Essential tips for contractors starting new jobs

Moving from job to job is just part and parcel of being a contractor. You must get used to working in different environments and integrate yourself into new teams. Throughout your career, you’ve been the “new” woman/man many times and had more “first days” than you can remember.

It can be easy to become complacent and forget to treat each first day as a contractor the same as if you were on a permanent contract.

There’s the important things you need to remember like dressing appropriately, arriving on time and following company guidelines. However, there are a few additional things you can do to help integrate yourself in with the people you’ll be calling your colleagues for the duration of your contract.

Introduce yourself to different staff

It can help you settle in a lot quicker if you make a conscious effort to introduce yourself to the team you will be working with. You’ll instantly make yourself approachable and it will make it so much easier for others to interact with you.

Try to learn names

It may seem trivial, especially if you won’t be in the business for long, but the more names you know the easier it will be to go about your day.
There’s nothing worse than working with someone and not being able to address them directly because you’ve forgotten their name. While it’s a tall ask to memorise everyone’s name on day one, with some careful consideration you can memorise the name of the people you will be working with directly.

Don’t be afraid to talk

Obviously, don’t spend the entire time striking up conversations with everyone, you do have a job to do. However, don’t be worried about having a chat with the people you work with. Finding a common ground with your colleagues integrates you into the group on a more personal level and makes going to work more enjoyable.

Don’t panic

As a temporary member of staff, you can sometimes fall by the wayside and end up feeling a little forgotten. It can include your new employer forgetting to alert security you’re coming or necessary paperwork not being completed, but the key is not to panic. Mistakes happen all the time, so just seek out the person responsible for you so these issues can be rectified – don’t allow any issues to put you in a bad mood early on.

Plan your trip in advance

Once you’ve gotten used to one commute, it’s time to change to another! When planning a new commute don’t leave anything to chance – you don’t want to be late on your first day.

If you’re driving, don’t blindly rely on your sat nav as sometimes they can be unreliable, taking you down backroads or not accounting for new road layouts.
For public transport, plan out each part of your route, including any walking, and consider how long each part of the journey takes. It’s advisable to also allow yourself extra time when using public transport in case of traffic issues etc.

Are you a temporary worker looking for a new contract or ready to make the transition into permanent work? Get in touch with the team at Cogent to find out how we can help find the perfect role for you.