We can’t control all aspects of our lives, but those that we can; we should. We have many choices in life, most of which boil down to how happy we want to be. When it comes to our careers, some of us work to live and others live to work. Which category do you want to fall into? So many people find themselves stuck in a dead-end job, going nowhere and doing the same thing day in, day out. People often forget that your career is absolutely one of the things you can control; your line manager or employer shouldn’t be the one to take the reigns.

You’re taking the first steps to take control of your own career by reading this blog, so we’re guessing that you want to own your own future? Here are just three of many things for you to consider along the way.

Location

If there’s one thing more stressful than work itself, it’s the daily commute. Nothing raises your blood pressure quite like a standstill traffic jam or a cancelled train. So why keep putting yourself through it? Wouldn’t you rather take a look at what work’s available in a location more practical to your family and your lifestyle? So you can enjoy a stress-free commute and be home in time to see the kids before they go to bed? Sounds good, right?

Earnings

Whether you’re sticking it out at a mundane job because the salary is right, or perhaps you’ve been made redundant and you’re worried you won’t find another job that pays as well, then contracting solves all your problems. You get to set your own rate, plus contractors are naturally paid more than salary-paid employees anyway. And, what’s more? You pay less tax on your earnings too.

Freedom

One of the best things about being a contractor, and one of the main reasons why so many people decide to make the transition into this career, is you get to be your own boss. You get to choose when you work, where you work and who you work for. You get to enjoy regular change, so you never get that stale feeling in a role, like you so often can get in a normal job. As the name of this post suggests, you get to take control and own your own future.

So, what are you waiting for? Here’s what you need to do.

Take a look at our 3 Step Process and get ready to make the change that you so badly need.

  1. Research

Start off by doing a bit of groundwork, finding out what’s going on in the industry you’re currently part of, or taking a closer look at the industry that you’d like to become part of. Determine what kind of contracting role you’ll be most suited to, whether it’s a role you already do or one you could easily adapt to. Try your best to find out what organisations out there have got programmes in-flight or ones which are due to start shortly. Have a think about what we discussed earlier; where would be the ideal location for you? Then, compare the current market rates for your specific role, industry and location. It’s also important that you establish what it is that you’re willing to compromise on, if you haven’t planned far enough ahead and need to get started on a new contract ASAP.

  1. Planning

Take some time to really nail down the perfect strategy that you want to put in place for the next 12 months. Make sure all your timings are realistic in order to secure your first contract. Be sure to align your cash-flow with the recruitment timeline, so as not to leave yourself in any tricky situations. Don’t forget to pull together all the generic content that you’re going to need for your CV updates, plus, it’s always good to allow time for training or up-skilling for the right role that you’ve got your eye on. And, of course, have a back-up plan! (Just in case.)

  1. Get out there!

When the time’s right, you’ve got nothing to lose but to get out there and let everyone know of your intentions to better your career. Let your closest contacts and network of friends and colleagues know of your plans and be ever-ready to tailor your CV as soon as possible, for whenever you see a role that you’re keen to go for. Make the effort to meet agents face-to-face and call them regularly, so that you become well known to them; they’ll think of you first when the right role comes up. Take full advantage of social, community and networking events as these are some of the best ways to meet potential clients. And don’t forget to update all of your social media accounts! Someone out there might be looking for the perfect contractor and stumble upon you without you barely having to lift a finger.

The Contractors Anonymous community is here to help you put all of these plans into place and make sure your transition into contracting runs as smoothly as possible. Our founder, Karen Frith, has over 20 years of contracting experience (that’s a lot more than 10,000 hours), so she can help you every step of the way, ensuring you land yourself a contract that’s the perfect fit for you. With so much great support around you, there’s nothing more exciting than owning your own future.