Contractor networking for introverts

Sharing, talking and mingling drains you of energy.

Most of the time you’d rather just focus on your work.

You’re a private person, so sharing feels awkward.

If the above describes you then you may be a bit of an introvert, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s common for introversion and shyness to get confused, when actually they’re completely separate. Broadly speaking those of us with introverted tendencies are inclined to feel drained from being around people for long periods of time, especially large crowds. Whereas shyness is the fear of negative judgement. Extroverts on the other hand, gain energy from socialising – their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone.

This makes promoting yourself quite difficult for those with introverted characteristics – but you’ve decided that contracting is the life for you – so unless your skills are so niche and in demand that you’re highly sought after, it’s something you’re going to have to do. To put yourself out there, you’ll need to sell your skills to agencies and clients in phone conversations and interviews, network with those in similar fields and generally big yourself up! So how can you do all this without it being too overwhelming? Here’s a few ways to get over the hurdles of self-promotion:

 

1. Remember that many feel the same way as you do
Just because some people appear confident on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’re not a wreck on the inside. Maybe they’re just better at hiding it than you are, or they may have gone one step further and practiced managing their anxiety. Next time you’re in a situation you feel uncomfortable with, breath deeply and consciously take it in your stride. Nothing bad is going to happen – after all, thousands of nervous contractors and freelancers deal with it successfully every day.

2. Bond with others
Rather than viewing people as competitors, see them as a potential support network. If you look at it from this angle it may help to ease the difficulty of socialising. Building good relationships with people may create new work and contracts, as well as offer welcome support and advice, or even forge friendships by seeing you as an ally. It’s a natural human trait to want to connect and share, so don’t miss out by declining too many opportunities.

3. Use social media
There’s a certain amount of anonymity to be had from communicating online, plus you have the freedom to choose when and where to do it, so this form of communication is ideal for fitting around your requirements. Connecting, chatting and posting your opinions on a platform such as LinkedIn (the main one for businesses), means you can secure and build up valuable contacts without even leaving the house.

4. Attend networking events
Social media can be a brilliant tool for self-promotion, but it’s still quite impersonal. Nothing can replace a real-life, friendly smile and one of the best places to find those is at networking events. The thought of a crowded room might make some people shudder, but a way to overcome this is instead of focusing on the quantity of people you meet or conversations you have, find one or two people that you can devote your focus and attention to and enjoy those meaningful connections. Then give yourself plenty of alone-time afterwards to recharge.

5. Boost your self-motivation
You might think it’s all well and good doing all the above, but how do you get motivated in the first place?
•Keep a positive attitude – You can never fully control your circumstances, but you can certainly choose your attitude towards them.
•See the good in bad – When encountering obstacles, you want to be in the habit of finding what works in order to get over them.

 

Being more of an introvert just means you have the same talents and skills as everyone else, but just find promoting them a tricky area to master. Do what you’re capable of, keep the momentum going, and if you’re genuinely interested in other people and their needs and stay true to yourself and your work, then you’ve pretty much nailed it.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

Public bodies urged to use IT freelancers

When is the best time to set up an IT contracting business? This is an almost impossible question to answer, as it largely depends on your individual circumstances. But if you’ve assessed your current situation and decided that you’re ready to become a contractor, then as far as the industry is concerned, 2018 could prove to be a stellar year.

 

Research from TechMarketView, discussed in a Contractor UK article, has urged the public sector to make more use of freelance consultants this year, in a bid to address the persisting digital skills gap. The market analysis firm said that public organisations will have to think of ‘more creative ways’ to gain the skills they need, ‘including the use of public freelance marketplaces.’

 

TechMarketView acknowledged that taxpayer-funded bodies may find it difficult to conduct business efficiently ‘without looking beyond their own four walls.’ This news comes after an IR35 update last year and its ‘off-payroll rules,’ which many believe has dissuaded freelancers from providing their services to the sector.

 

‘Fled in droves’

Mike Gibson, Managing Director at Ethical Consulting, who has been petitioning against IR35, argued the above point to the government’s business department, after it published a strategy on IT provision to its staff, ‘and the people and businesses we serve.’ This strategy is, in Gibson’s words, “[beautifully] written and composed, professionally created and ultimately pointless.

Delivery will be dependent on a veritable army of flexible and temporary resource – who have fled the UK [public sector] in their droves as a result of IR35 changes in April 2017.”

