared within the timeline. So yes – making a switch from a permanent form of employment to contracting is a daunting task.
You can’t take things like holidays, sick pay, tax deductions and pensions for granted. You can’t put your career on auto-pilot anymore. You have to prepared for all kinds of disruption such as the untimely termination of your contract – but take this with a pinch of salt and be prepared!
- Keep your ego at bay
It’s absolutely fantastic to get a chance to work on projects and with people you are comfortable with. There’s no bigger joy than working for yourself – we understand that! But this doesn’t mean you start taking people for granted and believing that everyone will abide by your rules and work as per your schedule.
It doesn’t work like that. Avoid getting into fights and confrontations. Therefore, you should try to keep your ego at bay. Be very tactful, especially when you are on the verge of bagging new projects. Be cordial and maintain professional relationships with sincerity.
- Be a team player
Just because you are a contractor doesn’t mean you won’t have to work with a team. So, you should to try to fit in and be open to ideas – in case you are asked to work with other people on a particular project. Plus, working alone can be a bit boring. Therefore, this kind of arrangement is good fun once a while.
- Don’t be stringent about time and location
Be assured your client will expect you to stay late at the office or even work on weekends to achieve targets. Well, the simple rule of contracting is “no work, no pay”. So you have to pull through and finish work on time. Similarly, if your current arrangement requires you to work from home, then it is fine.
But your client can also ask you to drop to the office every once a while for meetings or project. Therefore, you should be flexible and ready to take each day as it comes. Being a contractor means embracing the tiniest of challenges!
- Improve your communication skills
As a contractor, you should be able to define your deliverables and objectives properly. You have to be very specific about what you expect from the client in terms of work, mode of payment, project details, etc. It is important to take detailed notes of the procedures and processes of the company.
Document everything and keep the manager-in-charge always updated. Also, don’t forget to read your contract properly. Understand the terms of contract well and raise questions, wherever necessary.
So, do you agree with these 5 points? Want to share your experience as a contractor? Talk to us!