Becoming an independent contractor is an appealing prospect. There are challenges associated with independent contracting, and it’s not necessarily for everyone. If you’re thinking about making the jump, there are some key personality traits that you should possess or work on to reach your full potential for success as an independent contractor.
In a traditional business setting, you typically have a manager to keep you focused on the task at hand. Independent contractors usually have to find that motivation within themselves. Working from home and making your own hours may sound appealing on paper, but you may struggle if you can’t stay on task consistently.
A Willingness to Ask for Help
Being self-sufficient is an important characteristic for independent contractors to possess, but often it’s even more important that you’re willing to reach out for assistance when necessary. Attempting to do everything on your own or biting off more than you can chew can cause you to miss deadlines and disappoint clients. Know your limits, and be willing to outsource as necessary to prevent fatigue and quality loss.
In most work settings, experienced individuals or teams perform business planning strategies. As an independent contractor, you have to perform duties such as finding leads, contacting clients, marketing, and supplying materials and work spaces on your own. If you don’t possess exceptional organizational skills, your plans may go awry.
In the world of independent contracting, word-of-mouth marketing is everything. Because much of your time is spent working on projects, you may not have extra time to market your services. If you possess excellent networking skills, you should be able to use referrals, social media, customer reviews, and other person-to-person marketing techniques to drive business organically while you focus on getting your work done.
It only takes one unhappy client to cause serious problems. Independent contractors are only as good as their word, so it’s critical to establish yourself as a dependable resource.
As an independent contractor, you’re accountable for your work. If you make a mistake, you need to be able to own up to it and make it right.
Independent contracting often requires you to make the first move to reach out to a potential client. If you’re not bold and forthright, independent contracting may prove to be emotionally trying.
There is no guarantee of steady work as an independent contractor. You may go weeks or even months without a project. If you’re the type of person who must have something ready on the table at all times, you may want to opt for traditional employment avenues.
One of the benefits of independent contracting is a more flexible schedule, but that’s not always going to be the case. You may have to work excessive hours to finish up a rush project before a deadline. Sudden changes at the last minute are quite common in the world of independent contracting, so you need to be able to roll with the punches.
A Positive Attitude
In general, negative people that are difficult to work with don’t called back for a second gig. Much of an independent contractor’s income relies on repeat business and referrals, so staying upbeat and pleasant is a must. As long as you go above and beyond to treat your clients and yourself with respect, independent contracting can be a thrilling, rewarding career path, but you must be ready to put in the physical and mental effort required to make it work.