Full-Time Or Not Full-Time?
That Is The Question…
The world of job structures is constantly changing.
Ever since the heyday of open offices and the lateral hierarchies of the dotcom era, businesses are striving to innovate with how they build a relationship with their talent.
So now, more than ever, it’s time to consider whether a traditional full-time job is the right choice for you!
Gone are the days where you had to work your way from the mail room to your golden watch retirement. Instead, a wealth of opportunities (and the new forms of wealth they offer) have arisen to help you carve out the type of employment that you deem to be the best fit.
At the top of the list, you’ll find two of the most common alternatives to traditional full-time work:
Freelancers & Contractors
Before we dive into the benefits of each, let’s review just what each type of work entails…
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Freelancers are typically hired on a per-project basis. This could be anything as small as a logo mockup that you’re hired through a sourcing platform like Fiverr for, or as big as a national campaign that you direct. The point is you are given a specific task, and you walk away when the work is done.
This type of work means you tend to invoice your clients and are therefore responsible for your own tax withholdings, as well as any incidentals like insurance and travel costs. You’ll have to be sure to build these into your pricing model.
You will also be in charge of how many clients you take on at any time. This can mean overworking yourself if you are underselling your services. But it also means you get to decide when and if you work at all. To the many jobseekers hunting for more control over their work-life balance, that’s quite an attractive prospect.
There is some overlap between Freelancers and Contractors, in that a Contractor can choose to work independently as well. Alternatively, they may employ an intermediary, some sort of employment agency that can help with sourcing job prospects, as well as potentially covering tax and benefit requirements on their behalf.
The essential difference is that contract work sets a specific amount of time during which the job requirements can fluctuate. Freelancers stay until the work is done, and only do the specific work they were hired to do. Contractors can be given new tasks to occupy the remainder of their stay with a particular client employer. The agreements formed between the worker and the client are also typically more in depth, thus the term “contract” being included in the name.
Both roles offer some serious perks as career paths. Let’s examine some of the key benefits…
Remember that work-life balance we were mentioning? For many Freelancers and Contractors, whose client employers may not have the office space to accommodate, working remotely is a very real option.
Save on time with telecommuting instead of traffic jams, and wrap up those meetings-that-could-have-been-emails as actual emails! Remote work can also imply some freedom with your personal scheduling, allowing you to find the most efficient balance between the personal and the business sides of your life.
It Pays More
Like the title says, Freelancers and Contractors overall enjoy higher rates of pay. Statistically speaking, you can reasonably earn up to 50% more per hour than one of your client’s in-house employees.
Keeping in mind the lack of vacation pay, benefits, and the potential need to withdraw your own taxes, it’s still an incredible salary to earn, that also shows off your value to future clients!
We’ve mentioned that most Freelancers and Contractors are responsible for their own taxes, reducing their actual take home despite generally higher wages.
That said, being your own employer means you can also find many tax reducing write-offs for business-related expenses. Tax to a tax accountant to learn how you could be saving on electronics purchases, travel expenses, even your own home, and more!
The Spice Of Life
No one ever said Freelancing or Contracting was boring. Well, maybe sometimes, but just wait a short while and things will be brand new and exciting all over again!
The opportunity to work with so many different management approaches, business practices, and industry tools, will not only keep you engaged with your work, but you’ll be rounding out new skill sets every day!
Cast A Large Network
While sometimes it can seem like a blur, meeting so many new faces (and shaking so many new hands) means you build up the connections you need to maintain your place in your industry.
Remember, just like you have the freedom to move on after a contract or project, you can also have the freedom to stay on with an employer you particularly enjoy!
Make Yourself Marketable
By its very nature, Freelance and Contract work implies a certain standard of delivery to your potential clients.
Due to the quick turnaround and relatively short onboarding you’ll receive at each place of business, they see you as a fast and eager learner, who can easily prioritize in high-paced environments.
Don’t worry about being seen as unloyal because of short stays, in reality you’ll be seen as in-demand!
Turn Down The Drama
Because you won’t be as entrenched in the mundanities of a certain organization, you’ll be able to reasonably keep your distance from the gossipmongerers and unnecessary office politics that can detract from your productivity levels. If you value your work for work and not as a social occasion, then this type of job might be just for you!