It's fair to say that 2017 has been a pretty eventful year in the news, from the inauguration of America's most controversial president to a snap general election in the UK and ongoing uncertainty about the outcomes and impacts of Brexit.
But how have the last 12 months been for you? As a limited company contractor, what do you remember most about 2017? Has it been a busy year or a quiet one? What have been your biggest achievements, do you have any regrets, and what have you learnt as we head into 2018?
Christmas is the ideal time to celebrate your successes as you take a break from your busy schedule to have fun with friends and family. When you are immersed in your work it can be hard to fully appreciate what you've accomplished, so step back and take a little time to look over your triumphs and think about how you can repeat or better them in the future.
Good client feedback
One of your main achievements this year may have been the positive feedback you have gathered from your clients. Feedback on your projects is crucial, as it helps you to further your professional development by identifying areas of strength on which to build and weaknesses on which to improve.
It also allows you to create a stronger portfolio to showcase to potential future clients, so make sure you spend the quiet Christmas holidays going over any positive testimonials you have received and making sure you utilise them effectively.
A better understanding of your company finances
Getting your head around your company finances can be one of the toughest challenges you face as a limited company contractor, so bravo to you if you've managed to gain a better understanding of your financial affairs over the last year.
PayStream's limited company service, My PSC, is always here to help provide advice and support with the administrative side of your limited company, but it's still important to have a good grasp of legislation such as IR35 for yourself and to ensure that you keep up to date with any changes in industry legislation.
A better work-life balance
One of the hardest things about contracting can be knowing when to stop working and when to take time out for yourself. Being a contractor allows you to enjoy the flexibility that comes from being your own boss, but have you been guilty in the past of failing to enjoy this?
Perhaps 2017 saw you shut down your computer and put away your diary to enjoy a proper break without any work-related interruptions. Or maybe you simply managed to clock off at a more reasonable time each day this year. Whatever positive steps you've taken to improve your work-life balance, be sure to continue them in 2018.
What would you like to achieve next year?
Do you have any regrets as you look back over the last 12 months? Is there anything you would have done differently or anything you'd like to improve going forward? Maybe you want to take on a wider variety of projects or switch your focus next year. Or perhaps you hope to gain a new skill.
Whatever your aims for 2018, the upcoming Christmas break could be the ideal time to give them some thought and make a plan of action so that next year can be every bit as successful as this one.