You’ve no doubt heard the story: Someone who has always wanted to start their own business built around a personal passion, but who never had the courage to do it, is finally pushed forward by a layoff. Before you know it, the business takes off, the new entrepreneur enjoys the sort of success and fulfillment they’ve always sought, and a professional misfortune ultimately proves to be a blessing in disguise. Believe it or not, a version of this story happens every day. Anytime a worker decides to become an independent contractor, they’re essentially going into business for themselves – even if the goal has nothing to do with opening a donut shop or striking out as a trailhead guide. And there are ideal steps to take to best position yourself for contract work.
But there’s no need to wait for a bad breakup with your current employer to start laying the foundation for a new path in independent contracting, and it hardly requires a trapeze artist’s leap of faith. Here are a few ways to best position yourself for contract work:
How to Find Contract Jobs
Broaden Your Skill Set
That old saw about becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none? Ignore it. If you’re considering independent contracting, chances are you’re looking to do something different – in which case you’ll likely need to add new skills. Developing new competencies, adapting to emerging technologies and generally remaining open to experiences outside your immediate area of expertise are golden opportunities in the contracting world.
At PeopleCaddie, many of our banking independent contractors are former public accountants who didn’t want to make a career of PA work. So while they were still working as full-time public accountants, we were able to help connect them with banking contract gigs, which served as an entry point into that work. By loading up your toolbox – or even deciding to hone your mastery of a new tool – you become a more attractive job candidate to a wider group of potential employers. In contracting, creating that kind of strategic leverage is the name of the game.
Sharpen Your Soft Skills
One of the advantages of easing into contract work is having the opportunity to start small on the admin side. Most of us find no joy in duties like hours tracking, time management and invoicing, but they are critical skills for independent contractors. You are your businesses’ CEO, manager and HR department. Gaining some practice in these areas on a smaller scale, and even noodling around with apps and programs that best fit your industry and business model, can help you hit the ground running when you decide the time is right to take on full-time contract work.
Embrace Industry’s Digital Transformation
Digitization is changing the way every industry does business – and some more than others. In the accounting sector, for instance, SaaS and other technologies are taking much of the bookkeeping out of the hands of CPAs, changing the very nature of their roles.
One McKinsey survey found that executives are three times as likely to claim that at least 80 percent of their consumer interactions are digital, compared to the pre-pandemic era. In any case, it’s clear that today’s workers must take part in the industry’s greater digital transformation or risk being left behind. And because contractors lack the advantage of an employer’s training infrastructure, it’s up to them to stay on the cutting edge of digitization in order to be prepared to jump on the gigs that are best suited to their other skills.
PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud can help jumpstart your career as an independent contractor. Check out the jobs available on our talent cloud.