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Job Hunting: Top Tips for Independent Contractors

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Even with the continuous rise of the economy, most independent contractors still think of becoming full-time employees instead. Apart from the benefits corporate employees receive, some contractors want to work with industry leaders who often work for established companies.

If you’re thinking of trading your independent contractor status for full-time employee status, career counsellors and human resources (HR) professionals offer these recommendations when searching for jobs:

Build Relationships

If you’re concerned about how you will work in a company setting, remember that even as an individual practitioner, you’ve been building relationships with others. As an independent contractor, you’ve already been practicing your relationship building skills, and have been using it extensively. After entering a company as an employee, you just now have to use it to work with peers instead of clients and suppliers.

Use Connections

If interested in a particular company, use your connections to look for someone you know who’s already working in that company. Talk to them and find out what makes people successful in the company.

Most of your leads will come from outside of your immediate circle. This will open up opportunities for you, as it will test your ability to go out of your comfort zone.

Find a Partner

Talk to someone who can help you focus the search, and serve as a sounding board for ideas. Look for a professional peer or colleague who can help you stay in confidence building mode. This can help you maintain your long-term perspective.

Do Market Research

Conduct a market research, focused specifically on organizational culture. This will help you asses the fit between the culture of the company and your personal values.

Talk to the company’s current employees. For better information, look for employees who made the same transition from independent contractor to full-time employee.

Pitch as a Consultant

Find out about what’s keeping a prospective employer up at night, and then present yourself as a solution. Pitch as a consultant. Frame the solution around your skills and experience, and around you being there, working for the company’s goals.

After working as an individual practitioner for years, a time may come when you want to search for a corporate job and become a full-time employee. When this happens, think of these tips, or consult career counsellors or HR professionals.