With the festive period over for another twelve months, it can be easy to get struck down by the New Year blues and let January and February pass you by without much notice.
However, with the right mind set, the New Year can be a good time to review and revitalise your contracting career. Here are a number of inventive strategies and ideas to ensure you make a flying start to 2014.
Increase your visibility with prospects
January and February are good times to organise introductory meetings with companies you would like to do business with, as most people are back in the office after the festive period.
These are also the months when businesses tend to make plans for the year ahead. By remaining visible with potential clients and customers at this time, through meetings, networking and even fliers or leaflets, you have the opportunity to set up contracts and assignments for 2014.
Improve your business for the year ahead
The New Year can be a good time to review the past 12 months and set out plans for improving your performance in the future. Common New Year resolutions amongst contractors and freelancers include increasing productivity, improving their work/life balance and updating their skill sets.
Brighten up your atmosphere
Getting back into the work routine after the festive period can be a bit of a struggle. Self-employed professionals who work from home can look to rearrange their office, while all contractors can choose to mix up their work and set short-term goals in order to stay motivated and productive.
Beating any tax and admin issues
As an career contractor, you will want to focus on building your profile, experience and skills as well as expanding your client network. However, contractors and freelancers often find that they have to spend a large chunk of their working hours tackling tax calculations and admin issues.
Investing in help and support from an umbrella company or professional employment organisation (PEO) can boost your career, as someone else will be responsible for looking after your finances and admin, allowing you to concentrate on your assignments.
By remaining proactive in January and February, you can steer clear of the traditional lull and instead give yourself a real opportunity to start the New Year with a bang.
About the Author: Derek Kelly is managing director at Cheshire-based Parasol, the UK’s largest and most forward-thinking umbrella company. He joined the company in 2008 following 15 years at KPMG. Whilst at KPMG Derek specialised in employment taxes, leading KPMG’s northern and south west practices. Derek has spent his career providing no-nonsense advice to employment outsourcing specialists, employment agencies and blue chip-corporates.