How to get back into contracting
It’s not uncommon for contractors to sometimes take a break from self-employment. This could be for many reasons, including taking some time off from work entirely, or deciding to go back to employment for a while. Pre-pandemic, many contractors were already taking a break, deciding to wait and see what the effects of IR35 were before they went back to being self-employed. For others, the pandemic forced them to take time off while they waited for their industry to start up again, or simply so they could home-school their children. Others decided that the uncertainty of COVID-19 meant that they should seek the reassurance of a regular salary and returned to permanent roles.
But now, with IR35 reforms bedded in and lockdown over, you may well be looking to get back into the world of contracting so that you can once again take advantage of the flexibility that comes with being your own boss. But how do you make that return? It’s not as simple as updating your LinkedIn status…
Consider some training
If you’ve been out of the game for the last 18 months (or longer) things may well have changed in your industry. In some fields, technologies, processes, and legislation can move fast so things could well look different to when you left. Now would be the ideal time to look into training opportunities to get yourself up to date. These might include:
- New formal qualifications;
- New professional certificates and/or accreditations;
- Training in new processes such as COVID safety;
- Training in new regulations and legislation.
Remember, post-lockdown there are a lot more opportunities for online and flexible training so learning something new may not even mean leaving the house, or it could be carried out around your current role. Being able to demonstrate new learning and qualifications shows clients that you’re up-to-date and committed, giving you the edge over competitors.
Reach out to old clients
Just because you haven’t been contracting in a while doesn’t mean that old clients don’t remember you. In fact, they could be itching to work with you again if they haven’t been able to find someone who does what you do as well as you do it.
Get together a list of previous clients and look them up on LinkedIn (they may not necessarily still be with the same companies as before). Drop them a message letting them know that you’re returning to contracting, that you enjoyed working with them previously and you’d be open to any projects they have coming up. You may just catch one of them at the right time and walk straight into a brand new contract.
It could also be a good idea to reach out to old recruiters in the same way and see if they are looking for someone in your industry right now.
Post your availability
As well as the targeted approach of speaking to previous clients and recruiters directly, it can also be worthwhile casting your net a bit wider with a more general approach.
Using LinkedIn, and any other platforms you may use to promote your business, make a post to let people know you’re returning to contracting and when you will be available from. You could even add in a bit about your experience and specialisms to give a better idea of what you do to potential clients. If you are in any particular groups related to your field on the likes of LinkedIn, then posting there as well can help to boost your visibility.
If you left contracting for any length of time, chances are you allowed your contractor insurance to lapse. The thing is, being insured can give you the edge over your competition since insurances such as professional indemnity, public liability and employers’ liability are often stipulated in contracts. So, if you have insurance lined up already, you can sign on the dotted line and get to work as soon as possible – something that most clients will appreciate.
The good news is, Kingsbridge offer a contractor insurance package that includes:
- Public liability insurance;
- Professional indemnity cover;
- Employers’ liability insurance;
- Director’s and officers’ liability cover;
- Occupational personal accident cover.
This means you can get all of the key insurances at the same time with no messing around. Simply contact the friendly Kingsbridge team today.