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The space between completing your contract to securing your next job can often leave you feeling anxious. You may not know when the next influx of cash will be hitting your pocket, how much spare time you have on your hands, or if you’re just experiencing a rocky patch. Knowing what your take home pay after tax is, is always important to know especially when you are between contracts.

The world of contracting can be rewarding, but it can also be challenging for a first-time contractor. The key is to stay ahead of the game by lining up a contract in advance, ensuring that income is steadily rolling in. End dates and start dates may shift to suit the end-client so it’s key to record a rough estimate of your availability for the coming weeks or months.

We’ve rounded up five ways you can keep on top of the gap between contracts:

1. Keep in touch

If you’re taking on a longer length contract, it’s vital that you stay in touch with your contacts. Word of mouth travels a long way, maybe even gaining you clients, so it’s important that your name is freshly painted into their memory when they hear the word ‘contractor’.

If you’re a sweet talker, LinkedIn works wonders at recording achievements and keeping your network in the loop. Sending over a congratulatory message, or showing your appreciation by liking and commenting on their status, usually stimulates conversation.

2. Check-in with your Recruitment Agent

Your recruitment agent is paid to find the ideal contract for you, so step one should be to update them on your availability so they can begin the leg work. They’re trained to hunt down the ideal candidate for the job, so if you’re not the best fit, ask for feedback and specific developments that can be made to your skill set.

3. Search on the job

If you’re due to finish a contract within the next few weeks or so, it may be worth beginning the job hunt in advance so you can transition into your next job without delay.

It’s just as easy to sign up to job alerts so the opportunities come to you. This tends to attract many promising offers so make sure you filter your specific requirements beforehand.

Use this time to brush up your CV, including adding new contracts you have completed. Modern technology has introduced innovative job searching tools such as Facebook Advanced Search and LinkedIn, so use your online presence to secure a job.

4. Chasing up

If you apply for a job with an immediate start date, the client may desperately be in need of a contractor. It may be worth chasing your recruiter to catch up on your application status. If you’re directly in touch with the end client, make your availability clear to them. If you’re contacting them due to a recommendation, state this in the first instance.

5. Holiday Blues

You may be taking a well earned holiday after a challenging contract, or you may be taking some time off for maternity/paternity, but now it’s time to step back into the game. Eviscerate the holiday blues by diving straight into the job search.

If you’ve been out of the game for more than 12 months, it’s worth reviewing any legislation changes that may have come into effect. The Spring Budget 2017 largely affected the self-employed, including the IR35 reform 2017.

At Gorilla Accounting, we take pride in informing our clients on upcoming legislation changes which may affect their way of working.

As part of ourall-inclusive accountancy package, you will receive unlimited support from a dedicated accountant for just £85 plus VAT per month.

If you have any questions about our service, get in touch with a member of our New Business Team on 0330 024 0406 or are specialist accountants for contractors working in a range of fields, includingaccountants for IT contractors,accountants for vetsandaccountants for artists, just to name a few.