11 Ways I Powered Up My Contractor Career

I’m a Super IT Contractor. Having listened to many different ‘contractor colleagues’ saying “Do you realise JUST how much I earn doing the same job as you?!….”. I finally took the plunge and became a contractor.

Like life there can be challenges. I know the nature of contracting; I knew that when it got nearer to the end of a contract it would become increasingly important to secure my next position.

Not to Fear, I devised my contractor plan.

On The Look Out

  1. I registered with a lot of agencies.
  2. I kept updating my CV with the help of many of the free professional forums online.
  3. I began to see interviews as an opportunity. I also invested in interview coaching and contracts hunting.
  4. I made it clear that I was open to changing my rate and relocating as well as adaptable and willing to learn.

Staying On The Radar

  1. Carried out some additional training such as ‘Lean 6 Sigma black belt’ with the hope of making my proposition more valuable to potential employers.
  2. I kept my LinkedIn profile up to date, commented, liked and researched.
  3. Did some voluntary work. Always good to give a little back to the community.
  4. I spoke at a couple of conferences.
  5. Wrote some industry specific articles for blogs and journals.

Staying Super Energised

  1. I made an exercise plan to reduce stress and give greater work life balance.
  2. I allowed myself to relax by doing things I enjoy such as reading and playing computer games.

I now have a variety of contract opportunities a lot more regularly.

Moral of the story – Do it right and opportunities should come your way.



Top 10 UK Cities with the Highest Number of Tech Jobs (outside London)

One of the fastest growing industries in the UK is the tech market. London by itself has 328,000 digital tech jobs, but which other cities around the UK are important locations for technology? View the Top 10 Highest Number of Tech jobs in the UK (outside of London) table below:

Edinburgh - 21000
Newcastle / County Durham - 22000
Leeds - 24000
Southampton - 25000
Oxford / Abington- 25000
Glasgow - 26000
Birmingham - 36000
Bristol / Bath - 37000
Reading / Bracknell Forest - 40000
Manchester - 52000

Source: Sonovate, Q3 2016, September 2016

The Top 10 Highest Paid IT Contractor Roles in London

For the contract market, tech and IT are among the best paid sectors. See below the top 10 highest paid IT contractor roles in London today (Q4, 2016).

Head of Technology - £875
Senior Information Architect - £900
Senior IT Programme Manager - £900
Head of Programme Management - £900
Head of Programme Delivery - £900
Electronic Trading C++ Developer - £900
Head of IT Services - £900
Head of IT Development - £975
Operations Director - £1000
Head of Mobile - £1350

Source: Sonovate, Q4 2016, October 2016

Can Contractor Recruitment Thrive Post Brexit?

I’m hired as a Super HR Contractor with a reputation that precedes me.  I swoop in to help an HR department in distress, leaving it a more organised and efficient place. My X-ray vision allows me to analyse a department’s processes and responsibilities at a micro-level. I can also rapidly absorb and see the wider vision of overall company structure. I then apply my independent powers of logic and reason to reshape and restructure for the greater good.

Because of my varied workplaces, I’ve a wide and varied understanding of company hiring and policies. After Brexit, I was called upon to allay potential fears of many other contractors about what that means to future recruitment opportunities. I like to share good news, so here are five reasons contractor recruitment could be boosted by Brexit.

1.    As the Dust Settles, Opportunity will Arise

Fellow Super Contractor Dave offered his opinion about ways in which Brexit won’t impact on contractor mortgages. He explained what it might mean in regards to mortgages and the potential benefits as a result. Company recruitment could be seen as sharing some of the same challenges and opportunities as the housing market. Both paused to take stock while there is uncertainty, but are also aware there will be new opportunities to seize. Something myself and my fellow Super Contractors will always do with both (gloved) hands.

2. Contractors Ready!

We’ve seen companies cut back on spending and hiring of permanent staff before in times of economic doubt and instability. The post Brexit report issued by the Institute of Directors, states a third of businesses intend on pausing their permanent hires.[1] Like The Flash deciding to slow down, the brakes are applied to permanent hires. What then tends to occur is greater engagement of the contractor sector. This was evident by contract placements booming during the 2008-2014 financial crisis. In fact, within the inner super sanctum, “the theory is the last financial crisis ignited a contractor revolution in the UK.”[2]

This was when myself and other Super Contractor’s cut our teeth and really proved our worth.

