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How to avoid gaps in-between contracts

Tom Sweeney

Tom Sweeney | Marketing Assistant

Friday 30th Jul, 2021

Working as an umbrella or limited company contractor can sometimes mean that you have gaps in between contracts so it's important to be proactive before your current assignment has ended to try and limit the amount of time you have free in between assignments.

That is why we at PayStream have outlined some top tips on how to avoid those unwanted gaps in between contracts.

 

Give yourself enough time

The key to staying proactive when seeking a new contract is to give yourself enough time to find a suitable assignment. Looking for work a week before your assignment is due to end will not give you a long enough time period. A good rule of thumb is to seek new contracts at least a month in advance, this will give you the advantage of being able to compare contracts and consider your future options.

 

Make recruiters and clients aware of when you’ll be available

Giving recruiters the heads up of when you'll be available will give them a chance to seek new contracts, organise interviews and prepare you for any upcoming assignments. Keeping recruiters up to date with your contract start and end dates will keep you at the forefront of their mind should any new opportunities become available.

 

Actively seek new contracts

Don't sit around waiting for a recruiter or an old client to contact you with a proposal, this could take weeks or even months! Take matters into your own hands and set aside a set period of time per day to actively seek new contracts. If you find an opportunity that suites you, contact the client directly sending them your tailored, up to date CV, whilst also advising them when you'll be available. You can also contact previous clients to see if they have any work or if they know anybody who does.

 

Explore potential opportunities with your current client

You don't always have to look far for your next contract. If your client is a large organisation, there may be opportunities within other areas of the business. Before your assignment comes to an end it may be worthwhile speaking to your current client about future projects. You may find that as you already have experience within that organisation you already have the edge over your competitors. However, when you continue working at the same workplace, it is important to take into account the 24 month rule.

 

Keep an eye on job boards

Jobs boards can be a great way to stay proactive when it comes to seeking your next contract. Simply setting up job email alerts will keep you informed of what's available and as they tend to have longer lead times, it allows you to begin the application process in advance before the end of your current contract.

Remember, the key to avoiding long time gaps in between contracts is to remain proactive and to give yourself enough time to plan your next steps, contact recruiters and remain positive about future assignments.

Related article - Understanding your tax code

Put simply your tax code is used to determine how much tax free income (Personal Allowance) you will earn per tax year and the income tax you will pay once you have exceeded that threshold. In this article we take a look at what each tax code means and how to check your tax code.

What your tax code means
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