If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us one thing, it’s that our idea of the workplace can change in an instant. The global event saw people leave the office in droves and commit to working remotely, while thousands also left the workforce to take early retirement.
A new type of work in particular emerged victorious from COVID-19 - self-employment.
With the pandemic leading people to reconsider their careers and consider making big life changes, many turned their focus to freelancing or contracting as a way to pay the bills. According to the latest figures from the ONS, there are around 4.7 million self-employed people in the UK.
But why is contracting so popular? And if you decide this career is right for you, how do you get started? We’re glad you asked.
Benefits of Contracting
Here are just some of the benefits you can enjoy when you decide to start a career as a contractor.
Have you ever dreamed of only working on the projects you want to work on, with the companies you want to work for, when you want to work for them?
Contracting offers this flexibility in abundance. Rather than being stuck working on the same projects for the same company, you’ll enjoy a wealth of opportunities that suit your interests and skill set.
Plus, depending on whether or not you work outside IR35, you might even be able to choose your own hours and style of working, so you can work in a way that lends itself to your strengths.
Broaden your skill set, knowledge, and experience
If there’s one thing that’s likely to give you the edge over other contractors or permanent job candidates when it comes to landing lucrative projects, it’s experience.
Being a contractor allows you to work in a diverse set of organisations, giving you valuable experience that you can transfer to new roles. Not only does this make you a more attractive candidate for your career going forward, but it can make your career more rewarding as you find out new things within your niche.
Greater earning potential
Because contractors are considered experts in their field, you can expect higher pay per hour if you opt for a career in contracting compared to permanent employees in the same industry.
The longer your career as a contractor goes on, the more experience you accrue, and the higher rates you can justify charging. Plus, you can negotiate the best rate with companies when you start a contract and don’t have to rely on asking for pay rises.
How to Succeed as a Contractor
You can use a London contract job website to scour contracts and projects on offer from companies in your field. When applying, put your best foot forward with an easy-to-read, professional CV and testimonials from previous clients.
You can build a client network by attending professional networking events and trade shows, as well as keeping in touch with key contacts from previous projects.