It’s fair to say that being a contractor takes a certain type of personality. You have to be brave, resilient and driven, and you have to like a challenge.

With this in mind then, recent research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of marketing collateral provider Vistaprint makes for interesting reading.

The research, which looked at the personality traits and personal preferences of independent workers such as contractors, took in responses from 500 workers who are currently their own boss.

Interestingly, 84% of those surveyed agreed with the opening statement in this article and felt that self-employed workers require a certain type of personality.

More than half cited a want to be their own boss as a vital reason to make the move to independent working. Autonomy, freedom and control of work were other highlighted factors, while a noted difference in reasons why working as a contractor or a self-employed worker between the sexes were noted.

More women pointed to the flexibility this type of work offers as a key reason for their doing so, while men were more money-driven, according to the findings.

Key personality traits cited included being trustworthy, a desire to learn, reliable, determined and having a passion for this type of work.

In a similar vein, being hard-working, trustworthy, determined, independent and reliable were identified as being key to success as an independent worker by the majority of respondents.

Factors that might hamper a contractor or independent worker that were identified included being poorly organised, narcissistic, afraid of any financial risk, pessimistic and lacking in self-confidence.

Contractors come in different shapes and sizes, and this research can be taken with a slight pinch of salt. But one thing that stands out is that confidence in what you are doing is a vital part of working in this way.

It can do you no harm to take remind yourself of why you work as a contractor, and a glance every now and then at the Larsen Howie Contractor Guide can provide you with some timely reminders.

If, however, you are not yet working as a contractor but feel you have some of the positive traits described above, then this is certainly food for thought. You might just be cut out for this type of work and could soon be enjoying the range of benefits contractors gain from their way of working