The contract lifestyle is a lot different to the nine-to-five PAYE system. You need to be properly equipped for the mobility of contract life.
Here is our guide to the bare essentials every contractor needs:
Finance and legal
The financial and legal set-up for freelancers is very different from full-time PAYE staff. Make sure you listen to our podcast on how to set up as a contractor for more information and check out our guide on your National Insurance responsibilities as a contractor.
Having an accountant – or accountancy software, if you plan to manage your own tax affairs – is essential. Likewise, you’ll need a business bank account to store your hard-earned cash. Make sure you leave enough aside for VAT, corporation tax, personal tax and National Insurance.
Take a look at iContract for our recommended financial services partners.
It may be that you would like to contract at businesses that allow remote working, so check out our guide to remote working.
Pretty much everyone has a smartphone nowadays, which is naturally essential. But you will also need a laptop if you want to work flexibly. Wifi at home is pretty standard too nowadays, but if working remotely, be sure to identify the coffee shops and workspaces in your preferred locations that offer free wifi.
Be sure to have Skype or similar conferencing software installed on your laptop to keep in touch on the road.
Some employers may offer secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) access to contractors so they can source files on the company system that they may need via their laptops. Depending on your security settings, you may require some the IT team to help set that up on your laptop. When you leave this access should be revoked.
As a contractor you will need to hustle and make yourself known. As well as connecting with recruiters via iContract, you can help yourself by making sure that you:
- Build a strong contact network. Make sure you pre-register for iContract so you can connect easily with recruiters and source opportunities
- Have a website that showcases you, your interested, your experience and your approach to your chosen field. Check out our post on how to blog as a contractor
- Make the best use of social media to find, build and nurture your contact network. Check out our podcast on how using social media to win contracts. We also have guides on how to use Twitter and LinkedIn best practice for contractors
- Network, network, network! Social networking will never be as powerful or personal as face-to-face networking. We will be running lots of face-to-face networking events going forward so be sure to follow us on Facebook so you’re among the first to hear about them
iContract will be launching soon… pre-register now