Is Contracting the Right Career Choice For You?

Since the global economic crisis, more and more people have been choosing to become contractors in their chosen field. Not only does this help to counter a reduction in the amount of full-time salaried roles available, but it also has a number of specific advantages.

A recent contractor attitude survey discovered that almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of those currently working on a freelance basis chose to do so, which goes some way towards demonstrating how popular it is becoming as a career choice.

At a time when companies are more likely to offer their workers redundancies than promotions or pay rises, they are increasingly turning to contractors. So is a move into contracting the right one for you?


If you have other commitments outside of work, for example childcare, then contracting is one way to ensure you can strike a suitable balance. This is one of the main advantages cited by existing contractors and the ability to pick and choose the contracts that fit around your responsibilities is a significant draw towards this career choice.

However, this is something you need to balance against the reduced security. While it could be said that no one’s job is really 100 per cent safe, there is an inherent risk in the short-term nature of contracting. Although the vast majority of contractors do not experience any major problems, there is no guarantee you will receive another contract when your existing one ends.


If flexibility is the main thing that attracts people towards contracting, then it is probably fair to say that one of the things that puts people off the most is the belief they will be required to complete a great deal of paperwork and concern themselves with tax and National Insurance.

While this may be true for limited company contractors, although there are accountancy services providers who will be able to help, there is another option.

Many contractors choose to enlist the services of an umbrella company, which will take care of all deductions, leaving contractors free to concentrate on their work. Because they act as your employer, it is also possible to claim sick pay and holiday pay from umbrella companies.

Financial reward

Contractors usually earn more than their full-time salaried counterparts and it is possible to select contracts based on which offer you the best financial reward. As a result, you will normally take home more money as a contractor than you would if you were employed as a member of staff.

Furthermore, if you have control over when, where and how you work and your relationship with your end client is business to business, you will be considered to be outside of the IR35 legislation and are free to set up as a limited company. This means that you will be able to significantly reduce the amount of tax and National Insurance you are required to pay, using dividends and directors’ loans to receive money from the company.

However, if you feel you may fall inside IR35, you do not need to worry as you can still operate as a contractor by utilising a company offering umbrella services.

As a contractor, it is also possible to claim money back for expenses such as travel and any costs relating to tools or machinery you will require. This can further increase the financial benefits associated with contracting.

Leveraging the Infinite Virtual Workforce

When I began my career in web development, I found that I struggled most with finding great talent. There were many things wrong with my approach, but first and foremost while working with freelancers, I was using the wrong kind of talent. I was trying to do it all with full-time dedicated employees, and the web development business doesn’t work that way. You get very large projects that take enormous hours to complete, then you may go months with smaller projects. To staff up to these projects would be impossible. I learned early in my career that I needed flexible resources to augment my full-time staff. I decided that I needed to get better and finding great freelancers. My first step to finding freelancers was to learn where they tend to “hang out”.

I started as many do – searching the endless job-boards for quality talent. I found that while there are some great folks on these boards, it’s nearly impossible to find them through the noise floor. I finally settled on a few systems that seemed to produce.

I have had the best results with:

  • Craigslist (believe it or not, there are some great folks on craigslist)

The trick is in sifting through the responses and finding the quality people. You’ll have no shortage of freelancers who respond to your projects. They will respond from all over the world, and you will be challenged to sift through the responses to find the great freelancers.

I include a lot of detail in my job postings and I ask for specific information in the responses. This allows me to quickly sift through the responses where they failed to follow directions. This has been an enormous help when it comes to moving through a high volume of responses. I found out recently that the band Van Halen did something similar due to repeated failures by promoters to meet the conditions of their contracts. You may have heard of the infamous “no brown M&M’s”. This clause was inserted as a quick way to verify whether the promoter had read and complied with the full contract.

So, if you’d like to find great talent, start with a great talent site such as Freelancer, Guru etc, and then filter your responses by their ability to follow your initial instructions. In my next article, I’ll give you some tips on how to test your freelancers to weed out the weak from your new herd.

What Qualifications do You Need to Become a Social Worker?

Social workers help people from a wide cross section of society to deal with an even wider array of problems. Although every case is different, typically it is the role of a social worker to help people gain the skills they need to live their lives better.

The social work job consists of helping people deal with problems presented from external factors as well as teaching life skills.

