Across Australia, and the rest of the world, contingent workers are fast becoming the dominant form of engagement, making now the perfect time to determine if a contracting career is for you.
According to the Mercer fault lines report, 62% of business leaders predict their company will hire more contractors in the future, and 75% believe that contractors will have an impact on their industry or business. The rapid rise of the contingent workforce can be attributed to:
One of the primary reasons for the increase in the number of contractors, however, is around the attractiveness of contracting for workers. The mindset of today’s workforce is changing, and never before have we seen so many people open to the idea of a contracting career.
This change remains relatively slow, only 11% of professionals have spent most of their careers in contract positions. Despite a growing number of opportunities, many workers are hesitant to take the plunge into the world of contracting, due to perceptions of job security, benefits and lifestyle.
You might have read previous articles where we weigh up the pros and cons between contractors and employees or dispel some of the misconceptions there are around contracting. But to help push you over the edge, read on to see our top four reasons for embracing a contracting career.
The power to choose work
If you are an employee, your boss will likely tell you what work to do, how to do it and by when. You don’t always get to decide the projects you get to work on, the way to go about it and how long it should take.
One of the biggest criticisms of full-time work is the likelihood of being saddled with too much work to handle. On the other hand, contractors are able to pick assignments that appeal to them and have control over how they deliver their work.
Contractors can negotiate on the scope of work before accepting a job, leading to a stronger understanding of expectations both for the contractor and the employer.
A contracting career gives greater variety of experiences
Contracting can be the perfect way to determine whether a particular company, role or industry is right for you. Workers can use contracting to try a little bit of everything before committing to something long term.
As such, contractors find that their progression through roles is greatly accelerated compared to their permanent counterparts because they’re exposed to a greater number of opportunities and experiences. They find that they are much less likely to get stuck in a rut or pigeonholed.
With a contracting career you can:
As a permanent employee, you’re limited to the challenges and development opportunities that your role and company provide, with fairly limited wiggle room without finding a new job entirely.
Stronger financial incentives with a contracting career
Although contractors don’t have access to annual leave or superannuation, they make up for it with a higher pay rate. In fact, many contractors take more leave than permanent staff, as, once their contract finishes, they have the flexibility to take an extended break.
Additionally, contractors have the ability to choose how their remuneration is arranged, enabling them to take greater advantage of tax deductions. This often leads to significantly more earnings when compared to their permanent counterparts.
But it’s essential to find a payroll provider that manages the financials well. According to one of our contractors:
“Having been a freelance contractor working for years internationally, trying to stay on top of my accounts and salary payments etc was very difficult when working in countries with poor communications, no access to internet to check bank statements and payments online. I changed the payment solutions companies, that were supposed to be taking care of all this, many times due to the errors, delays and mistakes that I found. Also difficult to rectify when travelling internationally due to phone costs, time differences etc.
In 2010, I started using the services of CXC to take care of my payments and since then I have not had one single payment with an error. The payments are made into the bank on time usually within the same week as the payment falls due. When I compare this with previous companies the difference is black and white. CXC operate like clockwork. A very professional company with a pleasant and helpful staff. With CXC, I have found that they take the worry out of the payments process.”
Alex Loughran, Contractor
Optimal balance between work and life
As a contractor, you choose when to work and when not to work. Because of the additional financial remuneration, contractors can work a smaller period of time while taking advantage of a longer hiatus between contracts.
For example, a contractor could hunker down and work solidly for six months, and then take an extended six-month break between contracts to pursue study or personal development.
As well as their control over when they take leave, contractors can also choose their hours. Some contractors even have the luxury of working one hour on a project, then having one hour of free time. Permanent workers have traditionally less flexibility when it comes to the hours they work and are at employers’ beck and call between the hours of 9 and 5.
Few other careers allow the same degree of freedom that contractors have.
While there are always challenges, contractors can look forward to a significant degree of independence, variety of work as well as more money. What’s stopping you?
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help please contact us here.