There are many ways you can insulate yourself against these worries. Some of them are straightforward and may not be sexy, but they are fail safe. Some of them are more creative and will not only ensure your income, but future proof your career & lead to higher paying contracts.
Yes saving aren’t sexy, but they are essential so you can tide yourself over should tough times come. There are lots of brilliant resources to help you save smart, so do the right thing and set yourself up today.
Get yourself to the front of the pile by firing your perfect CV off as soon as that potential job comes through. If you are prepared, whether you are on the bus, the treadmill, in the pub, or watching telly on a Sunday, it will only take you a minute to apply. Consider drafting a few cover letters for different types of jobs or clients that you can tweak to fit and you will be flying even higher.
Make the work you have already done, earn for you
Even when you’re last job is finished, it can keep making you money if it is bringing you in new clients. Especially if those clients come directly to you, sidestepping your client having to pay agency fees will mean more money in your pocket! So, keep your web presence up to date, show off, blow your own trumpet across all social media platforms and share your talents.
If your project is coming to an end and you are handing your work over to the in-house team to run with, can you offer to become a consultant on the ongoing life and development of that work? Write a proposition or a job spec outlining timings and cost but most importantly how you can further benefit your client & increase the effectiveness of the work. Can you check in with the client once a week, bi-weekly, even once a month with your expertise and insight into that project? Suggest a role & a service your client didn’t even know they needed to ask for. As a contractor, make your own destiny.
Reframe yourself, your skills and your offering and you may catch jobs that otherwise would have passed you by. Perhaps a client isn’t looking for a contractor to execute a whole project? Are they looking for a specialist who can come in to brainstorm strategy, timings, pain points, production and execution before undertaking in house? With your knowledge, unique value & know how, you can enjoy the adrenaline of problem solving and planning without having to do the hard graft. On top of that, you’ll get a higher day rate & you can most likely consult alongside your contractor work without major disruption to your workflow. You might even decided to become a consultant full time.
Take a read of How to Secure Your Future as a Contractor for some other tips.
Neil is co-founder and CEO of ten80. With a strong background in SAP, Neil has worked as an end user, a consultant and as a contractor. He set up ten80 to allow clients to access the best SAP resources worldwide, and save money in the process.
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