Since the onset of the Great Resignation, many workers are approaching their careers, and employment in general, with a new outlook. Job candidates that may have only considered traditional full-time work in the past are now weighing the benefits of independent contracting. And there are many reasons contracting beats full-time work.
The flexibility and variety of contract work offers freelancers the ability to live life on their own terms – live where they want to live, work when they want to work, care for loved ones, travel, you name it. Although full-time employment works for some, anyone in the job market should be aware that there are other viable paths – some of them that may suit you best. With that, here are five ways contracting beats full-time work:
The primary reason contracting beats full-time work is the flexibility it provides. Many contract positions are work-from-home setups, allowing contractors to skip the commute, take care of children or family, or just work in a comfortable environment. The ability to pick and choose contracts allows freelancers to build new skills and keep their work-life fresh while helping them carve out more personal time between projects if they like.
Contractors typically make more money per hour than their full-time counterparts, but there are a number of reasons it pays to freelance. For instance, 1099 employees are able to deduct business expenses, which results in lower tax liability and more cash in their pockets. And because projects usually require specialized skills (and thus pay more), contractors can work fewer hours for the same amount of money – particularly in specific sectors, such as accounting and information technology.
There’s more: A full-time, salaried employee might work 60 hours per week and not be paid for that extra time. But a contractor gets to bill for every hour, so any overtime is compensated. And what about inflation? Full-time employees are stuck at a pay rate that won’t be adjusted for an increased cost of living (which, incidentally, we’re experiencing now). Meanwhile, a contractor can adjust their hourly rates as needed to earn the market rate and adjust for inflation.
Contractors have the ability to pivot to different projects and clients much more easily than traditional full-time employees. Whether you have a sense of duty or wanderlust, freelancing means never having to stay in one place too long.
Let’s say an IT professional wants to learn a new skill or broaden their experience in a specific area, and their best option is working for a company with a large carbon footprint. If protecting the climate is important to them, perhaps they contract for a short time – long enough to sharpen that skill – and then move on to a carbon-neutral employer when the time is right. Independent contractors have the agility to switch projects as they see fit, for any reason.
Contractors don’t necessarily have to jump from client to client to build their careers. While working for a single client, a contractor can take on increasingly higher-level assignments and potentially work their way up to the management level within a company. And for a contractor who finds the perfect fit, sometimes projects can even lead to a full-time offer with an employer who finds value in that employee’s work.
Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. Want to hit the beach? Bring your laptop! Remote work allows a contractor to move anywhere in the country (or even out of the country) and still work in a specific field. And for the remote worker who lives in a low-cost area but whose employer pays in accordance with the higher cost of living where headquarters is located, contract work can even translate to yet another financial benefit.
There are advantages to both full-time and contract work, of course. But if you value flexibility and the ability to modulate your life-work balance, contracting might be the better choice for you.
Looking to shift to contract work? Set up your profile on PeopleCaddie and start searching for contract jobs today.