Return of the contractor

14th November 2017

Article written by:

Chris from iContract

Whether you’ve been away for a number of months through travelling or taking a long and overdue sabbatical, or have been working in a permanent role for a year or two, or even in some cases, having a second attempt after an unsuccessful failed first one; you can return to work as a contractor any time. Of course your return won’t always be a smooth transition, and as simple as turning on a light switch. But if you are thinking of returning to the market as a contractor for whatever reason, it’s ideal to bear these things in mind.

Whilst you’ve been away

A lot can happen between the time that you last worked as a contractor to the time that you’re thinking of returning to work as one. It’s ideal then not to jump in straight away and build some useful knowledge before your big return. For instance, should you reconsider your day rate, perhaps you’re underselling your talents to potential employers, or maybe the market has become more competitive so a slight decrease in your rate wouldn’t go a miss?

Are there any new developments, or pieces of legislation you need to make yourself aware of in your area of expertise or industry? Or perhaps you’ve fallen behind a bit with your skill-set and need to enhance it with some extra training.

There’s many things that could have potentially changed whilst you’ve been away so it pays to gain some insight into changes in your industry. As well as doing your own general research through whatever means, reach out to fellow peers to see what they can tell you and gain that upper hand before you re-enter the contractor market.

Room for improvement

Contracting can help you develop further in your career, with yourself able to treat each contract assignment as a new professional challenge. This progressive attitude is something you should absolutely embrace when making your step back into contracting. Take an open and honest look at how you operated as a contractor previously, was there something you think you could improve on if you were able to repeat the experience? Be open to constructive criticism, see where your CV is lacking, or maybe your interview skills need brushing up a bit? Look back at previous contract applications that were unsuccessful, was there something you could have done better?

Find out wherever possible, where there is room for improvement, seek to improve it with the view of ultimately bettering yourself as a contractor.

Embrace the new

Contracting is a fast moving industry where change is natural and something contractors need to adapt to in order to keep up with the pace of things and meet the demands and expectations of their employers.

An open mind to new technologies and new ways of doing things is essential to your progress as a contractor, particularly if making a return after a long absence.

See what new platforms are out there as a contractor, that can help you network, interact with fellow peers, find new opportunities, and ultimately improve your life as a professional contractor.

Prepare for the good, the bad and the admin

Contracting can take you on a full spectrum of emotions and it’s important you’re aware of this before you make any return to work as a contractor.

The positives you can get from working as a contractor are huge in amount. As a contractor, you’ll enjoy the flexibility and freedom to be your own boss, as well as the great financial benefit you can receive. However you must remember to take the rough with the smooth and understand you’ll have to deal with client rejection and there may be uncertain times which don’t provide you with much stability. Also, your return as a contractor brings you with a new gamut of responsibilities such as organising a suitable mortgage, accountancy providers, specialist insurance covers, and much more. To some this can be a bit of an admin headache, but many are prepared to brush these aside in favour of the many positives contracting can bring to you.

Mark your return as a contractor by registering for free with iContract, the new online platform connecting contractors with recruiters and employers. Engage and interact with a growing contractor community and find your next contract at