Social work has become a cornerstone of the UK healthcare system, as such the call for more social workers has grown considerably and led to a number of jobs in social work opening up in the NHS.

This article explains both the qualities and qualifications of people who are interested in becoming a social worker will need to succeed.

Personal qualities

Social workers are required to deal with people who suffer from a wide and often complex range of issues. It is down to those working in social care to provide clear unbiased help. Personal character traits that are considered important for social workers include –

  • Tolerance and a non-judgemental attitude;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Enjoy working as part of a team and for the benefit of others;
  • Possesses good problem solving abilities;

If applicants possess these skills it is a good basis for further development within the role and during education in the world of social work.

Education and qualifications

Applicants wishing to train as a social worker need to attain a professional qualification in social work, typically to degree standard or higher.

Many universities offer degrees on either a part or full time basis allowing students to undertake work experience alongside their studies if necessary.

The degree course will also offer students the opportunity to go into specialist fields such as: learning difficulties or training for social care management jobs.

What Can You Expect From a Career in Speech and Language Therapy?

Nearly 5% of the UK population currently suffers from some form of communication or language difficulty; it is the role of speech and language therapists to help these people deal with communicative problems.

Such problems affect both child and adult patients who suffer from a range of difficulties which are caused by a wide spectrum of conditions.

Those working in speech & language therapy jobs spend their time helping their patients to either regain or develop skills they need to communicate to the highest level possible.

What the job involves

Therapists are required to work with patients suffering from a wide range of speech and language difficulties including –

  • Inability to communicate thoughts;
  • Improper comprehension of language;
  • Incoherent communication;
  • Other oral problems such as eating or volume control .

These difficulties are implications of physical and mental disabilities which are caused by illnesses such as:

  • Alzheimer’s;
  • Physical defects;
  • Sustained injuries;
  • Psychiatric disorders and learning difficulties.

Speech and language therapy is normally carried out on a one-to-one basis with the patient; however therapists will be required to work in conjunction with fellow professionals, such as those in rehabilitation and physiotherapist jobs.  This enables the team to coordinate the best response to each individuals needs.

The job is also commonly practiced in a number of environments such as hospitals, GP practices and patients homes; meaning therapists are often required to travel a great deal.

Job opportunities

Upon qualification as a speech and language therapist, successful candidates will be given a broad spectrum of patients to gain experience in the field. After this it is common for therapists to specialise in a chosen field such as:

  • Child speech therapy and language acquisition;
  • Research in to new therapy techniques;
  • Management of speech and language therapy programs.

Top Ten Education Jobs DC Has Available

The District of Columbia or Washington DC as known to you offers education jobs in various Organizations and Universities, who employ teachers, catalogers, trainers, Instructors, in part time and full time service.

For employment in such institutes or companies you need to fulfill certain criteria that subjects to Teaching in that specific area. Places like Virginia, Maryland, accrue to Teaching Positions.

Education Jobs DC also employ teachers at Public Charter Schools controlled by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and since there has been an increment by 13% each year in the Charter Schools, from 2001, the new education jobs in DC are on the Horizon.

DC job profile

Washington DC has many Universities to cater to your demand of any particular subject. Some of the best known Universities include the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), George Washington University (GW), American University (AU), and the Corcoran College of Art and Design which not only allows you to choose your subject for application, but also provides a wider scope to your Teaching career.

You can also suit your timing accordingly with the Institution or company you are employed by, keeping in mind your degree of work. Education jobs in DC include general education instructor, online educational Instructors, Kindergarten teacher, educational consultant, Librarians, library clerks, online educational writers, Charter school teacher according to subject, faculty Chair posts, instructional assistants, and director of education.

Top Ten Hot jobs available at Washington DC

With so many job Positions and working profile you must be thinking of DC Education Employment availabilities. Well here are a recommended few, fro which you can apply and pertain to your and the Institution’s demand.

  1. Kindergarten teacher- Imagine Schools, Washington DC.
  2. Educational consultant- Scholastic, Washington DC.
  3.  Law Librarian and Library clerks mainly in Cataloging- Lac group DC, DC.
  4. Online writers-, Washington DC
  5.  Project Manager, Educational Services- Scholastic, Washington DC
  6. Girls head coach (tennis, soccer) – Loudoun County Public Schools in Ashburn
  7. Specialist, student behavior support- District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington.
  8.  Hourly home bound teachers- Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn.
  9.  Student data systems trainer- District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington
  10. Special Education teacher (2013-2014) – Lighthouse Academy, Washington

Education jobs, DC offer you these recommended job profiles and whichever suits your area, working hours, you can apply for them online. DC education work requires such capable teachers who can also Teach at the Universities that are already mentioned and can get a good amount of salary, pertaining to your position.

