How to network effectively as a contractor

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There are many reasons why people choose to become a contractor. The financial incentive will always be a strong reason for any change of job or career plan, and contractors have a chance to earn significant sums of money. The salary levels that are often associated with contractor work are usually only available in the permanent market after many years and a promotion to management ranks.

This means that people who have no desire to ascend the corporate ladder or who want the financial rewards in a shorter time frame will find that contractor work is of interest.

Another factor that encourages people to act as a contractor is a lack of satisfaction with, or frustration in their current employment. If someone feels they have reached a ceiling at work, that they are not being given the chance to develop or there have been issues, contracting provides a chance to leave the firm and generate income.

Contracting can also offer a better work-life balance and a sense of freedom not associated with traditional employment opportunities, so it is easy to see why so many people consider this line of working.

Common contractor hurdles

While there are benefits and positive aspects to working as a contractor, there are many common hurdles to the role. Initially, it can be hard to find clients and to prove your value as a contractor. Some contractors find it difficult to stay on top of various projects if they find they are juggling work.

There is also a need for contractors to be good at administrative duties to ensure that invoices are sent, receipts are tallied and that the contractor’s books are kept in good shape. Considering this all needs to be undertaken on top of the actual contracting work, one of the biggest hurdles a contractor faces is finding the time to do everything. A contractor may desire the role to find more flexibility in life but they may find themselves working harder than ever.

Networking

When it comes to meeting new clients and developing work, networking is essential. This can be another issue because some people are naturally good at connecting with people, while others are not. Successful contractors are able to spark up conversations and put themselves in front of the right people in an effective manner.

Tips to network effectively as a contractor:

  • Listen to others and find out what they need assistance with.
  • You cannot promote yourself all the time.
  • Always have business cards on you.
  • Be professional at all times and develop a reliable reputation.

Showing you are professional is essential if you want firms to trust you. This means being organised, arriving on time and having everything you need for your role. You’ll also find it helps to be professional in dealing with contracts and invoices. If this is not something you are comfortable with, using an umbrella company, such as Crystal Umbrella, is a smart move because their service ensures you interact with clients in a professional manner.

Being a contractor can be very rewarding but there is a need to take it seriously. With the right attitude and a helping hand from the experts, contracting could offer a whole new working life for you.

 

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