Last week, in part one, we explored the factors that have given rise to the booming contingent workforce economy, and how this is influencing and shaping the way we work today and in the future. But what are the key advantages, and possible disadvantages to working independently in a contracting, consulting or freelancing position? Let’s explore the key stand-out ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ that are often considered when deciding if working independently is right for you.
Flexibility, Freedom & Control.
Individuals that require a level of flexibility, freedom and want control in their work environment are ideally suited for working on a contractual basis. Options such as working hours – full time, part-time, casual basis – can be negotiated, and flexible working arrangements can be made to suit lifestyle commitments. Contractors also get to choose which projects they work on rather than being instructed, and never feel constrained by any particular role or organization for a long period of time.
There are currently more freelancing positions available in the employment market than ever before, providing greater career opportunities. As we discussed in part one, in times of economic recession, businesses often prefer to employee contractors opposed to permanent workers. And as the economy recovers, we are still seeing the number of freelancing positions increase.
This is often the biggest advantage for contractors. If your skills are in high demand, you’ll be able to receive higher rates for your work.
New Opportunities and Challenges.
The contract system provides ambitious individuals opportunities to explore new employment prospects, gain new experiences and work on significant projects. A contractor will often be at the sharp end of projects, where their contribution will be highly valued and critical to deadlines. This may stretch individuals initially but will pay off in the longer term by gaining improved skill sets and new learning’s. Although it can be stressful, most contractors enjoy this type of daily challenge. Furthermore, you can take your contracting career overseas and enjoy even greater rewards and experiences.
Take a look at a recent article by CXC Global EMEA on contracting abroad: New contractor advice: the pros and cons of contracting.
A few years spent contracting in varying positions will provide incredibly valuable experiences. The diversity and experience gained is often highly regarded by employers and will increased an individual’s marketability when looking for new opportunities or even a permanent position.
Despite the clear advantages of working independently, it’s not the right choice for everyone. Here are some additional points to consider.
Accounting, Insurances and Tax Implications – If you take up a contract position, the idea of self-managing tax, invoices, super funds and insurances is overwhelming, time consuming and can be risky if not managed appropriately. However, don’t let this put a negative on your contracting career. There are plenty of ways to outsource these functions. At CXC Global, we love and strive to making your work life simple. With that in mind, we’ve structured a range of contractor management solutions to ensure that you remain fully compliant with the least possible effort from your end.
Job Security & Added Benefits – Are you a risk taker or someone who thrives from stability and security? This is a question that needs to be asked before venturing into the world of contracting. Contracting does hold a level on uncertainty in terms of where the next job opportunities will come from and how long a position may last for. Contractors don’t always receive the same rights as permanent workers and miss out on bonuses and company benefits. However, if you walk into a contracting position with your eyes open, a number of these issues are off-set with a larger earning potential and negotiating with a potential employer when securing a position.
Industry specific – Large-scale employment of contractors is a trend in sectors like Oil and Gas, Construction & Engineering, Pharmaceutical & Medical and IT. However, some industries aren’t as popular, or known for providing positions in the contracting space, but this is changing. In the last number of years, and with the support and knowledge from compliant contractor management & payroll companies like CXC Global, businesses and organizations that specialize with some of these industries are now becoming more confident and open to engaging with the contingent workforce.
Want to learn more about CXC Global and our tailored services? Take a look at thebenefits of our contractor services in more detail, or contact a member of our team today for more information specific to your needs.
CXC Global™ is a leading supplier of compliant contingent workforce solutions. With an unmatched suite of managed services for employers, contractors and recruiters, CXC Global helps thousands of organizations, recruitment agencies, and individual contractors decrease costs and increase profits by providing innovative contractor management, compliance, payroll and remuneration solutions, risk mitigation and salary packaging solutions.