Not only Teaching, you can also go for consultancy, analysis, Project Managing, and clinical instructing. There should be persistence and competency from your part, and if you love to Teach kids, then Kindergarten Schools, Public Schools that employ the 1st to 5th grade teachers, who could Teach languages, music, Mathematics, English, etc.

This is all the educational work you need to do, with suitable Teaching AIDS in DC Schools and Colleges and ensure the required degree for the education job DC is offering you.

Education Jobs

With education jobs picking up Coast to Coast, more and more people are checking out opportunities of jobs in education. Nowadays, it is possible to move from one state to the other in the US of you are in education employment as the College of Education collects opportunities in K-12 jobs for all the 50 states. There are many states in the US that do not centralize job advertisements.

Widespread education work opportunities Coast to Coast

Education work can be very mentally fulfilling if you love to Teach and also stay close to academics throughout your life. Education careers have also ratcheted up in Popularity Among average Americans after more Federal funding is finding its way into quality education from the ground up. It is easy to find education employment anywhere in the US as well as Abroad if you are equipped with the right Qualifications and experience.

Every State in the US is continuously upgrading and fine Tuning their teacher Certification and License Rules as well as requirements. The Certification and License Rules also vary from state to state as candidates check out opportunities for education jobs.

You can easily check the individual Certification requirements of the US online to identify education work options all around. There are several websites about interstate agreements that can be great resources for education jobs as well.

Every agreement is within the state jurisdiction and outlines particular type of education Certification for teachers, Administrators, career, technical and service Personnel in education related employment. When there is an acceptance, the receiving state will issue authorization to allow the certificate holder To Teach and also provide educational services in the receiving state. The educator can also Teach and practice after the time limit.

Workable solutions underway for more Affordable Alternatives

A lot of gainful work is up and running these days to remove the debt Burden of graduating students and they are putting up more opportunities to get things right. Education careers are not a one size fits all as you can seek employment in various capacities these days.

You could be a superintendent or work even in administrative capacities in Schools and Colleges. There are opportunities for work with software Manufacturers who deliver state of the art tool and Technologies for Education.

To provide broad access to quality education for all Americans, workable solutions are underway to create options for Affordable Alternatives. The need of the hour is to make employment opportunities in education more widespread than ever before.

Students are also enabled to make well informed decisions and the get quality secondary education upfront. Taxpayers are also offered several incentives for Supporting Education and the Creation of more education jobs in future.

Job Search – What Type is Yours?

But the global increase in unemployment has brought about a new surge in job applicants, many of whom have not have experienced the Task of the Job Search in many years. The result is many dissatisfied job seekers, who feel that their Job Search efforts are not being appreciated by the employment profession, with a resultant increase in long term job seekers.

However, if they knew which type of job search they took undertaking, they would know what type of result they should expect.

Direct Offer: The Insider
The Direct Approach and offer from a company, is often a surprise to the person, who probably as not an active job seeker. This type of job seeker is already directly known by the organization, normally through being an existing employee. You could also be presently working for a competitor, supplier or an existing customer of the organization. If you are approached, you have a 90% chance of being employed using this method.

Networking from: The Virtual Insider
This type of direct Approach offer again is a delight to a person who is probably not an active job seeker, but is presently not known to the employing organization. The result of this Approach is a testament to their clear personal elevator pitch and track record of Delivery, and the advocation by others often within the employing organization, or by people within a common mutual network. This is a fast expanding area of ​​recruitment, with companies now paying existing employees for successful Introductions of new hires. If approached, you have a 50% chance of being employed using this method

Headhunted: The Star!
Modern headhunting is about direct from Client business orientated briefs, which are fulfilled quickly. While the Client side of the business has changed little but niched more, the search and find side of the business has been transformed by the Boom in Social Networking. Now, techniques like Boolean search allow headhunters to create larger Lists of suitably qualified applicants, and hence offer better candidates who are more researched in a quicker timescale. The result is that these types of job seekers are again often not active job seekers, but can be concluded as Stars within their chosen profession or market. You have a Greater than 35% chance of being employed if approached using this method

Networking to: The Inside Track
And now move from mainly passive job seekers to active job seekers, those who are either employed or presently between Positions. This next two types of job search Require the job seeker to:

This type of job search requires effort, and hence most job seekers avoid it not because they are more successful – often Ten times as successful as other active types of job search; but because other options Require less thought and effort.

