Are you tired of running numbers or pushing paper to make money for other people? If so, contracting work may be for you. Contracting is hard work, but for people who enjoy working with their hands and creating something out of nothing, it is the perfect fit. As a contractor, you will be out in the field each day instead of being cooped up in a tiny cubicle. You also will have the ability to pick your own projects and hours.
However, before you jump into your new career, there are many things to consider. Keep reading to discover how to become a contractor and if you have what it takes.
- Know What You Are Getting Yourself Into
You may have an idea of what goes into contracting work, but don’t quit your day job without first doing some research. Sometimes we romanticize things that we think would be cool without taking the time to fully investigate.
If you have any friends in the field, be sure to ask them about their experience and solicit advice from them. If you know any local contractors, ask to shadow them for a day to learn what truly goes into contracting work. Even forums and articles on the internet can serve as a helpful source of information when it comes to determining if contracting is the right field for you.
- Get Properly Licensed and Insured
To work as a contractor, many states require a specific license. Figuring out the licensing requirements should be one of the first steps you take when pursuing contracting. This is especially because in states like Virginia, and many others, you won’t get very far without one.
In order to get this license, it would be wise of you to take training classes before, so you can take the test and pass in a timely manner. Once you are licensed, you will want to make sure that you have the proper insurance as well. The insurance helps to cover anything that may go wrong on the job.
- Seek Experience
While getting a license is helpful in learning what you need to become a successful contractor, it will not teach you everything you need to know. It may be beneficial for you to become an apprentice to an established contractor before striking out on your own.
Being an apprentice will help you to learn about the industry in a hands-on manner. No two projects are the same, so the more you can see and work on, the more knowledgeable you will become.
If you can’t become an apprentice, then at least try to join a professional club or group. That way, you can learn from the experiences of others and, hopefully, not make the same mistakes.
- Gather Clientele
Once you are operating on your own, you will need to secure clients. Start with your neighbors, friends, and family then work out from there. Do not be afraid to ask people you have done jobs for to refer you to their friends and family. The contracting business runs largely off recommendations. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are leaving a good impression at each job because you never know when it could help you get your next.
Life is too short to do a job that you hate. If you aren’t happy with your current occupation, then it might be time to switch to something completely different that you might actually enjoy. Contracting is the business of creating things to improve people’s lives, and that is wholly rewarding. Hopefully, your eyes have been opened to the new possibility of contracting as a profession, and now you are better able to determine if it is right for you.