Pros and Cons of being a Contractor
The modern economy, made up of temporary contractors and freelancers who take on short-term projects, is rapidly growing.
While there are many advantages to contractural work, plenty of drawbacks exist as well.
Be Your Own Boss
The ability to be your own boss is attractive to many people. Workers are accountable to their temporary employers but have the freedom to set their own hours, choose projects to apply for, easily turn down or accept work, and negotiate rates.
Most workers are drawn to the flexibility this type of work entails.
Since much of the work is done digitally, it’s ideal for people that can’t work a traditional 9-5 schedule. It’s common for workers to log in when they’re ready to work and logout when they’re done.
It’s ideal for those who want to see the world. Many web-based gigs allow people to work from anywhere, providing them with the chance to travel and earn a living at the same time.
It gives those with young children the chance to stay home with their kids without leaving the workforce behind. They can earn an income, keep their skills up-to-date, and rejoin the full-time workforce when they’re ready.
Contractual work allows you to obtain experience in many different areas. If you’re unsure what direction you want to take your career, working short-term, temporary jobs in a variety of areas lets you see what each entails. This enables you to make an educated decision about the type of work you want to do.
It also builds your resume, allowing future employers to see the wide depth and breadth of your experiences.
This type of work provides a bridge between university and the workforce. Many new graduates are unable to obtain full-time employment upon graduation. Gig work can provide a way for them to earn a living while obtaining valuable experience.
It introduces you to many different people, giving you a wide range of individuals to draw from when you’re looking for new work or transitioning to full-time employment. This isn’t always true for web-based employment, but if you work in a face-to-face environment, it’ll give your job search a boost.
Lack of Benefits
The biggest drawback for workers is the lack of benefits provided. Most, if not all, companies that hire temporary workers do not offer health insurance, retirement plans, or vacation and sick days to them. Workers are responsible for funding these benefits, and they’re expensive.
Plan your hourly rate based on your salary plus the cost of self-funding insurance, retirement, and leave. It’s often hard to find gig work that pays enough to cover all those expenses.
Lack of Structure
Most gig workers aren’t required to follow a specific schedule. Some people find this lack of structure makes it difficult to get work done consistently and on-time.
This can be overcome by imposing a schedule on yourself.
Work is often inconsistent. When a gig ends, you’ll need to have another one lined up, and this is sometimes difficult. Most workers are always looking for work, even when they have a current gig. This is time-consuming and expensive; no one is paying you while you job hunt.
While difficult, this can be overcome with experience and by working in a high-demand field.
Thanks to the flexibility it provides, working in the gig economy is a dream come true for many. However, if you’re thinking about entering it, weigh the pros and cons. If you can’t find full-time employment, it’s a good way to bring in money until you do. It can also lead to a lucrative freelance career.
Keep in mind that it can take a long time to build a steady client base. If you already have a job, work some gigs in your free-time to see if it’s for you.