10 Advantages Of Being An IT Contractor
However much you enjoy your job, there is an undeniable attraction in the idea of becoming self-employed, free to pick your own projects and keep the profits you earn.
But taking the final step can sometimes seem a bit daunting, even when the advantages are clear for all to see.
So to give you a helping hand towards taking the plunge, here are 10 benefits of being an IT contractor.
1) Higher rates of pay
Now of course money isn’t everything and it certainly should not be the only consideration that you take into account when deciding whether to start working as a contractor or whether to remain employed. However, the capacity to earn more money is certainly a big plus.
Companies primarily use contractors either because they don’t have the expertise in-house or because they need more resource than they have available. Either way, they need your skills and will pay the market rate rather than being restricted by a company wages structure which isn’t a fair reflection of what you are worth.
As some-one brought in from the outside as an expert, you are in the enviable position of people wanting to hear what you have to say. You won’t need to battle to get your opinion heard as that is exactly what you are being paid for; you have knowledge that other people want to make the most of.
3) Escape from the circus
Tied very closely with number 2 above is the opportunity to work without the hassle and the drama of office politics. When you are an employee of the company it can sometimes be difficult to get your voice heard in the scrap to climb the highest on the ladder, making every project and task a battle of wills.
As a contractor, you will be outside the fray, leaving you free to focus on just getting the job done.
Whatever field you work in, there will undoubtedly be times when you feel a bit unstimulated and fancy a change. But if you like your job, the chances are you won’t move on because it’s a big risk to take, especially for nothing more than a whim.
One of the joys of IT contracting is that you get to move around offices regularly, experiencing projects at different places. The opportunity to work in different places means your job always feels fresh and you are never faced with the dilemma about whether it’s time to leave.
5) Top jobs
As a member of IT staff, you will be given the more mundane jobs such as maintenance rather than the much more exciting task of designing or implementing new systems. But things couldn’t be any different for IT contractors; as an expensive and valuable resource, you won’t be ‘wasted’ on run of the mill duties which could easily be carried out by less experienced staff. Instead you will be given the first shot at the most interesting and creative jobs, giving you the best of both worlds.
6) Enhance your skills
As an IT contractor, you will be expected to arrive with considerable knowledge and experience; an expert in your field. However, no matter how much you know, there’s always the chance to learn new things; having contracts in a variety of offices will expose you to different environments and working practices, providing plenty of food for thought.
7) Tax breaks
As well as having the potential for higher earnings, IT contractors have the chance to ensure they lose less of their earnings to the taxman. Being self-employed means that it is possible to offset many more expenses, resulting in a far lower tax bill. Getting the maximum effect can be rather complex so it can be helpful to get professional advice.
Holidays can cause a lot of friction within a team with everyone competing for the same time off. Being a contractor means the end to this kind of battle; simply organize your projects to start and finish when you want. And of course, you can also decide what hours in the day you plan on working, potentially giving you more time with your loved ones.
9) Control over training
Working for a company often means having to comply with corporate requirements about training courses. There’s little worse than spending hours plodding through a training course you have absolutely no interest in and you know will prove to have little benefit for the job. Being self-employed means you can decide what training is relevant and necessary for you to keep your knowledge up with the industry and only attend the ones you want.
10 Improved resilience
When you are employed, it’s easy to become complacent as you don’t have to worry about getting paid or having a pay-packet every month. However, when you are self-employed you have to develop the quality of workmanship, attitude and marketing skills to ensure that you are able to secure enough projects. This means in an economic downturn, you are far better equipped and possibly due to the uncertainty which can surround self-employment, may also have made better provisions for financial shortcomings. In direct contrast, an employed individual who is made redundant may find their qualifications and experience are not as diverse or relevant, and they may not hold the skills to market themselves effectively.
Whilst self-employment is a big step and should never be undertaken lightly, with the right professional support from a good accountant, there are many ways in which you could find yourself better off. If you have been mulling it over for a while, now’s the time to make that final decision – could being an IT contractor provide you with a more satisfying career and lifestyle? Only you can decide…
Written by Nathan Griffiths who recommends you click here for accountants for IT contractors.