Be your own boss this New Year, with our steps on taking the leap from humdrum permanent to self-employed success

Be your own boss in 2017

As we all settle back into our usual working routines, the Christmas break seems nothing more than a distant pleasant memory. How many of you started the year by deciding that 2017 would be the year you’d become your own boss?

 

It’s not uncommon to be full of determination when New Year Resolutions are made, but after a week of being back in the routine, maybe looking after children, and getting on with your day-to-day responsibilities, your dreams of solo greatness can easily flitter away….

 

So what can you do about it?

Intouch are here to save your resolution! We appreciate how life can get in the way of taking the leap, so this blog is here to show you how easy it is to take small steps towards reaching your goal in 2017.

 

Step 1 – Consider your professional worth

Wouldn’t it be great if you could continue with your career, but work when you want, for who you want, whilst charging a day rate of your choice (within reason of course!). Contracting allows you to do just that. Handsome day rates that traditionally outweigh those you’d expect in permanent employment are just some of the bonuses, so you owe it to yourself to see just how much you could be earning doing your current role, but for a whole range of clients instead of just one.

 

Take a look at a few different contractor job sites to see what types of going rates are currently being offered for your level of experience and qualifications. This should inspire you with what your dream could look like financially.

 

Step 2 – Understand what the market is asking for

Are you professionally in demand? Hopefully from your research in step one, you’ll have gotten a ‘feel’ for what people are currently recruiting for, and whether you’ve got the goods.

 

If the answer is ‘no’ but you’re not far off, don’t let this deter you. Consider updating your skills to match what’s required, and whether your professional presence would make you employable. Step three explores this in greater detail…

 

Step 3 – Get your self-promotion up to scratch

If you came across your own CV, LinkedIn profile or business website, would you hire you? When in permanent employment, updating these areas usually falls by the wayside as you may not be actively on the lookout for new work in the same way as if you were freelancing or contracting.

 

Ensure you get these areas updated, and keep them that way. Be sure to advertise any skills you’re currently updating, the types of work you’d be interested in, and possible availability. If you have any personal side projects you’ve also been working on, be sure to showcase them. They’re your platforms so don’t be afraid to show off professionally.

 

Step 4 – Try a bit on the side

If you’re not quite ready to take the full leap into contracting, why not dip your toe with some extra work in the evening or weekend? Start off small, maybe a short-term contract with a client you’ve previously worked for. They will already be confident about your calibre of work and you’ll probably be more comfortable with them too.

 

When you near completion with your first contract, consider how it went. Did you look forward to getting home from your permanent role when you could complete more of it? If this sounds like you, then you know the contractor’s life is for you.

 

Step 5 – Seek professional advice

Traditionally when people think of being self-employed, they think it means you’re totally alone to try and make the best of it. For contractors, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

 

With the support and professional guidance of a contractor accountant such as Intouch Accounting, you’ll know exactly how to make the most of your contractor income to ensure you’re maximising your take home pay. Not only that, we’re able to advise you on all aspects of contracting from an accounting point of view, to ensure you’re getting the most from your Limited Company.

 

Intouch are here to answer all of your questions

Whether you’re ready to take the leap into contracting and need advice on setting up your Limited Company, or are in the very first stages and need to talk to a professional about your options, our team of expert advisers are here to answer all of your questions. Get in touch today!

 

If you’d like to keep reading, take a look at our top New Year Resolutions for the ultimate contracting success in 2017. Download them for free now.

 

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.

I QUIT! 5 signs you’re ready to leave permanent employment for a career in contracting

Leaving permanent employment

According to a recent study conducted by Perkbox, 6.5 million workers in the UK are unhappy with their current job within the permanent employment sector.

 

With long hours, the feeling of being micro-managed, and toxic work cultures as the main culprits for unhappiness, it’s no surprise that so many people are looking elsewhere for alternative employment.

 

But what if you’ve had enough of working within the permanent sector and like the sound of being your own boss? In this blog we highlight the five signs that you’re ready to leave permanent behind and take the leap into contracting. You might just find your perfect career and never look back….

 

You feel shortchanged

If at the end of every month you feel like your pay doesn’t reflect your skills, experience or the amount of hours you’ve put in, then it’s time to consider your options.

 

With many Limited Company contractors charging day rates that clients who are willing to pay for their skills, they are able to get paid a wage which truly reflects their professional value. This is usually much higher than what their counterpart would get in a permanent position. Take a look at some contractor job boards to get a feel for what your contracting double could be earning.

 

Your work / life balance is off kilter

Ever feel that because you’re working so hard, you end up missing out on life? Do you use your weekends to recharge your batteries for the following week at work, rather than work charging your batteries for life?

 

Contractors can choose when, who for and for how long they work, so they are able to design their professional life around their personal, rather than the other way round.

 

Permanent employment is affecting your health

Consider how healthy your job is, for both your body and mind. If you’re constantly left feeling drained from long hours, low pay, and general unhappiness, then it’s time to make some changes.

 

By being your own boss you’re able to design your own working lifestyle, one which fits around your own personal needs and wellbeing. For example, you can work from home and create your own working environment, or decide how many months out of the year you want to take out from contracting to focus on other areas of your life, such as travelling, looking after your family or pursuing a passion. The world’s your oyster!

 

Your hard work goes unnoticed

We’ve all been there – either a colleague steals your thunder, or your efforts go completely unnoticed after you’ve worked your socks off. Both scenarios are unacceptable and can give your sense of wellbeing a real blow.

 

As a Limited Company contractor your professional accomplishments are what wins you contracts, so there’s no danger of your efforts going unnoticed. Your calibre is measured on your skills, experience and passion for what you do, so if this sounds like you then it’s time to get the recognition you deserve.

 

You feel constrained by the inflexibility of 9 to 5

Ever get the feeling you’re starring in Groundhog Day? You have the same daily routine, which yields the same results each month, with the same people. Whilst it offers stability and a guaranteed wage with employee benefits, for you personally it’s not enough.

 

When contracting you can choose when and where you work, meaning that no two working days would ever have to be the same! Whilst you’ll have to go out and win contracts, liaise with potential clients and always be on the lookout for your next gig, the thrill of the chase could be exactly what you need to reignite the passion you once had for your career.

 

Happiness at work can help you achieve great things

Life is way too short to be unhappy at work, so if you think the world of contracting might be for you, then you owe it to yourself to explore its possibilities.

 

For more information on how to get started, take a look at our free ebrief, or explore our resources section for everything you need to help make your decision. Alternatively why not discuss your options with our team of expert advisers? Call them today on 01202 901 385.

 

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.