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4 benefits of working as a contractor

Why being a contractor is better than being an employee

During my last 10 years of experience, I have chased a successful career, no matter the size of the company I´m always passionate about accomplishing challenging results, but honestly, I have never worked as a contractor before.

But last month I was offered a job as Head of Product in ontop.ai, one of my dreams: the third try of building from scratch a startup, with the advantage that we are using the experience of some investors and experts in the industry backing up the idea and we have an excellent team with huge growth potential to make legally possible remote hirings no matter the country. For me, it was like a dream came true, but the contract was contractor-based. At first, I accept It wasn´t for me, I first thought, I will lose my benefits, I couldn´t accept that.

In any case, I accepted the job, and I´ve been surprised to find that working contractor-based have some important benefits as well.

Just in case you just want to know the differences between a contractor a freelancer and a traditional job, I will write about that during the next days and link it to this post. By now you can know that a contractor is like a freelancer but works for only one company without a full-time job agreement that attaches to the company.

Most academics argue that the future of work is remote/flexible, (The Balance Small Business, 2020) an NPR/Marist Poll found that 20% of American jobs are held by a worker under contract, without the full-time benefits (or the constraints) of yesteryear (NPR/Marist Poll, 2018). The U.S. labor force is projected to reach 163.8 million in 2024 and contract work is expected to grow with it. (BLS, 2015) and according to Gallup 1 in 3 U.S. workers (36%) in the gig economy, through either a primary or secondary job. And more than 1 in 4 workers (29%) have an alternative work arrangement as their primary job.

Given that this is an evident trend here I show 4 benefits of being a contractor.

1. Earn more money

On average companies save up to 52% hiring a contractor versus a full-time employee, this is transferred in a portion to the contractor. With this type of contract, the company only has to pay you for the services provided, this enables the company to pay higher than a regular fee. You will see the differences in next week’s post.

2. Flexible Hours

Depending on the country, with a freelance/contractor contract, undoubtedly you will have a more flexible schedule, your statement of work is more clear, you work based on results or per hour worked, most of the times you will not have the responsibility to answer emails or be available in others hours. In my case, I don´t have a specific schedule, I can set my working hours. As long as I have my work done and available for meetings my boss doesn´t care if I work on a 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. basis.

3. Work-life freedom

As an employee, you will usually have 2 weeks of vacation in a year, and, depending on the country, you can lose your accumulated vacation if not used. Depending on the industry, the decision of when to spend these days is taken by the company, not the employee.

As a contractor you have the freedom, to perform services for a specific period of time, you can search for other opportunities and take time as you want. 

A third of the U.S. working-age population currently works in independent work, and these have reported higher levels of work engagement and satisfaction, because of work-life balance.

4. Gain valuable experience

As companies don´t have frontiers hiring a contractor, you can work for the biggest companies worldwide. There aren´t as many problems as beeing hired by a full-time employee.

Hiring processes are easier as well, just a couple of interviews and that´s it. With this possibility you have the best way possible of having the biggest job experience in your life, no one will care in the future wich type of contract did you handled before.

Bibliography

The Balance Small Business. (2020, February 1). 4 Benefits of Being a Contractor vs. an Employee. The Balance Small Business. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-advantages-of-being-a-contractor-2948558#citation-9

BLS. (2015, December 1). Labor force projections to 2024: the labor force is growing, but slowly. Monthly Labor Review. https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/labor-force-projections-to-2024.htm#_edn2

NPR/Marist Poll. (2018, January 01). NPR/Marist Poll Results January 2018: Picture of Work. NPR/Marist Poll Results January 2018: Picture of Work. http://maristpoll.marist.edu/nprmarist-poll-results-january-2018-picture-of-work/#sthash.eecLaOQy.bjK7R9MD.dpbs