Ever thought of leaving the relatively safe environment of regular employment and starting a career in Contracting? Read on to find out a few reasons why this could be a beneficial move for you!
One of the key benefits (and possibly the most appealing) of being a Contractor is the amount of money you can legally keep compared with a normal Pay As You Earn (PAYE) employee.
Due to the flexible nature of the work, with many contracts being short term, Contractors can command high rates of pay. A skilled Contractor, in the right industry, can receive up to double the amount he would earn as a full time employee. As a Contractor you are also likely to be paid for every hour that you work and may be given the opportunity to work overtime at very attractive rates. Generally, most Contractors who make the move from permanent employment end up earning more than they would have done had they stayed as a PAYE employee.
Not only can you earn more as a Contractor, you can also legally keep more of your earnings due to the tax benefits available to you. Contracting through your own Limited Company is the most efficient way of operating, enabling you to keep up to 90% of your contract earnings. Additionally, you can offset certain business expenses which can reduce your tax liability further!
Flexibility & Independence
Another key advantage of Contracting is flexibility.
You really can be your own boss and enjoy more freedom than you would as a permanent employee. You can be far more independent; having the opportunity to work where and when you want and for how long you want. You may also have greater control over the hours you work and the location you work from. As the company you work for is your client you will also have a very different relationship with them than that of an employer and employee. Your clients will see you differently and you will be treated differently, enabling you to stay well clear of any tiresome office politics!
This flexibility of working will also effect when and how much holiday you take. In general Contractors can take as much or as little holiday as they wish. As a permanent employee, if you choose not to take your holiday, you are unlikely to be able to claim it back as pay. As a Contractor, however, you will be paid for every day you work so any holidays you don’t take, will be paid for. Additionally, between contracts you will be able to take as much or as little time off as you wish!
The flexibility of Contracting also enables you to have a good work/life balance. Contractors can choose to spend more time on sport, hobbies and travel – if you want to take the school holidays off with the kids before starting your next contract, you can. The most important thing here is that it’s your choice and the empowerment that this gives you will make you happier at work and at play.
Development of Skills
Working as a Contractor will also give you a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills in your chosen field. Contracting can give you real variety in your work, letting you test out different industry sectors to widen your experience and knowledge. You can get a better insight into varying company cultures, processes, operations and structures, enabling you to have real diversity in your working life.
These differing experiences, in turn, will enable you to build up an extensive and varied CV. Contracting for different organisations will allow you to hone your existing skills whilst gaining new ones, making you even more sought after as a Contractor. Additionally, as your own boss, you are in charge of your own skills development, so you can choose what training you need, enabling you to develop in the areas that you want to.
A knock on effect of you developing your Contracting skills will also, inevitably result in an increase in your own confidence. The more employers, managers and colleagues you work with, the more your confidence will grow. Additionally, as a Contractor, you are often seen as an expert in your field – giving you a certain amount of status and the resulting extra self-assurance that this status brings.
All of these elements – more experience, a more varied CV & improved confidence will also help to make you a more marketable and sought after Contractor, giving you far more opportunities to secure lucrative contracts. A good contractor is likely to become well known in their chosen field and as your contracting network grows, job opportunities will become easier to find. It is often likely that one Contracting job can lead to another, with even jobs abroad becoming available to Contractors with greater experience and a broad skill set.
Is it Time to Start Contracting?
So there you have it, although moving away from permanent employment may seem daunting, there are some real reasons as to why life as a Contractor might be right for you. Contracting can give you greater financial benefits, more flexibility, more experience and more control over your own destiny – why not give it a go!