Successful Subcontracting – Not a Unique Opportunity for All

Subcontractors are skilled freelancers, but job hunting shouldn’t always take top priority; find contractors, and opportunities will follow.
Subcontractors are a unique breed of self-employed professionals; they are hired by the people who are hired by employers to do a variety of jobs. Subcontractors may work in construction, computing, consulting, and lots of other career fields, but many of the people who advertise jobs and hire self-employed professionals, are looking for contractors, not subcontractors. Want to know where to find all the job opportunities? Find out where subcontractors should be looking for work.
Contractors and Subcontractors
Contractors accept a variety of jobs from a variety of sources. Many individuals and businesses who do not possess the necessary skills to complete a job or project they’ve received, will turn to contractors to complete the work. For example, a construction company may routinely hire contractors to install plumbing in their new buildings. Contractors may be hired to update computer systems in an office, or an independent accountant or auditor may be hired by a company to go over the books. When a contracting company needs people to complete all the various jobs they’ve been contracted to do, they may turn to subcontractors to find the skilled professionals they need.
That’s where you come in: Instead of searching for all those contracting opportunities, or going directly to the companies who may hire contractors, focus on getting to know the contractors instead. Companies don’t often hire unknown, untried subcontractors; they’d rather give jobs to contracting companies and professionals they know and trust. Earn the trust of the contractorsm to find the subcontracting opportunities.
Searching for Subcontracting Opportunities
High unemployment makes it difficult for every kind of professional to find work, including many types of self-employed professionals. When the economy is bad, many individuals and companies put off expansions, construction and other big jobs, but there may still be opportunities for work out there. Searching for subcontracting opportunities is harder than ever, but also more important than ever when unemployment is high.
Making the Most Out of Freelance Work
Look for national and local directories of contractors, to find potential employers and contacts in your chosen field. Many construction contractors belong to various groups and unions; find them, and you’ll find a ready-made contact list.
Put together an impressive resume and cover letter to highlight skills. Professionals should try to put themselves in the contractor’s position and present their skills in the best way to show versatility and experience. Also highlight hours of availability and any special education and/or training received; contractors like to hire professionals they don’t have to spend a lot of time training.
Keep all licenses updated and stay abreast of new materials and techniques in your chosen field. Subcontractors must renew their licenses and pay their fees as often as necessary to keep themselves up-to-date. Remember, these fees can be written off as business expenses during tax time!
Get back in touch with contractors from the past. Don’t loose touch with potential job sources. If you haven’t heard from a contractor for a while, write a message or make a phone call to remind them of your availability and willingness to work.
Create ads and profiles. Subcontractors don’t always have to go out and find the work; sometimes, it’ll come to them. Create ads in local phone books and trade journals, and build an online reputation with a website and social networking profiles. Many social networking sites are career and industry specific. Establish a presence through them, and become listed in local and national databases for subcontractors. Make yourself easier for contractors to find, and they will.
Subcontracting is not a difficult career path, but it can be lonely. Freelancing is not the right choice for everyone; even self-employed professionals find it very difficult to constantly search for new opportunities. The uncertainty of freelancing proves to be too difficult for some, but others thrive on the changing nature of freelancing. People who adapt well, learn quickly and love change, are ideally suited to subcontracting.