What It Takes To Be An Independent Contractor, Part One

Expeditive handles independent contractors and consultants. Many times we’re lucky in that the people we work with have experience of some kind in working independently. At other times, we get someone new, with work experience but no experience in working on their own. What does it take to work for oneself? And just how to you go about it?

Here are some tips on what it’s all about. This is a two part post, the second of which obviously will follow this one.

1. You’re going to need a good resume. Some people can work without resumes, but it’s very rare. A resume for working as an independent must look different than a resume for when you’re applying for a job. You’ll still list either previous employers or places you worked, but this time what potential employers are looking for is proof of how you worked on your own, without someone leading you. They want to see achievements of some sort, not just that you know how to do this or that. For instance, if you’re putting in for a billing gig, it’s understood that you know how to do billing. The question is what sets you apart from the crowd and how will your accomplishments make your potential client better?

2. You have to decide if you’re ready to open yourself up to a drug test or credit screening. Some potential clients will request one of these, and you have to decide if you’re willing to submit yourself to either one. More ask for drug tests than credit reports, just so you know. If you’re unwilling, it could potentially limit the number of assignments you get, especially in certain areas of the country, as the south is more apt to ask for it than the northeast.

3. You have to decide where you’re willing to work. Assignments could be anywhere in the United States, and if you’re not experienced in traveling on a consistent basis, you might find traveling into different time zones stressful. Heading from the east to the west still allows you to arrive on the same day almost always; going the other way sometimes means you won’t arrive home until the day after. And, because it’s hard getting used to time zones, you might find yourself staying at a location multiple weeks, and then taking an extended weekend to go home. You might find it easier to stay within your time zone, within so many miles from home, or even just going one time zone from your own.

Now that you’ve seen how this series began, you can go read part two.

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