So, you’ve decided to venture into the world of professional contracting! You are not alone.
Professional contracting continues to grow rapidly worldwide, with people entering this avenue of the gig economy from virtually every industry and experience level.
In Ireland, IT, engineering and pharmaceutical roles continue to be strong from a contracting perspective however we are now also seeing increasing roles in the finance, education, design, sales and travel sectors to name a few.
Here are my 5 contracting tips to help you with getting started on your exciting journey through contracting and freelancing:
1. Get prepared for selling yourself
Selling yourself well gives the best possible opportunity to land the kind of roles which are of most interest to you and of course earn you the most money.
Selling yourself as a contractor should start with your LinkedIn account. Use keywords that easily describe your experience, skills and education so contract recruiters can find you quickly when searching for candidates.
LinkedIn is a recruiter’s key tool for finding candidates. Keep your profile up to date and make it as easy as possible for them to find you.
Next comes your CV. When companies hire contractors, it is because they have requirements for a specific skill set or experience. Items such as your hobbies or whether you like to do yoga on the weekend is of lesser interest. They want to quickly identify your skills and capabilities.
List your skills, professional achievements and work history in the order of most recent. Keep your CV concise and tailor it as much as possible to each role. This might take more time, but it will help your CV stand out.
Interviews can be stressful however they need not be. The hiring company is seeking to confirm if you can do the job and make an impact. Let your skills, education and experience do the talking and remember to:
– Do your research – arrive prepared.
2. Use a good contract recruiter
A good contract recruiter is worth their weight in gold.
Develop a relationship with them and let them know your plans, ambitions for the future. The more you earn, the more they earn so they have a vested interest in seeing you develop.
A good recruiter will know about freelance or contract roles coming online up to 9 months in the future. They have in depth knowledge of the industry and suggest contracts that will develop your desired skills and earning potential. Having a good contract recruiter in your corner will expedite your development and earning potential.
Keep in touch with them regardless of whether you are seeking new opportunities. A good recruiter is a friend for life.
3. Commit to a lifelong learning journey
The most successful career contractors are the ones that adopt an attitude of lifelong learning.
Investing time and money in continually upskilling will provide a great return over the length of your career; both in terms of increased earning potential due to your range of skills and the variety of contracting opportunities available to you.
Plus, generous tax relief is available to contractors for costs associated with upskilling to ease the financial burden of these activities.
4. Take advantage of the flexibility benefits
Increased flexibility and control is currently the most common reason Fenero receives from people taking up contracting for the first time. Contracting allows for better work life balance, time to travel the world in-between contracts or take summers or extended periods off. Make use of the advantages contracting allows, try not to go from contract to contract without taking a break and live a fulfilled life.
5. Use a specialist firm to help you maximise the financial benefits
Professional contractors tend to earn significantly more than their permanent equivalents. Partnering with tax advisors who specialise in professional contracting will help you to make your additional earning potential work for you in the most tax efficient way. Tax can be complicated, but using a company like Fenero makes it simple.
For anyone starting out contracting for the first time we usually recommend using an Umbrella Company initially due to its simplicity and flexibility. When you get comfortable in the contract, we can discuss the tax planning benefits associated with having your own Personal Limited Company. We are also able to help if you feel that diving straight in with a Personal Limited Company solution is best for you.
Read more: Why contracting is here to stay in Ireland
Get in touch for more help!
Fenero are multi-award winning friendly tax specialists and experts in all things contracting. We are straight-talking technical experts, with a single-minded mission to deliver market leading customer experience; fast, friendly, informative service and great value fees.
Reasons why Contractors choose Fenero include:
- Speedy responses
- Multiple money back service level guarantees
- Great value fees
- Comprehensive insurance coverage
- Excellent customer support
- Free medical and counselling services and discounted health insurance plans
We are proud winners of the prestigious overall award of Accountancy Practice of the Year in the 2019 Irish Accountancy Awards! So talk to the best in the industry for all the expert tax and financial advice you need to maximise the financial benefits of contracting!
For more information on getting started in contracting or to get a free illustrative calculation showing how much you can earn as a professional contractor, drop a line to the friendly, expert crew in our Solutions Team on +353 1 6877400 or contact us via email. We look forward to helping you!