The Pros and Cons of Contracting
Being a contractor enables you to become your own boss. The freedom this brings has many advantages but, with the perks, comes the disadvantages that you will need to consider. As an individual, you will need to evaluate what works best for your current situation and weigh up the pros and cons to both permanent and contract work.
Being a contractor is very different from being permanently employed. There are many risks associated but there are also many advantages. Perceived disadvantages to contracting may include the fact that there is less security; you will not be protected in the same way as an employee. There is an element of uncertainty – there are no guarantees of another contract when your current contract ends! Additionally, because you will be running your own business, there will be forms to fill in, rules to obey and accounts to keep. Perhaps the biggest consideration is around being your own boss that there is nobody else who will pay you when you take a holiday, are off sick or take maternity leave.
As a permanent member of staff, you are open to many fantastic career opportunities with clear progression routes. If climbing the career ladder is of importance to you, being permanent puts you in pole position as a potential candidate for promotion whereas you may spend many more years in the same role before progressing as a contractor.
Back in the day, I was often miffed by the salary bands for contractors but, I soon learnt to take a step back and take the other company benefits of permanency into consideration. As a permanent member of staff at 2i, I am offered security, I am set up with a pension scheme, signed up to private medical care, awarded Duvet Days on top of 32 days paid holiday and this all corresponds with a nice salary package.
Having been involved with contractors for many years, I have come to understand what attracts individuals to turn to contracting and what guides others to remain permanent members of staff. I have written up my best tips for anyone considering becoming a contractor and hopefully it helps you to weigh up your options.
The benefits of contracting:
- You get to be your own boss.
- You are usually paid more than the permanent employees working alongside you on a project.
- With professional advice you may also be able to lower the tax you pay compared to your permanent counterpart.
- You can choose when and you can choose where to work.
- You have the option to take time out between contracts to indulge in pastimes and hobbies.
- Contractors can gain varied experience which in turn makes an impressive CV.
The disadvantages of contracting:
- There is less security and you will not be protected in the same way as an employee.
- There are no guarantees of another contract when your current contract ends!
- You will have all your own admin to take care of. Running your own ‘business’, there will be forms to fill in, rules to obey and accounts to keep.
- There is no one to pay you when you take a holiday.
- There is no one to cover you for any days off sick.
- No fantastic company benefits on offer.
If you are currently looking for your next role in the IT industry whether it be contract or permanent, 2i Resourcing may have what you are looking for. Visit the 2i Resourcing job search feature and check out the latest positions on the market.
Chris started 2i Resourcing in 2013 after a number of years with a leading Scottish Recruitment Agency. Chris is tasked with the Management and overall strategy for 2i resourcing which includes, digital strategy, Business Development and motivation of recruitment team. Chris comes from Northern Ireland and has an interest in Football, Boxing and a good film.