What Makes a Successful Contractor?

As experts in contract and interim recruitment, we know many contractors who have been working successfully for years or even decades, who are well suited to being self-employed. Over the years we’ve noticed that these individuals have a few things in common that help them contract successfully. So, we’ve made a note of them here and hopefully they will help you if you’re thinking about a career in contracting.


You thrive on new challenges
The very nature of contracting means that you might be working on one job for a few months, then finding another position straight afterwards. This could be with a new company in a different part of the country working with completely different systems. If you’re a creature of habit who enjoys being at the same desk every day with the same group of people, then contracting probably isn’t for you! But if you’re the sort of person who thrives on challenges and new experiences, you can find both in contracting.

You’re happy working from home or in an office
With employers happy to offer more flexible working environments, especially to contractors, it’s not unusual to find that you’ll be working from home. Remote working offers great opportunities for both candidates and employers to work with people in diverse locations and even time zones – it’s all about finding people with the right skills. If you’re thinking about contacting, be prepared to consider working from home as an option.

You’re great at time management
Unlike most salaried employers, contractors are often required to keep track of their time and submit electronic timesheets to their supervisors. This helps employers allocate budgets to specific projects and keep track of lead times. If you’re someone who previously worked in a permanent position you might find this transition tricky at first, but if you’re used to tracking and managing your time then you’ll have no problems!

You’re responsible with money
The biggest difference with being self-employed is that you’re responsible for paying your own taxes, rather than having them automatically deducted from your pay check as you do with a permanent job. Some contractors choose to sign up with umbrella companies, who deal with tax for you. Others simply employ a good accountant to make sure they’re paying what they owe to HMRC – the last thing you want is an unexpected bill from the tax man!

You want to develop different skills
Contracting can be a great way of developing different skills in your arsenal, especially if you can focus on a particular area for a period of months. The most successful contractors are those that keep an eye of market trends, especially in the fields of IT and Engineering. For example, the coding languages that were prevalent 5 years ago might not be used as widely now, so IT contractors need to continually adapt and retrain as necessary to stay marketable.

If you’re considering a career in IT contracting, talk to the recruitment experts at Fuel to find out more. Call us on 03333 207 333 to speak with one of our consultants.

Read more of our candidate advice articles here: News & Blog

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