Guide to Becoming a Professional Contractor
More and more businesses and organisations are responding to market conditions, demands and peak requirements by putting in place a flexible workforce solution that can be scaled to adapt to changes in both short-term business requirements and operational needs.
Have you considered contracting?
Contract roles can offer you greater flexibility with a greater work and life balance with the opportunity to increase your career earnings.
To become a successful Contractor, many professionals consider themselves to be a career contractor. As well as being specialists in their field, their strengths lie in quickly fitting in and delivering for a new team and expertly managing key projects. These are attributes that don’t just happen – they require investment in time and financial resources into your technical / project skills and changing industry standards.
What is a “Contractor”?
Contractors or freelancers are self-employed individuals that provide their services to a company for a set fee or agreed hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rate and duration, rather than being employed by that company.
Most contracts can be for a duration of 3 – 9 months and can become long-term, often lasting for years at a time. Traditionally, contractors and freelancers are historically paid more money than permanent employees, partly in order to compensate for the “uncertainty” of being independent and on a fixed-term contract. However, the current market-place insures that contractors often move from one contract to another without a break. Contractors are therefore mostly in work and earning high salaries, which makes contracting a very attractive option.
Advantages to being a contractor versus a permanent employee?
The main reasons many people choose to be a contractor is primarily financial followed by work and life balances.
However, being a contractor is undoubtedly different than other ways of employment, even though you may be well-qualified and have a great set of skills, successful contractors undoubtedly share the same personal and professional attributes, a dedicated mind set, strategic thinking and results orientated approach.
These and other crucial features to being a successful contractor include the following:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
It will be your responsibility to fill the gaps in your knowledge and expertise. The more knowledge and experience you gain in the role quickly will help you to win friends and settle in almost instantly.
Be ready to hit the ground running
Contractors are paid for their skills and knowledge to meet operational needs or work on certain projects, an organisation will not be prepared to train when you are expected to fulfil a role that you are supposed to know already.
Grow your personal attributes
Always stay focused on the job in hand, network with your colleague and peers alike, be helpful and share your knowledge with the permanent work force, become part of a social circle and show a genuine interest in others.
As a contractor there is no career hierarchy and you will be well rewarded for your technical abilities and career experience alone. The variety that comes with working in contract roles increases your skills base, industry knowledge, experience and exposure to dynamic environments. It gives you the opportunity to test your capabilities in new environments, helping you to make the next all-important career decision.
Contracting while you’re travelling is also a viable option and GER provides contract roles that are available both nationally and internationally.