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  • Writer's pictureUmbrella Search

Top tips to elevate your contracting career in 2023

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

As 2022 ends, many contractors will be taking stock of their achievements throughout the past year and planning their contracting goals for the new year ahead.

Whether you are looking to win that high-value contract or want to get your head around IR35 finally, there are many ways that every contractor can get their contracting career on track going into 2023.

In this guide, Umbrella Search outlines how every contractor can elevate their careers this new year.

Understand IR35 and what it means for contractors

There's been a lot of talk about IR35 in 2022. With planned changes to IR35 legislation announced by former Chancellor Quasi Kwarteng only to be reversed by current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, many contractors will understandably need clarification about where they stand concerning IR35.

So, what is IR35? IR35 was introduced in 2000 and was designed to stop contractors from claiming to be self-employed and enjoying these tax benefits but working more like employees. Initially, it was the contractor's responsibility to declare their IR35 status.

However, when HMRC stated that more companies needed to be IR35 compliant, it became the end-clients responsibility to determine the contractor's status in the public sector in 2017. This was extended to the private sector in 2021.

These changes led to thousands of contractors paying too much in tax and National Insurance.

Therefore, contractors across the UK welcomed announcements by former Chancellor, Kwarteng that contractors would once again regain control over determining their IR35 status.

In another move by the new Chancellor Hunt, however, these planned reforms were reversed. This means that it will remain the responsibility of the end client to determine IR35 status.

To ensure you stay current, it's essential to be up to date with IR35 news and how this impacts you, so you can continue on the right foot going into 2023.

Learn new skills

Another top tip for getting your contracting career on track in 2023 is to develop your skill set. After all, upskilling and boasting a competitive skill set will stand you in good stead for bagging new clients and high-value contracts.

Moreover, it's always been challenging to gain a new skill with the plethora of available resources.

Umbrella Search would suggest that contractors explore the following resources:

  • EdX: this handy platform offers classes, courses, programs, and degrees by the world's best institutions, including Harvard and MIT.

  • Upskill: a valuable resource for contractors in the tech industry, Upskill offers a range of courses to help contractors update their skill sets and sharper their expertise.

  • The Open University: offering a range of long-distance learning courses and degrees, the Open University is the perfect platform for contractors to hone their expertise and gain new qualifications in their niche.

Fine-tune your soft skills

As well as working on your hard skills and expertise, it's also essential that contractors focus on their soft skills. After all, having a successful contracting career also requires a great set of soft skills to succeed.

This is especially important for contractors working in an office environment or participating in many zoom meetings. It will help them fit in well with their new workplace and work well with their new colleagues.

Although there might be specific soft skills you wish to improve on, some of the essential soft skills that all contractors should focus on include:

  • Communication is vital: written and verbal communication skills are critical to a successful contracting career. Excellent communication skills will not only improve the chances of winning the best contracts, but they will also help you build solid relationships with the client and your co-workers making the project process more manageable and helping to build strong relationships in your industry.

  • Working well with others: it's crucial that contractors can seamlessly fit into new teams and work well with others to make success of the project at hand. Good teamwork skills will not only make life easier for yourself and your new colleagues, but it will also help to ensure that a higher quality of work is produced.

  • Flexibility: Contractors must be flexible in going from contract to contract and learning to fit into new workplaces well. This also applies to the work at hand. After all, if the unexpected comes up, contractors must show flexibility in finding solutions to problems as they arise.

  • Time management: finally, as contractors aren't employees of their clients, they must manage their own time effectively to meet deadlines and get the work done to schedule. Although it's important to get tasks done when agreed, it's also essential that contractors strike an excellent work-life balance, which can be tricky when working intensively on a contract at any time.

Umbrella Search is here to help

Now you know how to get your contracting career on track going into 2023, why not make things easier by utilizing the services of an umbrella company?

By becoming the employee of your chosen umbrella provider, the umbrella company will take on tasks such as invoicing, admin, and paperwork, pay the contractor their salary, deduct the correct levels of tax and National Insurance, and even give the contractor statutory rights. Moreover, contractors are exempt from the infamous IR35 legislation by operating through an umbrella company, meaning one less worry. Please find out more about whether using an umbrella company suits you in our guide.

If this sounds like the best path for you, let Umbrella Search help. Our team of friendly experts will work closely with you to find an umbrella company that is the best fit. After all, not all umbrella companies are the same, meaning it's essential to find the perfect match for your contracting needs. Get in touch to see how we can help today.


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