Unless you’ve specifically planned to take Christmas off, the festive period can leave some contractors feeling at a bit of a loose end. While to many it’s a happy time to spend with family and friends, to some it can be a time of financial worry where work just isn’t forthcoming because everyone else is off.
We’ve got some tips to help you get through the festive period with your sanity in tact!
Get your ducks in a row
If you’re in contract, then you may well have factored a Christmas break in with your client, and worked this into your project fee. However, if you are out of contract and you haven’t factored the time off in, it can feel like a bit of forced downtime where no one is in there offices. However, you can use this time to sort out your profile and ensure you’re ready to start looking for new clients in the new year. Use some of the time off to prune your CV, update your LinkedIn profile and apply for agencies and contracts. You can even do this in front of a festive film if it makes you feel better.
Tackle that admin
The time off between Christmas and New Year can be a great time to tackle that admin work that’s been glaring at you for the last few months. Do some filing, get your accounts in order (the self assessment deadline is on 31 January, after all), check when your contractor insurance is up for renewal, and make sure everything is ship shape. Without client calls, meetings and constant emails, you’ll probably get it all done in a few hours and then you can enjoy the rest of your break.
Plan the year ahead
The Christmas break can also be a good time to start planning the new year ahead. Think about your goals as a contractor: what you’d like to achieve, who you’d like to work with and where you’d like to be by this time the following year. It can be really useful and can help steer you on the right course for the next twelve months. You can also spend some time reflecting on the year just gone and think about what you’d like to do differently and what you’d like to keep the same.
Remember that one of the reasons you became a contractor was so you could control your own career — including time off to spend with family and friends. Enjoy all the festivities the season has to offer and be glad that you’re not stuck in an office in between Christmas and New Year, bored out of your mind while the boss enjoys time at home!
In the meantime, though, we want to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!