Is now a good time to start contracting?

Contracting can be a fulfilling career change; offering more flexibility, reward and with the right attitude more stability and security than a permanent role. As the UK undergoes a period of transition, now might be the perfect time to consider what changes you want to introduce to your lifestyle.

It’s natural to feel apprehensive when making large changes, especially when that change is moving from the seeming stability of permanent employment to being your own boss. While there may be a transition period that seems a little daunting, there are plenty of great resources and support to help you make the change.

Is now the right time?

As the country takes it’s first steps towards an independent UK, is now really the right time to start out? The simple answer – we think it is and so do many of our clients. In a recent survey of inniAccounts clients 93% of contractors would recommend contracting to a friend or colleague. While some contractors felt the impact of Brexit would make them somewhat less likely to recommend contracting, most felt the contracting lifestyle was still the best route to a greater choice of work and a better work/life balance.

As we’ve previously explored in our Thriving in Brexit series, an independent UK may actually bring new opportunities for contractors. The 2008 global recession is now seen as a key booster of the contractor market. Brexit-induced instability may well pave the way for businesses to once more turn to temporary contractors over full-time employees. Many of our clients believe that within the right industry there are still great contracts available.

‘I think in general people think Brexit will have much more impact on contractors than it really will.’
A contractor’s comment, from a recent survey of inniAccounts clients, on the subject of Brexit.

During this period of instability, wouldn’t permanent work be better?

Not necessarily. Permanent employees rely heavily on their salary and often suffer financial devastation when faced with unexpected redundancy. As a contractor you are more likely to be aware of the risks, prepared for slow periods and always at the ready to find the next piece of work. While full-time employment may seem more stable, in times of economic instability job security can be a myth.

‘There will be a short to medium term impact to the economy before stabilising and long term benefits for contractors.’
A contractor’s comment, from a recent survey of inniAccounts clients, on the subject of Brexit.

Are specialist skills still in demand?

Absolutely. Already the current climate has seen a boost in demand for legal and financial contractors as businesses prepare for upcoming changes. Our government are even turning to consultants, such as McKinsey, in preparation.

The UK currently suffers from severe shortages in skilled professionals, especially in areas such as IT and construction. This problem won’t be going away anytime soon, allowing contractors to continue to carve their own niche market and thrive.

Contracting isn’t a quick route to earning money fast, indeed you may need to work harder to ensure there’s money in the bank. However, more and more companies are seeing the advantages of hiring contractors, this is especially true for contractors with specialist skills.

For more information and guides on starting out as a contractor take a look at our Knowledge Hub.