Securing your first contract role can be quite a daunting experience, with professionals moving away from the stability and routine of a full-time role.

All it takes is a little preparation to get your new freelance career off to a flying start. If you are already well-regarded in your field when you begin life as a freelance contractor, you will find it much easier to pick up clients and start earning money quickly.

However, here are just some things you will need to be aware of once you get started:

1. There will be competition

While full-time roles are often hotly contested by highly skilled candidates, the freelance world provides more competition for specialists. Many of the top professionals in contracting will not be restricted by a manager that tells them what to do.

This means freelancers can dedicate as much time as possible to boosting their skills and those with a stable client base will already have a head start on their competitors. With this in mind it is key to make sure all of your abilities are properly outlined through LinkedIn and any other social media platforms you use. Testimonials can be advantageous and make a big difference to the number of enquiries you receive. You could even create your very own website to host testimonials, highlight your skills and provide contact details for prospective assignments.

2. Specialist freelance and contractor accountants can be a huge help

Often, the most intimidating part of entering the freelance world is managing your own taxes, expenses and any other costs, which is why specialist accountants, such as Brookson, can be so beneficial. A contractor accountant will go through your working options with you and provide you with an illustration which will determine the most beneficial way for you to work, whether that’s via your own Limited Company or through an Umbrella Solution.

A contractor accountant will not only can help you set up your limited company, assist in setting up a business bank account and register you for VAT, they will provide on-going proactive support throughout your contracting journey. Processing claimable expenses, producing your VAT returns, annual accounts and much more. A good contractor accountant will also ensure you’re kept up to date with the latest compliance and legislation updates and ensure you’re working compliantly. Some, like Brookson, even offer IR35 reviews.

By appointing a specialist freelancer and contractor accountant you’ll be able to focus on your work without having to worry about your accounts.

3. You have way more control

Working as a contractor allows you to pick and choose projects that suit your skillset. Although full-time roles have a fixed routine and stability, employees are often left doing menial tasks they dislike. This does not need to be the case as a freelancer.

What’s more, if you want to challenge yourself to learn new skills and techniques, you can take time out of your day to attend classes or network with other specialists. On the other hand, if there are days you need free for time with friendly and friends, you can choose to keep yourself free and maintain a strong work/life balance.