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Essential skills every contractor requires

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Friday 22nd May, 2015

Over time there have been more individuals leaving permanent employment to enter the world of contracting.

Attractive pay rates have undoubtedly been a big pull factor for many, with some contractors having the ability to earn far more than individuals in a similar permanent role. As a limited company contractor, you often have the option to take on as many contracts as you wish in any given time, meaning you can earn more should you be willing to put in the hours.

The ability to boost your pay packet, isn’t the only reason contracting has grown in popularity. Increased flexibility, the ability to choose what work you do and how long for are also some of the perks of contracting.

However, working in this manner may not suite everyone and as such we have highlighted the type of skills you need to become a successful contractor:

Get up and go attitude

Having the motivation to get up and kick start yourself into action is a must. Unlike a permanent employee, you will be in charge of managing your own time. For many, working at home is necessary, so having the drive to work without distractions is essential.

Being in charge of seeking your own work also takes a strong will and a lot of motivation. Having to deal with rejection and keeping your ear to the ground for new contracts will become the norm so that get up and go attitude is key for any contractor.


Besides having motivation to seek new work, you will also need the confidence to sell yourself to potential clients. Therefore, confidence is also a key skill when operating as a contractor.

Having the confidence to network with potential clients and industry figures will help you stand out from your fellow contractors, therefore increasing your odds of landing that next contract.

Social media platforms, especially the likes of LinkedIn and even Facebook, can be a great tool when it comes to seeking new contracts and can act as a building block when it comes to building confidence through networking.

Financially responsible

Having more control over the way you work also comes with greater financial responsibility. This means that as a limited company contractor you have to ensure you are up to date with you companies financial affairs, such as paying tax on time.

There may be times where you have gaps in between contracts and this is where it is important to ensure that you are financially savvy. For peace of mind it is useful to save funds during busy periods in case you come across tougher times.

Keep your skills set sharp

It's key to remember that for the most part, contractors are brought in for a short period of time for their specific skills set. Therefore it is in your interest to make sure you are keeping your skills set up to date as much as possible.

Some industries, such as IT, will develop at a much faster pace than others. Therefore contractors within industries such as these will have to be much more proactive when it comes to updating their skills.

Although there are certain essential skills that we feel are necessary to work successfully as a contractor, market information suggests that there has definitely been a shift towards people leaving permanent employment to work in this way and this is largely due to the many advantages that working in this way has to offer.

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