Mon 7th Mar 2016
Contracting is a lifestyle choice. It goes beyond the financial benefits for many people, to a choice about when they work, were and gives opportunities to work in new and interesting locations. However, for anyone considering a change in career, it is important to remember the benefits do not come without some pitfalls. Here are some common frustrations we hear contractors talking about –
Contractors are constantly looking one job ahead. Unless you secure a very long contract, you will need to think about lining up your next role. Finding out about opportunities available in the future requires you to network within the industry so that you are ready to apply when the time is right. Social media can help you keep up to date, make sure you keep in contact in influential groups, but do not overlook the personal. Quick conversations with your contacts can keep your profile high and keep you in the loop.
Gone are the regular payments made to your account each month. Contracting means a constant run of raising invoices and monitoring and chasing payments. How easy this is can be entirely down to how organised your client is. Sometimes larger organisation’s may have internal processes that hold up the process of being paid, which can put a big strain on smaller organisations. Making sure you keep track of your contacts is important but can be a job in itself. Using an agency is one way of taking away these pressures so that you can focus on the task at hand, secure in the knowledge that you have a back office managing the payment process for you.
Setting a price for a job can be a struggle, balancing a number of factors. The competition for the role, who else will be bidding and their experience relative to your own, the opportunities to work elsewhere, how much other jobs are paying, the length of the contract, location plus many other variables will all have an influencing factor. It is important to remember to approach payment issues with a cool head. Trying to undercut competitors can be risky, as you will need to be sure you are able to operate that the price you put in. Value your time, collate all the information you are able to create a realistic picture of the opportunities and put in a bid that reflects your abilities. In addition, make sure your bid outlines all the benefits of employing you over the other bidders. Do your best to set out your skills so that they can see value in your bid. Remember the cheapest will not always win.