Unemployed? Unhappy in your current position? Interested in becoming self-employed or want to make more money? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then contract work may be your ideal employment situation.
What is Contract Employment?
First, it’s important to point out that you cannot be a “contract employee.” Those two terms are contradictory. If you’re an employee, then you work for a company. The company pays your salary, benefits, and you work for them.
If you’re a contractor, then you essentially work for yourself and are paid for your services.
As a contractor, you may have more than one client. You can choose how you’re going to be paid and the company you’re providing your services to will pay based on the terms that you’ve agreed to. This generally means that you send an invoice with payment terms and they pay it. As a contractor, this means that you pay your own benefits and taxes.
But that’s not the end of the job description. You see, temp jobs often fall under this classification, as well and so do freelance jobs.
Is There a Benefit to Contract Work?
The truth is that contract work can actually provide a number of important, and potentially useful, benefits.
You can gain experience. If you’re a little light on the experience end of things, you can take a few contract positions to puff up your resume.
Contract work is a great way to fill gaps when you’re in between jobs. If you’re unemployed, then the longer you stay that way, the more that it hurts you. Contract work can help you fill in the gaps.
It can lead to permanent employment. Contract work often puts you in a position to become an employee with a company. When you perform exceptionally well and the stars align and there is an open opportunity, you’re in a perfect position to nab that job.
You have some freedom. As a contract employee, you can pick and choose who you work for, when you work, and how you work. You can stipulate, in your work for hire agreement, what your terms are.
Everything is not rosy in the contract world. There’s a real lack of job security. Contracts can end without notice. And they can end without a promise of future work. In some industries, contractors are competitive and you may have to take a lower pay rate than you want to get your foot in the door. Additionally, as a contractor you have to pay for your own benefits.
Contract work can serve a purpose and is right for a good number of people. But it’s not right for everyone. Think about your current situation and what options you have. Perhaps contract work can help you take your career to the next level.