Out of Work Contractor Dilemma
It‘s happened to quite a lot of us, whether out of work contractor or employee. It‘s very disheartening when it happens and it wrenches at your self-esteem. You may also have to tell a partner too that the company you work for no longer wants you.
So what should you do?
Firstly, don‘t panic
You are not the first person that this has happened to. It‘s happened to millions of people before you – and the vast bulk of them (including myself) have gone on to get work elsewhere.You may be out of work now, but it won‘t last forever.
Take the big decisions early
Those companies, e.g. agencies, who survive downturns well are those that took the important cost-cutting decisions early, while those that have struggled are those who destroyed their balance sheets by delaying the big decisions, hoping for something to turn up.
You must do the same. Sit down and make a list of all your expenditures. Then take it on board that you might be out of work for a year or more and take the correct decisions early – including selling your house for a cheaper one if the mortgage is too big.
Your partner may complain, but if the money runs out, many have found that their partner walks too. Act quickly, and act decisively.
Contact your mortgage company
to see if they can give you a mortgage holiday. Tell them that your industry is in the middle of a downturn. If you can secure 3-6 months off paying, that will be a big boon to you.
Develop a regular routine of looking for work
As long as your partner sees you making an effort, they will probably back you. Remember they have got worries too about the future, and seeing you doing little to get out of your situation will increase the worry on them and the worry, the pressure and the strain on you.
Don‘t let yourself go.
In the past you used to do your ablutions first thing in the morning before you went to work. Now you don‘t go to work so you don‘t have a regular routine. The solution to this is to have a regular routine.
I would suggest that you do your ablutions as soon as you get up, or do your first job-seeking stint in the morning followed by your ablutions, then breakfast, followed by your second job-seeking stint.
Have some time to enjoy yourself.
You may not have too many opportunities in your career to have time off to do some of the things you always wanted to do. As an out of work contractor you have that opportunity.
Do the bulk of your job-seeking in the morning, so that you can feel more relaxed about enjoying yourself in the afternoon and evening. Doing it in the morning takes the pressure off you, as your partner knows that you have already put in a good ‘working stint‘.
Tell your partner your new routine and get them to agree it, so that you don‘t get ‘how come you‘re sitting there watching the telly when you should be looking for work’.
Evaluate what you see as your strengths
and create your CV accordingly.
You need to work out what your Unique Selling Point is and then bring that out on your CV.
Consider your job search to be a project,
and work accordingly. Tell yourself that it is just a normal job of work and that you will be putting in set hours. Think of yourself as an agent who has to make lots of calls just to get one lead.
Don‘t get discouraged
if you don‘t get a job straight away. Tell yourself that the odds are one in several hundred of you getting a job from each lead or CV send that you make. Also tell yourself that you must do the spade work of chasing those several hundred leads in order to get that one opportunity.
Lastly, keep your pecker up
Being an out of work contractor is not the end of the world. You may feel that you‘ll never work again at times, but few people that want to work remain unemployed for the rest of their lives.
Do the things that you need to do (as stated previously) and that will help to keep your morale up. You‘re going to get a job at some point. It may be next week, or next month, or next year. The harder you work at it, the quicker it will come.
Does anyone else have any advice for an out of work contractor?