Five things contractors should do between jobs

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

Pause your professional indemnity insurance and any other services you can

If there are services you use for work but don’t need while you’re waiting for a new contract to start, see if you can pause them. There’s no point paying for something you’re not using.

Think about everything you use, from professional indemnity insurance to office space and software. Some companies may let you stop paying when you're not working while others will give you a reduced rate.

If your insurer won’t let you pause your policy, think about switching to one that does.

We’ve teamed up with PolicyBee to offer our members an exclusive 10% discount on their professional indemnity cover that gives IT contractors, marketing and advertising professionals, and web designers the flexibility to hibernate their policy while they’re not working.

That means a cheaper premium when you're not working but you'll still be covered for any claims that come from previous jobs you worked.

At Bought By Many we're trying to make the insurance industry fairer by negotiating cheaper rates for people with specific insurance needs. We use the combined buying power of the members in our groups to demand better premiums from insurers.

Other services contrators use for work might have different rules about pausing them, but it is worth asking to see if you can save some money and extend their lifespan.

Take a break

If you’ve got time off, why not treat it as a proper break?

Even a week’s gap between contracts is enough time for a trip to Europe or further afield. You don’t even have to leave the country; you could visit a friend whose time off coincides with yours.

Or even win some brownie points with your partner by visiting your family during the week while they are working. That way you won’t take up your other half’s weekend visiting Auntie Jean in Southampton.

Earn some money another way

It can be frustrating having a gap in your income but you can top it up through other means.

Get in touch with your inner Wolf of Wall Street and learn how to build a portfolio and trade shares.

Or try your hand at antique dealing. If you’ve got time during the week charity shops and junk yards are nice and quiet, so see if you can unearth some hidden gems that you can clean up and sell for profit on eBay or Gumtree.

You can keep it simple and a bit more Cash in the Attic by having a clear out and selling anything you don’t need online.

You’ll also have time to look into that bitcoin mining farm you’ve always dreamed about…

Learn a new skill or brush up on old ones

This is quite a broad opportunity, so it is worth picking one thing and working on it whenever you have gaps in contracts throughout the year. It can be for work or play.

Use YouTube lessons to learn to play an instrument or find out how to do the DIY you’ve been putting off.

If you’re starting a job in a new industry you could learn about their systems and idiosyncrasies. You’ll also have time to develop skills that are bit rusty, maybe you want to take your PhotoShop or C++ abilities to the next level.

Life admin

It’s not immediately fulfilling or fun but sometimes it’s easier getting life admin out of way while you’re not working. You can call customer service lines or go to the Post Office at quiet times or be in the house for any deliveries or to let any workmen in.

Make a list of all the things you need to get done, it could be chasing up invoices, looking at the best options for new recruitment agencies or paying bills.

And if you need professional indemnity insurance or are thinking of switching providers, take a look at our groups for IT contractors, marketing and advertising professionals, and web designers where members receive 10% off PolicyBee cover.

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  • by David Woodfield