Contracting is proving to be particularly popular in a host of industries, with professionals able to take advantage of the amazing flexibility and choice provided in the role.

While some people will be happy to stick with the routine of full-time work, there are many benefits to going out on your own. These include flexibility over hours, complete freedom over the projects you choose and no limitations on how you wish to spend your time.

Whether you have children who you want to spend more time with, or you simply want to take more control of your life and dedicate time to other things you’re passionate about, contracting is a great way to further your career and improve your work/life balance.

Here are some key steps to consider when moving into the field:

1. Organise your time

While contracting can be extremely helpful to your productivity and personal life, it is vital you know how to organise your time properly in order to make the most of your time. While there will be days when you want to operate on flexible hours, it is best to set aside a specific time for your lunch or you could end up easily being overworked.

Similarly, make sure you finish on time, as it can be easy to do extra work and end up carrying out tasks until well after your eventual finish time. Try to set aside the tasks you want to complete and allocate a specific time for them. This way, you can make sure your work is completed as timely and efficiently as possible. If you cannot complete some of your financial bookkeeping, consider employing a freelance accountant, who will ensure your records are properly in order.

Use your status as a freelancer to choose projects that suit your weekly routine, too. Freelancing should be designed to work for you so, if you find yourself working seven days a week regularly, it’s perhaps best to try other clients.

2. Make sure your CV is up to date

When heading into the world of freelance, professionals need to make sure they market themselves effectively and this all starts with a strong CV.

Clients will be looking for contractors who have significant experience and ambition, so these attributes need to be conveyed on your profile. To ensure you can compete with other skilled workers, make sure to include all of your relevant projects, qualifications and achievements in a concise way.

Try not to make your CV too large either as it could discourage prospective clients from reading it. Keeping it within two pages is advisable and ask other professionals you know to give it a read through as they could offer great advice and help to spot potential errors.

3. Make goals 

While working freelance provides a lot of opportunity for workers to pursue their own career goals, it is easy for contractors to get into a routine of doing the same things over and over again.

Although this can prove to be successful, it may not give professionals true satisfaction from their workload. Instead, try to make plausible short and long-term goals. These can vary from simply breaking even to taking on work from specific companies you admire. By having these aims, it will be easier for you stay motivated as you begin to familiarise yourself with the world of contract work.

As part of your plans, try to make sure you develop a long list of contacts who you can speak to for job opportunities. Over time, you will be able to form a strong reputation as a dependable and efficient employee and your long-term objectives will start to become more and more realistic. If you are considering moving into contracting, speak to a specialist contractor accountant, like Brookson, for more information.

New To Contracting

If you’re thinking about becoming a contractor for the first time our video is a great place to start!