If you’re seriously considering the move to contracting from direct employment, you’ll need to ensure you’re fully prepared to hit the ground running.
Below we take a look at the key things you’ll need to consider:
How do you look on paper?
Your current employer may know all your skills, abilities and experience – but is this reflected in your CV? If you’ve been in the role for some time, the first thing you might need to do is give your CV a refresh.
Think about how the Hiring Manager will read the CV, what keys things are they looking for – your project experience, accreditations or education? Perhaps it’s a good idea to mention the size, scale and cost of projects you’ve been involved with to give them an understanding of your capability.
Have you set yourself up for payment?
If you’re going it alone, you’ll need to decide how you’ll receive your contractor earnings.
You could opt to register as a limited company – billing clients for services as a supplier and recovering business expenses such as mileage, telecommunication contracts and training accreditations. As a limited company you’d liable to manage your own tax compliance, so may also need to budget the monthly cost of an accountant.
Alternatively you could work through an umbrella company, where tax and national insurance contributions are fully managed on your behalf.
Do you have all the essentials in place?
The critical thing you’ll need to arrange before starting out is insurance. Most major contractors will want proof of insurance before you’re allowed on site, and these policies will be essential to ensure you’re fully protected whilst at work. Policies you may benefit from include professional indemnity, public liability, employer’s liability (compulsory if you’re setting up a business through which to invoice your services), as well as valuable additions such as occupational personal accident cover in case of injury.
You may also want to take out a company mobile phone and email address to help you separate work and home, and undertake more training to increase your earning potential.
If the above sounds daunting, it doesn’t need to. The Association of Independent Professionals (IPSE) reported 4.8 million freelancers working across the UK in June 2017 – so there’s lots of people out there successfully managing a contractor lifestyle.
Looking for more information on how to become a contractor?
Download our handy eBook packed full of useful hints and tips.