3. Agency Agents

We may be two years away from full EU exit but a lot can happen in that time. There are fears that the UK’s access to skilled migrants will suffer as a result. However, the smaller potential talent pool means more roles for current UK based contractors. It’s also ripe opportunity for my allies in contractor recruitment agencies. They will fill these roles with local talent and tempt those uncertain about their current standing in a company, towards businesses offering greater job security.[3]

4. Super Apprentices!

I always make a point of suggesting to companies to hire those in apprenticeships to suit filling short term positions. Such appointments are ideal to carry out lower level tasks at reduced costs. They also reward the apprentice with the valuable experience they are eager to engage in. As a result of skilled migrant caps, it may be that we will see much wider investment placed in home grown talent. Training and apprenticeships schemes may expand to meet a much needed skills shortfall in IT & digital sectors for starters. In fact if you know anyone looking to upgrade their skills, check out specialist boot camps such as the Data Science ‘Boot Camp’. Forward thinking agencies, such as MBN solutions, are even offering free places worth £7,000.

5. Codename IR35

There’s a challenge that every contractor must overcome – presenting their status to The Taxman. This is to determine whether they are a contractor or a permanent employee for tax purposes thereafter. George Osborne spearheaded changes to come into place next year meaning the recruitment agency placing the contractor would shoulder this responsibility. With him and Cameron both now out the picture, it now looks unlikely that a stronger stance and proposed changes to the IR35 will now occur.

This is potentially good news for contractors on a number of levels. It has been suggested that if HMRC’s planned changes to the IR35 do go ahead then contractor incomes could fall as much as 13%[4] It will also possibly be counterproductive for contractor friendly companies as a flexible contractor led workforce will now be increasingly important. This view is shared by Chris Bryce of IPSE who believes that that cutting red tape around contractors is vital, stating that “The government’s proposed changes to IR35 should now be dropped completely.” [5]

Some company staff often herald the arrival of an HR consultant as a potential portent of (Dr) doom. I’m definitely not the bad guy, or girl however! I’m here to impart, improve and power up that department and others in the company. A protector who whips the company into shape to shield it from harm.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice.

[1] Sonovate, Five Positives for Recruitment from the Brexit, July 2016,

[2] Exchequer Accountancy, Did the recession trigger a new contractor culture in the UK? October 2014

[3] Recruiting Times, Brexit – bad for permanent staff but great for contractors, say recruitment firms June 2016

[4] iQ Contracts, Contractor wages could fall 13 per cent if IR35 changes go ahead, July 2016

[5] Contractor UK, Call to axe IR35 and T&S reforms amid Brexit, July 2016

 

7 Secret Powers for Finding Contract Work… FAST

Looking for contract work is a different kind of process to looking for a permie role. Contractor vacancies often need to be filled super fast and can sometimes be done so with just a single interview. Contractors need to avoid unpaid gaps. They need to be organised and ready to target their next role.

To avoid these pay gaps and unexpected intermissions between contract job roles, read on for our list of 7 Secret Powers for Finding Contract Work… FAST.

1. Make a kick-ass CV

Get your CV right. Keep it short, focused and targeted to the right job. It should include skills, achievements and career history. Ensure, that what you have to offer is clearly stated. Make it easy for the recruiter to match your skills to the role you are applying for. If it means you have to create multiple versions of your CV… DO IT.

2. Promote your talents… EVERYWHERE

Upload your CV onto agency databases, and apply for specific roles. Get your CV on contractor job boards, CV libraries and LinkedIn. Speak to any contacts you may have, face to face, by phone or by email.

3. Search for the jobs that match your super power!

There’s no point in just applying for any job you see. Know what your strengths are, know what you have labelled in your CV, and apply for the jobs that match. Keep a record of what applications have been sent and when you have sent them, then you can start chasing them up.
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4. Secure the interview

There will be a high level of competition for each role you apply for. Make sure you chase the agency or follow up with your contact. Keep on top of it. These people are busy people, so the more they hear your name – the more your CV is going to be recognised and moved to the top of the pile.

5. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

Be prepared for you interview. You may not always know the name of the company you are being interviewed for. If you do, ensure you have researched the company – check out their website, check out their social media channels. Contractors who haven’t prepared for their interview are unlikely to secure the role.

6. The interview – Come to the client’s rescue

A contract work interview is different from a permie interview. This is your time to shine and work your sales pitch. To secure work as a contractor and a good pay rate, means you have to take charge throughout the interview. Understand the client’s issues and explore what the contract work entails. Don’t waste time during the interview, ensure the client knows that you understand what they are after and you have the skills to be able to tackle these issues.

7. Follow up on the interview

Don’t let them forget about you. Follow up with the agency or the client, you can then agree next steps and timings.

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It’s always worthwhile to be on the lookout for potential roles, whether you’re currently working or not. The contractor job market changes fast, you should always be ready for a quick turnaround.

Super Contractors is a broker specialising in arranging mortgages and protection specifically for Contractors. Super Contractors not only represents us, but also our clients. We have a strong belief in justice and ensure contractors are being treated like first-class citizens.

No broker fees, specialist contractor advice, speedy turn around & super friendly consultants. Freephone 0800 211 8700 or fill in our enquiry form.

 

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of Buy to Let.