Most contractors will have experienced the benefits accruing on their new career path: better pay rates than salaried staff, escaping the petty rivalries and gossipy alliances typical of ‘office politics’ and much greater flexibility. What is an intrepid PAYE umbrella contractor to do, however, when urgent input or feedback is needed from a busy, hard-to-reach client? The answer is to be patient and know your limits.
So says the PCG in a recent advisory article. Most contractors will be familiar with those fraught occasions when a client’s views are pressingly needed. Leaving phone message after phone message or peppering an inbox with evermore strongly worded emails is seriously counterproductive. Clients often have multiple other priorities to attend to first and are likely to feel harassed and hounded by an over-dogged contractor jabbing away at what, in the scheme of things, may look like a minor issue.
Remember that a client who is beginning to experience his contractor as a form of backache is unlikely to re-hire, and may spread the word through the grapevine that this guy feels like root canal work. Assignments can begin to dry up rapidly.
The PCG urges contractors in such predicaments to err on the side of caution and set firm personal limits. If a handful of calls have failed to prompt a reply, it may be wisest to back off and concentrate on other projects or finding business elsewhere. Launching out on a relentless wild goose chase will most likely get nowhere and may do damage to a contractor’s reputation in the process.
The moral of the story? Be dynamic by all means – but never look desperate.