The Inside Track Approach requires that having decided to job search, that Inside your target organization This Inside the contact may be as a result of you being a customer, supplier, competitor or business network contacts. Your initial Approach is based on person to person conversations often over cups of coffee, making a subtle research based informational Interview Approach to asses who you should be talking to, and what they are seeking to achieve for the business. If you use this method, then you have a 20% chance of being employed from companies you target

Direct Approach: The Navigator

The navigator Approach is similar and statistically as successful to the Inside track, but as you have no developed contacts Inside the target Organisations (start with a list of 50, whittle them down to 20 through simple research), you need to develop a contact base . With the development of business orientated social Networking, and the increase in the number of companies offering existing employees bonuses for the successful Introduction of new hires, this method is a lot easier than it ever was. It requires the same clarity of though on who you are Job Boards, with a 15% chance of being employed from companies you target on your researched list. This can easily be Improved to Virtual Insider levels of success of 50% or Greater with some more simple Research and Networking techniques, it just depends on how much you want a job with that company?

Recruiter: The Mountie
The next set of three job search options have differing rates of success, but have two things in common:

You will follow a defined love the process to be hired
As the Positions are openly advertised for, you will have high levels of competition. Expect 5 people to make it to the Interview Stage for each single position being recruited for, multiplied by three fold back down each Stage of the recruitment process (ie: application, CV sift, online testing, telephone Interview, etc). This could presently result in 100 original job applications

If you undertake your job search via a recruiter advert, and having checked out the strength of the recruiters relationship and brief to make sure you are not being CV fished, and further have not Broken the “three recruiters and out” rule; then your Chances of employment via this Route are 15% or Greater. You can easily improve this to 35% or more if you know the right tactics and questions to ask. The recruiter often works in a competitive environment, against other recruiters and the Organisations own love the people, to fulfil a position. If the recruiter successfully fulfils the position and gets their man, then they get paid; if not, then its on to the next opportunity. Good recruiters always get their man, and after Introduction to the employer you follow the Organisations defined recruitment process

Newspaper or company website job advert: The Jockey
Newspaper adverts and company websites are a good source of real job opportunity. Firstly, they Require effort and cost on behalf of the Hiring organization, which means that the jobs are real and not CV fishing exercisesdesigned to be selective in a non-judgemental way. You hence have little choice in the Race you are about to take part in, expect that you chose to enter it, and hence have little ability to affect its outcome. Your Chances of being recruited via this method once you hit the apply button or send your application through the post are between 3% and 5%, although this can easily be doubled with some simple effort

Job Board: The Donkey
Of all the methods of job search, the job board is the most common and actively used by many present day job seekers. Yet, the statistics show that only 12% of all Positions are fulfilled by Job Boards in any market. If only few jobs are fulfilled by Job Boards, why do most unsuccessful long term job seekers spend most of their days trawling Job Boards? Simply, it does not Require much effort to find or apply for jobs on a job board, but gives the job seeker the regular Internal satisfaction of being able to say at the end of each day, “yes Honey, I spent the day job seeking ! ” As a recruiter, I know that some of those jobs “advertised” on Job Boards do not exist. The job board market is competitive – with around 50,000 Job Boards in North America, and 50,000 around the rest of the world – that the cost of advertising a job on a job board can be as little as free. If the cost of doing something was free, and add in that you can repeat the same job advert for ever simply by ticking a repeat button, how often would you do that the Task? In a Recent test, of 126 jobs advertised as available in a large city, an employment  is it any wonder that you Chances of success via a job board can drop as low as 2%?

Job Search Conclusion
So, what type of job search are you undertaking? Statistics from various parts of the world show that a majority of job seekers Focus most of their efforts in responding to job adverts from recruiters, Newspapers or spending their time on Job Boards, where at best their average chance of success if 15% or less. Pour over three quarter of jobs fulfilled in the past year have never been advertised, of which at least half of them are open for application from job seekers who just have to put in a little effort and know a few simply learnt tactics.