Flexibility and Opportunity: Exploring the Advantages of Contracting in the Finance Industry

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Demand for flexibility is growing in virtually every sector, but it’s particularly common in the finance industry. Today’s professionals seek diversity, new experiences, and opportunities to develop new skills, and contracting roles can offer these benefits.

Unlike permanent roles, contracting roles give financial specialists more control over their schedule, ability to take on new tasks, and income.

Here, we’ll examine the benefits of contracting in the finance industry, the challenges you may need to overcome, and the skills to develop to ensure you can thrive in this landscape.

The Rise of Contracting in Finance

Contracting isn’t a new concept in the finance industry. Many accountants, financial consultants, and similar professionals have pursued this working style for some time. However, challenges in the recruitment landscape, such as significant skill shortages, are prompting a growing demand for contractors in the industry.

Many organisations need temporary workers in the finance space to help with budget management, taxes, and account management. Thanks to digital transformation in the sector, many companies are hiring contractors to help them transition into new processes, manage compliance, and reduce risks.

The popularity of contracting is also increasing among employees, who increasingly search for more freedom in their schedules and higher earning opportunities. In the UK, the average salary for a finance contractor is currently around £53,838 per year, depending on company size and location.

Flexibility: Key Benefits for Financial Experts

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of contracting for finance professionals is the promise of flexibility. Although finance industry leaders offer permanent employees access to more flexible hybrid, remote work and four-day work-week roles, contractors maintain full control over their schedule.

Contractors can accept or decline work based on their personal preferences and schedules, meaning it’s much easier to maintain a strong work-life balance. 97% of contractors say they’re happier with their work-life balance than most traditional employees.

Contractors also have the option to choose which projects they want to work on, decide how much work to complete each day (depending on deadlines), and set their fees.

Additionally, though these professionals need to constantly seek new roles and opportunities, the speed of finding opportunities can be much greater. While candidates can spend months interviewing for full-time positions, they can often find contract work within a matter of days, particularly if they have the support of the right recruitment company.

Opportunity: Advancing Career Trajectory Through Contracting

Alongside offering more freedom and flexibility, contract work gives finance professionals a unique way to develop their skills and abilities. The opportunity to move between roles quickly means candidates can stay on top of current trends, experiment with different technologies and projects, and explore various company cultures and working styles.

Contributing to a wide range of tasks allows candidates to develop a comprehensive set of skills that can make them more attractive to future employees and improve their work performance. At the same time, they can constantly expand their network.

The more companies and clients contractors work with, the more exposure they’ll get to the wider financial market. They’ll be able to build relationships with various companies and industry leaders and discover new mentors and peers they can work with in the future.

This can lead to a consistent career growth and development trajectory and create a more satisfying job experience for finance specialists.

Overcoming Risks and Challenges

While contracting roles can offer many benefits to finance candidates, they also have risks and challenges. First, contractors don’t have the “stability” of professionals in permanent roles.

Additionally, contractors in the finance industry can face more pressure than standard employees. Most finance leaders won’t dedicate as much time to training and onboarding a temporary team member and will expect them to “hit the ground running” in their role.

This means contractors must dedicate time to developing skills, learning about the company’s processes, and integrating themselves into the company culture.

Key strategies for success include:

  • Skill development: Constantly improving your skills, staying updated with industry trends, and expanding your knowledge will ensure you can quickly deliver value to clients in a contractor role.
  • Understanding contracts: Some contractors won’t be entitled to the same benefits as full-time staff. Ensuring you understand the rules and regulations surrounding contracting will ensure you’re treated fairly by your clients.
  • Specialist support: Working with a specialist financial recruitment team will make it easier to find available contract roles, build relationships, develop your brand, and navigate the recruitment landscape.

The Skills and Attributes Required for Contracting

Contract work comes with its own unique set of challenges to address. To thrive in a contractor role, finance professionals need more than essential financial knowledge. They need to develop a few critical skills and attributes, such as:

Communication skills:

Effective communication skills are crucial for every finance professional, as finance roles often involve conveying complex information to stakeholders, negotiating, and building strong relationships with team members and clients.

Work on building your communication skills by practicing active listening, engaging in public speaking opportunities, and experimenting with different communication methods.

Adaptability and resilience:

In a contractor position, your role and responsibilities will constantly evolve in an industry where technologies and processes are frequently changing. Adaptability will be critical to ensuring you can thrive in your career. Commit to a growth mindset, and be proactive when assessing your weaknesses and developing new skills.

Cultivate emotional intelligence and resilience by experimenting with tactics that help manage stress, deal with change effectively, and creatively solve problems.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical thinking skills enable finance professionals to evaluate complex scenarios and data and make informed decisions. In a contractor role, your critical thinking skills will help you adapt quickly to new challenges and determine which positions or roles to pursue.

Your problem-solving skills will help you explore a range of strategies for overcoming different hurdles based on what you know about each company you work with and their goals. Practice challenging both your critical thinking and problem-solving skills by challenging yourself in your free time, assessing data, and evaluating market trends.

Teamwork and Collaboration

As a contractor, you’ll work with a wide range of different professionals in various settings. You’ll need to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, listen actively to their insights, learn from their feedback, and share your insights.

In your spare time, you can volunteer for causes you care about to build your collaboration skills or invest in networking (both online and in-person) to interact with different people from various backgrounds. Commit to creating an inclusive mindset and compassion for others.

Project and Time Management

Many finance contractors will be tasked with individual projects they need to manage effectively and on their own time. This means you need to be excellent at prioritising tasks, organising your schedule, and ensuring you meet deadlines.

Create detailed project plans and determine how you can effectively delegate work to other team members when necessary. Ensure you have boundaries to prevent you from taking on more work than you can reasonably handle, and focus on becoming efficient in your role by taking advantage of technology when possible.

Marketing skills

One commonly overlooked skill you’ll need as a contractor is the ability to market yourself. You’ll need to know how to build a strong professional brand, both online and offline, to attract the attention of new clients and companies.

You’ll also need to know how to write amazing cover letters and CVs, highlight your skills and attributes during interviews and communicate clearly with clients. To expand your client pool, you may even need to invest in common marketing strategies, like content production, social media marketing, email marketing, and more.

Is Contracting the Right Option for you?

Contracting can be an excellent chance for specialists in the finance industry to access higher earnings, more flexibility, and growth opportunities. With this strategy, you can unlock a greater work-life balance, grow your career, and enhance your skill set.

However, there are still challenges to overcome, from a lack of stability and certainty to the fast-paced and complex nature of the contracting workflow. Working with the right recruitment company is a good way to prepare for success.

A finance recruitment company can help you develop your professional brand, offer insights into the finance market and client needs, and help connect you with new companies.




About Rebus Financial Recruitment

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, ranging from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly.

To learn more, contact one of our team members today or call us at 01282 930930.

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