Working as a contractor can be challenging. Even as an established contractor with ample experience under your belt, those common problems never seem to go away be they late client payments, worry over where your next contract is coming from, or if you’re still getting the best deals from the numerous financial arrangements you have to make.
Now imagine life as a first time contractor. With all these expected problems still ahead of you, your new working life is not going to be a walk in the park. But fear not, all of the best contractors had to start somewhere. Here’s some useful advice for you in your first steps as a contractors.
Confidence is key
Working as a contractor means you are working for yourself and you are your own source of income. Essentially you are a business and a brand and you are responsible for helping your business move in a positive direction. Confidence plays a big part in that positive direction. You need to be confident that you recognise yourself as a contractor and with that, confident in selling yourself as a contractor to potential clients and that you’ll bring something of value to them. Be confident in all aspects of your contracting persona; your skill-set, your day rate, why you are the best, what you can achieve for clients, and so forth. Clients want to feel assured and your confidence as a contractor will be reflected in the confidence of your clients.
Leave fear at the door
You may have asked yourself several times before starting as a contractor, is this for me? Congratulations if you came to the conclusion that yes contracting is for you, however that type of indecisive thinking needs to be a thing of the past. The road to success in contracting is tricky and paved with challenge after challenge. Not only are their financial obstacles to be aware of, the amount of work to get started as a contractor is difficult enough to put you off and by the time you’ve managed to organise everything, it’s time to hit the ground running straight away and get that first contract. There’s no real time to be dipping your feet in at the shallow end and wade in slowly, with contracting you’ll need to jump in head first at the deep end and this requires a no fear approach.
Contracting is about making connections and building networks. You are a brand and part of being a brand is brand management and developing and maintaining a positive reputation as a contractor. As a contractor, it pays to get your name out there and make yourself known in various circles; speak to friends who you know are contractors and see what leads they might have, make positive impressions on employers as there may come the need for them to rely on your services later on. Success as a contractor comes down to pro-activeness and making others aware of you. Contracts unfortunately aren’t going to land on your door-step so it pays to get known within your industry and get your face and name out there.
Find a source
Working as a contractor, it’s ideal to have a good source which you can continually go back to which will provide you with access to a plethora of contracting opportunities. This source can be anything, something as simple as a little black book that holds all your recent contacts, social media platforms, or online sites like iContract for instance, that host a number of exciting contracting opportunities in various fields. Finding your next contract can be a stressful ordeal and knowing where it is coming from next can play on your mind. Get some assurance and find a go to platform where you can search for and apply to any future contracts.
Let iContract help you take your first steps as a contractor and help you find your next contract opportunity. Launching soon, iContract is the new online platform connecting contractors with recruiters. Register as a contractor for free and explore the many live contracts that will be posted when iContract launches.