 

Options available

Gibson said that for the government department to achieve its aim – which is, to ‘make the best use of digital, data and technology (DDat) in our everyday work’ – then either one of two things need to happen:

The first option is for the body to pay 22% more to PSC contractors who possess the necessary skills, to counteract the hike in tax the IR35 reforms result in. Alternatively, it must accept that DDat-related work will be carried out by ‘inside IR35’ consultants willing to take a 22% cut to their wages. But, referring to the latter, Gibson said, “I don’t see the top-drawer [DDaT] people doing that when they don’t need to.”

It will be interesting to see how the next few months pan out and if any proactive steps are taken by the sector to address the continuing IT skills shortage. In the meantime, if you’re thinking of contracting and want to know how IR35 legislation affects you, contact the experts at Intouch Accounting now…

 

Sources:

TechMarketView – Public Sector Predictions 2018 – New Research

ContractorUK – Get IT Freelancers in for 2018, public bodies told

GOV.UK – BEIS digital data and technology (DDat) strategy

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intouch teams up with IPSE to offer membership discount to clients

Intouch teams up with IPSE to offer membership discount to clients

Intouch Accounting is delighted to announce that from today, any client who starts a new membership with IPSE can benefit from a 10% discount, year on year.

 

Who is IPSE?

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is the largest membership body supporting contractors, freelancers and independent professionals. Their goal is to enable you to succeed in business.

 

IPSE membership

IPSE offers Standard and Plus memberships and now, with Intouch, you can get a 10% discount when you sign up for a new membership. You can pay through a monthly direct debit or a one off annual payment, it’s up to you, and the discount will apply for a long as you’re an IPSE member. As a member you will have access to a whole range of benefits to help protect and defend your business as well as discounts to help you save hundreds of pounds a year.

 

Don’t forget, you can claim membership costs as a business expense. Speak to your contractor accountant about how to do this.

 

A bit more detail

IPSE membership offers you peace of mind and money in your pocket so you can focus on running your business without worry. Highlights of what you’ll get include:

 

  • IPSE protect to help you out when you need extra support
  • thousands of consumer discounts on items such as Apple products, Dell and HP hardware, software, gym memberships, and cash back in many high street stores
  • IPSE representation as they lobby government and across industry to ensure contractors’ voices are heard
  • help planning for your future as well as negotiated rates for pensions, life assurance and private medical insurance
  • IPSE library so you can access all the resources you need
  • access to events, webinars, workhubs, online training and, if you’re a Plus member, 24/7 access to virtual Ashridge providing a wide range of online business resources to learn new skills and improve existing ones.

 

You can find out more about what you’ll get for your membership here, including a quick link to get you on your way to signing up or speak to a specialist membership advisor by calling 0208 8979970 or email intouch@ipse.co.uk.

 

Join IPSE today and take advantage of the 10% discount straight away.

 

What else?

If you’re already an Intouch client, once you’ve signed up for your IPSE membership, don’t forget to refer a friend and we’ll send you £150 Amazon vouchers if they sign up with us. Recommend another and we’ll do the same again! And again and again!

 

If you’re not already with Intouch, this is another great reason to speak to us today about joining. Give us a call on 01202 069 551 or email us and we’ll get back to you at a time to suit you!

 

* excludes renewals or upgrades to existing memberships

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch Accounting celebrate National Freelancers’ Day

Happy National Freelancers Day!

If you’re one of the five million freelancers currently working within the UK, then today is all about you. Here at Intouch Accounting we recognise the invaluable contribution freelancers make to the UK economy and so we are helping celebrate by having a ‘freelancer day’ at the Intouch office.

 

Whilst the Intouch team are blissfully happy looking after the needs of our clients, we wanted to have a bit of fun and celebrate today in our own way. So we put our heads together and decided to come in dressed as the freelancer we’d be if we weren’t accountants!

 

Take a look below to see if you can guess what each person would be:

 

National Freelancers' Day

 

 

Every year NFD is celebrated and hosted by IPSE and this year’s event will be held at the exclusive Hospital Club in Covent Garden to showcase and celebrate the UK’s most ambitious, exciting and aspiring freelancers. IPSE will be awarding 15 of the best self-employed individuals and crowning one winner in particular.

 

There’s also a separate award for under 23s (the Aspire Award) and one for the veteran freelancers (the Inspire Award). The winner of the Aspire award will win £3,000 along with a technology bundle and the winner of the Inspire Award will win £5,000!

 

From all of us here at Intouch Accounting we’d like to offer our best wishes for all who are taking part and many congratulations to the winners and runners up. Have a fantastic night everyone!

 

If you’re considering freelancing or have already taken the leap, ensuring that you maximise your take home pay whilst remaining compliant will be at the top of your priority list. If you’re struggling with doing your accounts by yourself, or are currently using an Umbrella company that’s leaving you out of pocket, call our team today on 01202 375 562 to discuss your options.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.