The advantages of contracting
Making it work for you
Contracting can be a hugely satisfying way of changing up your career, and giving you more control. While many may yearn to be their own boss, here are our just some of the advantages of contract work:
One of the key reasons people contract is for a more flexible work-life. Being in control of your own schedule means you can work when you want, provided there is work there to do. Depending on your profession, you may feel very happy just working a few days here and there, or engaging yourself on lengthier contracts, and then being able to take substantial breaks in between. Have a think about what it is you'd like.
Higher earning potential
There's also a myth that contractors earn much more than permanent employees. This can be true, if they're prepared to get really stuck in and put in the hours. Most earn a similar amount to what they would in a permanent position, but just have a lot more freedom and "down time" than they might if they were more traditionally employed.
Pick and choose your work
Contracting also means you can be much more selective about the type of jobs you want to do, and you can turn down anything you feel isn't for you, or that perhaps you might not enjoy. If you've got in-demand skills you certainly have more bargaining power to pick and choose your clients and jobs, but we'd advise anyone against being overly fussy!
Change and variety are also very important to a lot of contractors - being able to move on and have a change of scenery with each new project, rather than seeing the same faces and tasks every day. Very appealing to some!
For all its benefits, becoming a contractor does of course have its risks: you really need to be an established professional in your field to get good work, and have a good range of contacts before you begin, otherwise you may find yourself struggling for business, at least to start with. Plus, remember that as you're your own boss, there's no sick or holiday pay, so remember to factor that in to your financial planning.
If you're planning on embarking on a career change then why not have a look at:
Or read our the other articles in our career advice section.