Mental health as a contractor is simple - when your workplace won’t provide care for you, you must provide it for yourself

In today's fast-paced and demanding work environments, prioritising mental health has become essential for maintaining employee wellbeing and productivity. While many UK organisations have recognised the importance of mental health support for these full-time employees, there is often a gap when it comes to providing similar resources for contractors.

This gap highlights the need for coaching tailored specifically for contractors to address their unique challenges and support their mental health needs when the workplace isn’t -- often because it’s not the workplace’s job to, writes life coach Shwezin Win of Win At Life.

The distinct mental health challenge facing UK contractors

Contractors often face distinct challenges compared to full-time employees, including feelings of isolation, uncertainty about their future take-home, and a lack of access to traditional employee benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.

These factors can contribute to heightened stress levels and feelings of insecurity, making it crucial to provide contractors with adequate support for their mental health.

One effective way to address the wellbeing of these individuals -- for whom it’s highly critical to be at their very best, is through coaching tailored to their circumstances.

The best life coaching offers not just day-to-day guidance, but also bespoke support and even resources to help contractors navigate the challenges they encounter in their temporary, ever-changing, professional roles.

Here’s five key reasons why coaching is imperative for workplace contractors – five key reasons why, if you’re an independent contractor who has to present yourself at the client-site, reaching out to me is recommended:

1. With life coaching you’ll learn how to combat isolation...

Contractors often work alone or remotely which can lead to feelings of isolation.

It can also trigger a sense of disconnection from the broader workplace – especially when thrust back into the client site for just a day or two, with the expectation to just naturally ‘get on’ with the entire Monday-to-Friday community.

Coaching can help identify what would provide a good balance of productivity and connectivity, identifying actionable steps you can take as a contractor to feel part of the client organisation to an appropriate degree.

2. With life coaching, you’ll learn ways to navigate uncertainty...

Contractors often face uncertainty about the duration and stability of their engagement, which can be a significant source of stress.

Working with a coach can help you develop strategies for managing the uncertainty of freelancing, setting realistic expectations, and maintaining a positive mindset in the face of unpredictability, lack of stability and constant change.

3. With life coaching you can start to build real resilience...

Contract work can be demanding, draining and difficult to manage, requiring contractors to adapt quickly to new environments, technologies, challenges and people.

Coaching with me can help you build resilience by helping you identify the most appropriate coping mechanisms as a contractor; stress management techniques, and work-life balance strategies.

4. With life coaching there’s even provision of freelance career support...

Contractors may have unique career goals and aspirations that require tailored support and guidance.

Alternatively, even just focussed on the day-to-day, contractors can easily feel as if their unique talents are being under-utilised.

Working with an independent, experienced coach on a confidential basis, can help contractors clarify their career objectives, identify opportunities for personal/professional development, and navigate their career path much more effectively.

5. With life coaching you’ll be on the way to the sort of self-care staff take for granted...

Contractors may not have access to the same employee benefits as full-time employees, making it essential to take personal responsibility and prioritise self-care and wellbeing.

Coaching in our sessions can help your identify your unique ‘stressors’ as a contractor, before we move to develop realistic self-care routines, set appropriate boundaries, and prioritise your mental and physical health like never before!

Contractor life coaching in 2024 = behavioural change for the future

Coaching has emerged as a valuable resource for addressing mental health challenges in the workplace in 2024. Unlike traditional mental health treatments, coaching focuses on empowering individuals to identify and overcome barriers, develop coping strategies, and enhance resilience.

As an increasingly popular mental health intervention, coaching even has the potential to achieve long lasting behavioural change for its recipients.

Status shouldn’t get in the way of mental health support as a contractor

The problem for some of the hardest-working members of the UK workforce is this -- contractors aren’t usually eligible for any such workplace coaching, and often they won’t want it for IR35 and other purposes even if, given a choice, their mental health would probably grab it with both hands!

Organisations that do incorporate coaching into their offering to their entire workforce are sending a powerful message that mental health and wellbeing are valued and prioritised. By providing support and resources, organisations can help contractors thrive in their roles, contribute effectively to projects and programmes, and ultimately enhance overall worker productivity and morale.

If your workplace doesn’t provide mental healthcare for you, then you must provide it for yourself…

Prioritising mental health in the workplace is essential, and it’s my belief that contractors shouldn’t be excluded.

Contractors are temporary in their status at the client-organisation, but their impact across the operation while they are there can be critical to the success of many transformation programmes. For those contractors where support is not available from the client-organisation, take control of your own mental health and wellbeing by investing in yourself.

If you are curious about coaching and how it could support you in keeping you at your professional and personal best, book your free, no obligation, discovery call with me here

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Written by Shwezin Win

Shwezin Win is a fully qualified and experienced Personal Performance Coach. She has worked for over 20 years in small and major businesses within retail and marketing. She has held senior positions, managed large teams and worked for many years within IT/transformational projects, which is how she has had the experience of working with so many contractors. She set up Win at life to help as many people as possible to thrive rather than survive.

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