To help prepare for the year ahead, we’ve put together a list of essential tasks for contractors to complete to help get the most out of job opportunities in 2021.
2020 was an unprecedented year of uncertainty and insecurity, leading many employers to reduce headcounts, put projects on hold and cut costs. Although the threat of the pandemic hasn’t truly disappeared, 2021 looks like the year for businesses to bounce back and regain momentum.
This rebound in employment and job creation looks focused on contract work.
According to the Australian Institute, ‘Since May, over 400,000 casual jobs have been created (2,200 per day, on average), accounting for over 60% of all new waged positions since the recovery started.’
Over the last few years, we’ve been monitoring the rapidly increasing contingent workforce. Contractors are fast becoming the dominant form of work; coronavirus has only served to accelerate this shift, leading to the biggest increase in contractor work in Australia’s history.
To put you in the best position for this dramatic trend, and set you up for the coming year, we’ve put together a list of essential tasks for contractors. Read on to ensure you’re aiming for the right industries with the right skills and remaining competitive.
Research which industries are thriving
While some industries were catastrophically affected by coronavirus, others flourished. Before starting on your job hunt, do your research to make sure you know the areas with the greatest demand for workers.
We’ve previously provided analysis on which industries are most likely to be hiring. These include:
|Healthcare – The Australian Jobs Report has stated that healthcare will have some of the strongest growth of any industry over the next five years. Contractor opportunities include nurses, aged and disabled carers, child carers and nursing support.|
|Financial and insurance services – The financial industry is already made up of around 40% of contingent workers, and this looks to be increasing. There’s been a steady decline of permanent talent in the finance industry, which employers are filling with contractors. Opportunities include IT, project management and niche skills, such as commercial underwriting.|
|Education – Education remains one of the biggest employers of contingent workers. With nearly half of all jobs at universities being offered on a contract basis and a greater focus on online learning, there’s significant demand for academic as well as administrative contract workers.|
Industries you might want to avoid! According to S&P Global, the industries most affected by COVID-19 are:
Of course, as Australia emerges from this pandemic in a strong position, these industries may be revitalised; however, if you’re looking to get a head start, you might want to consider avoiding them initially.
Build your skills
Traditionally, employers usually provide their permanent employees with training and education for them to successfully perform their job. As a contractor, this training needs to be self-directed.
To prepare yourself for 2021 and ensure you’re best placed for any upcoming roles, you need to continually develop your skills and undertake training where you can.
The best skills that we can recommend, which will set you up for your entire life, include:
|Communication and emotional intelligence
Working well in groups, listening with empathy and collaborating confidently.
Tech-savvy skills, such as programming, web development, cybersecurity and digital marketing.
Flexibility to change, and employ problem-solving in difficult situations.
Innovation, ingenuity and imagination to increase efficiency, reduce costs or improve the way things are done.
The ability to manage teams, while providing feedback, motivation, and fostering collaboration.
|Commitment to continual learning
Having the drive and motivation to keep updating your knowledge and skills.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve put together a guide on updating your contractor skills for the coming year, including some free training resources.
Spruce up your resume
Being the perfect candidate for a job is meaningless without being able to clearly articulate why you’re the perfect candidate to potential employers.
It’s far more important for contractors to have an up-to-date resume than it is for employees in permanent work – due to the nature of rotating jobs every 12 months or so. That’s why improving your resume is one of the most essential tasks for contractors to complete in 2021.
Check out our recommendations to give your CV an overhaul. Our tips include:
Contractors are always going to be in demand, so listing contract positions on your resume is a positive, not a negative. Hiring managers will value your ability to continually keep your skills up to date through subsequent positions and working environments.
Make sure your finances are in order
Organising your financial situation, including tax structures, superannuation and mortgages can be extremely demanding and complex for contractors. That’s why it’s essential that you ensure that the company you’re planning on undertaking work for has the right processes or partners in place to ensure you get paid accurately and on time.
As a company that acts on behalf of employers to manage contractors, CXC takes responsibility for the engagement, payroll and management of your contract work.
Our suite of in-house and alliance contractor benefits partner programs are designed to optimise the contracting experience and support individuals who make contracting a career and lifestyle choice.
With 30 years of compliant contractor management, we have the expertise to provide you with:
- The choice to contract through all tax structures available in Australia, as well as assisting you to establish the right tax structure.
- Salary packaging options, including the opportunity to make voluntary super deductions.
- Salary sacrificing options, where you can select a set dollar figure or percentage to be sacrificed with each pay.
- Consolidation of superannuation as well as setting up self-managed super funds.
- Novated leases, giving you the most cost-effective way to purchase vehicles using your pre-tax dollars.
- Advice through our 100%-owned financial, mortgage and property business, CXC Financial Partners.
“CXC continues to provide me with first class accounting & contractor workforce management services based on the highest degree of expertise and integrity. CXC gives me the confidence to focus on consultancy work and generating income, in the knowledge that my insurance, invoicing, payroll and tax are in safe hands.”
Adam Gladstone, Integration Technical Lead Contractor, Lend Lease
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help, please contact us here.