Many visitors to the Larsen Howie site will already be well aware of the benefits working as a contractor can bring.

But many workers will toy with the idea of taking the leap into contracting, but always look to find a reason not too.

Granted, it can be a scary thought. The typical employment paradigm offers a degree of comfort and familiarity that contracting doesn’t.

But the extra pay, flexibility and independence are why contractor numbers are increasing in many sectors.

If you’ve toyed with the idea but not yet converted to ‘contractor-ism’, an industry expert has now provided six key signs that the time might be right for you to do so.

Laura Hepworth, Intouch Accounting’s director of operations, believes that workers who enjoy searching for new opportunities could be well suited.

This is perhaps more for people who have worked as a freelancer or taken contract work alongside their full time work in the past. But ‘the thrill of the chase’ as she puts it is something contractors have to get used to, so if you enjoy this, that’s a good sign!

The second key indicator according to Hepworth is having your schedule down to a tee. She says: “Planning and scheduling is second nature to you and you know how to be a success at both. If you find yourself at this stage, then it’s time to think about taking the leap. You’re clearly comfortable with how to find contracts, have a good client base that you can rely on for work and are able to keep a steady flow of contracts coming in.”

Another element highlighted is wanting to go it alone. If this is the case, Hepworth advises a full consideration of what needs to be done to become the contractor you envisaged and have longed to be.

The fourth key sign is having ‘your ducks in a row’, and putting yourself in a good position to acquire contract work.

“Your marketing is on point and you know how to put yourself in front of prospective clients,” Hepworth says. “If this sounds like you, then it really is time to bite the bullet and take the leap!”

The final two signs are somewhat intertwined, and involve having a desire to leave your day job behind, as well as a feeling you’ve learnt everything you can from permanent employment.

“There’s nothing worse than feeling bored at work or that your job is no longer stimulating your mind,” Hepworth says. “If you’re experiencing similar feelings, then it’s time to find something new.”

The decision to become a contractor is not one to take lightly, and shouldn’t be done hastily or without due preparation.

But if you believe you are suited to this way of working, are ambitious and keen to reap the benefits contracting provides, taking the leap isn’t something you should delay for the sake of it. Life’s too short!