Contractors were once only a mainstay in the workforce of the construction industry. Such workers were brought in on a contract to do the building and other construction work, hence the term contractor. As the scope of work changed so did the role of contractors, who have now extended far beyond the world of construction with many now being involved in IT. 

Anyone who has particular skills that can be of use to a company can hire him or herself, and their skills, out on a contract for a particular length of time. This can be a win-win situation for both the contractor and the company who hired him/her. The contractor benefits because as he is his own boss and he can pick and choose the type of work he wants to do. Also contractors tend to be better paid than full-time staff members doing comparable work. The company benefits because it does not have the same obligations towards the contractor that it has towards a full time staff member, such as having to meet sickness or holiday pay.  

Becoming a contractor can be a brave decision because it often means giving up the security of a full time job. Some people decide to go into contracting because they have been made redundant, while others like the idea in the belief that it will give them extra freedom and having been freed from their former employers can earn extra money by going it alone. 

Anyone wanting to have a career as a contractor should have skills that are in demand and in which he or she is proficient. Having finally decided that the life of a contractor is for him he should begin to market his services. Unless a contractor has a strong reputation within his particular industry, he should not rely on word of mouth alone to secure new work. The message needs to be put out and it’s here that social media can be very helpful. There are also various agencies on the Internet that advertise contracting jobs and it is worth signing up with one or more of them. 

Anyone new to contracting should also write a strong CV. What any contractor should be is a “problem solver” and this attribute should be pushed to the fore in a CV, on social media postings, and at any interviews. 

While the contractor may be strong in particular skills there may be one he/she is not particularly proficient at – bookkeeping. Yet he/she must be able to keep accounts and records of income and expenditure, because as a self-employed person he/she is responsible for paying income tax. Taxation administration for a contractor can be complicated but there is a way around this. 

The contractor can join an Umbrella Service Provider such as By joining an Umbrella Service the tax and national insurance obligations are handled by the provider leaving the contractor the time to do what he/she does best – contracting work. 

Contracting work offers many new and exciting possibilities. Having skills which are marketable, and by publicizing him or herself, and ensuring that personal tax affairs are being dealt with, a new contractor has the opportunity to achieve both personal and career success.