There are more people than ever before in the UK who are choosing to join the contracting sector and with the numerous benefits that come with this method of working it’s no surprise to see why.
What are the advantages of contracting?
- You have more freedom and flexibility compared to permanent workers, meaning that you can work when you want, can take holiday days as little or as often as you wish (although you won’t get paid for this time off) and you can potentially have a better work / life balance.
- The majority of contractors can charge a daily or hourly rate much higher than a permanent employee in the same role. Of course, your individual skills and your industry could mean your rates could be even higher.
- You are able to claim back expenses that are made for the running of your business, which can then reduce your tax bill at the end of the tax year.
- You will gain in terms of skills and experience by working with a number of clients in various industries.
When it comes to joining the contracting community it’s important that you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in to, as it is a completely different experience to working a 9-5 permanent job.
So before you quit your current role, here are a few things that you need to know:
You might find that you need to keep yourself company a lot of the time
Many contractors will work from a home office and if you find yourself in this situation, you need to know that you could be spending quite a lot of your time alone.
Many people dream of working from home, thinking that you can sit there watching daytime TV, doing a bit of work each day, but the reality is that you do need to be productive with your time and in actual fact, daytime TV can be rather distracting when you need to get on with work in order to earn money!
You do need to be strict with yourself in this situation and give yourself set times for breaks and perhaps even make a list of tasks you need to complete by the end of the day.
It can be lonely working on your own and for some people, that odd phone call and communicating via email is just not enough. There is a solution to this and that is to look for other workspace options.
For example, renting out a co-working space gives you the best of both worlds, as you can be in a working environment with like minded people, but at the same time you are still your own boss.
Of course, you would have to take the cost of renting out such a space into consideration and work out if this is the best option for you.
You are solely responsible for your own success
As a contractor it is entirely up to you to keep yourself motivated and productive, ensuring you’re always looking for that next contract.
This can be pretty daunting knowing that the success of your career or business is all on you and you alone.
But at the same time, when you do conquer your goals, this makes it even more worth celebrating because you have achieved this on your own and that is certainly something to be proud of.
You will have bad days where you are completely stressing out about work, however, those good days will more than make up for it.