What can contracting teach you?

2nd June 2017

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It’s well known about the positive impact that contracting can have on your life in terms of the financial benefits it can bring as well as the flexible work lifestyle you can enjoy plus the variety of projects you’ll experience. But what about what it can teach you? Work doesn’t always have to be financially rewarding, although this is of course always helpful, many people get great reward from how their work can develop themselves as a person. Working as a contractor, you’ll soon notice a difference in yourself in contrast to how you might have been when you were working full-time. So what can you expect to learn after a few years as a contractor?

It’s alright to say no

Working full-time you may have got used to becoming content with most things and not always have had the influence to challenge anything. You probably were happy just going along with the crowd and agreeing all the time. Working as a contractor, you’re given a great deal more flexibility and freedom and you are given the responsibility for your own actions. This gives you the authority to say no to things. Whatever context this is in, saying no can be one of the most powerful things you can do and this type of experience can hold you in great stead for future and shape your learning for the future. Remember, if you are offered a contract, you have to take in account what this will do for your career. Will it be a step forward for you? Does it represent your true value? Saying no to an offer won’t be the end of your contracting career, but hopefully you’ll have come to this decision sensibly knowing that you have offers in the pipeline or your financially comfortable at the moment to not jump first thing into the next contract.

It pays to be confident and know your value

Confidence is a valuable trait to have in any aspect of your life and those who exude in confidence, excel in life. Contracting can give you that level of confidence you’ve always seeked as a working professional. Starting out as a contractor, you’ll need to be confident in selling yourself and your services and build confidence in potential clients that you are a worthy investment. You are your own boss and there’s no option to hide behind the simplicity of your full-time job. You may be required to negotiate your rates with prospective employers as a contractor, so it pays to know how much you value yourself. Be confident in how you are positioning yourself and what your value is and you’ll gain great respect and admiration and will grow professionally for this.

Always learning, always moving

Working as a contractor, no day will ever be the same. You may find in past employment working full-time, you will have been held back or your role was strictly working within the confinements of your job description. As a contractor, you’ll be given great scope for development and will manage your own course and destiny. Having that freedom of choice, allows you to have a broader approach to your career and taking on different projects throughout the year, you’ll be constantly learning and won’t find your career stagnating.

Joining the status quo isn’t always the best choice

For years you may have been used to the belief that full-time work represents a steady and stable choice and the idea of becoming freelance or self-employed as a contractor is a risky enterprise that’s only suited to a select few. Today that could’t be more false as a statement. As employment trends have changed progressively, combined with the rise of flexible working, and the influence of the gig and on-demand talent economy; going down the traditional route of full-time employment is slowly becoming an unpopular choice for many. Where it was sensible to fit in, follow the crowd and embrace stability, the now agile and flexible work space we inhibit that has been advanced by technology has given us exciting and endless possibilities. The prospect of the 9 to 5 and climbing the corporate ladder is becoming more unattractive as each day passes. People want to create their own destiny and be part of something exciting, and contracting represents that. Once you’re in, your life will change forever for the better!

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