Professional Contracting can seem like a foreign or confusing way of working to most. While steady 9 to 5 jobs may have been the norm in the past, today’s workforce is becoming far more contingent and the gig economy is ever growing. This way of working is being used by more and more professionals.
Working independently as a professional contractor offers freedom and flexibility that is not an option to most in permanent employment. Instead of adapting their lives to their work they can adapt their work to their lives. Project based working, flexible working conditions and breaks between contracts can allow independent professional to obtain an ideal work life balance and enjoy free time at their own pace.
In this blog we review and debunk common misconceptions and myths around the world of contracting.
While some people contract as a means to earn money between jobs or roles, there are many who choose to contract for the long term. As the contract industry continues to mature, these roles are more commonplace allowing contractors to move from role to role should they wish. Changing contract positions, projects, and clients frequently allows individuals to build skills which would be difficult in a permanent position.
Contracting does require some self-marketing, both in person through network building and possibly having a presence online. Contracting does lend itself to working with multiple clients and different sources of income can be easily managed through the one limited company structure. Talent is in high demand, allowing contractors to work with multiple clients over time, and the honing of the skills of networking and presenting your self will be with you for life. That’s your best security in this fast changing world.
Experience may limit certain roles, but this is the case with permanent employment also. Ireland’s contingent workforce are seen internationally as well educated and highly-skilled. As contractors are working across multiple projects they have the ability to gain great experience, which in turn allows for more opportunities at higher rates. The investment in your skills development pays off handsomely.
It is always advisable to have funds set aside to support yourself initially, bearing in mind that there can be initial wait periods for payments from clients. This is true of everybody, in the fast changing world everybody should have a reserve, the old adage is that everybody should have three months at least in their back pocket and they should build this up by putting 10% of their income aside continuously. Also in wealth creation as a self-employed professional it is important that you are actively planning for your future. There are great excellent options for professional contractors to optimise their earnings and create wealth by use of executive pensions and offsetting the appropriate business related expenses against their income.
Recruitment agencies can assist you in sourcing a contract role. Working with multiple clients, they can support you in finding roles to suit your skill set. All it takes is one placement and you can then start to build a network. Treat networking as a necessary tool for your professional growth. The bigger and deeper the network the more possibilities you have.
As contracting lends itself so well to project based work, quite the opposite is the case as contractors find themselves working with new teams, companies and technologies over the course of their contracting career. The flexibility contracting provides allows individual to work specifically on their area of passion and become subject matter experts in this area.The professional contractor learns from different approaches and standard operating procedures and this makes them more valuable going forward.
Working independently can mean different things for different people. For some, the option to work quietly from home and avoid the office politics is an attraction. For others, contracting offers the opportunity to constantly increase your network. Working on site can involve working with a team, and it is likely some of team surrounding you are contractors also! Co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular, providing flexible office space that is centralised.
There are also plenty of online groups you can join such as the Irish Contractors Group on LinkedIn, ask our Solutions Team how to join this group!
Contracting PLUS are happy to support professional contractors in getting together and networking. We often host information events and open day clinics whereby you can attend and network with other contractors in your industries.
Our next open evening will be on Thursday 30th November in our Dublin offices. We will have speakers on a range of topics related to contracting. Follow the below link for further details and to register your attendance for free.
1800 54 54 22 info@ContractingPLUS.com
84 Merrion Square South
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