Should You Consider Contract Work?

Your eyes shift from your computer screen to your office window in desperation of a little sunshine pick-me-up. Winter has peaked and you’re experiencing day 5 of gray clouds with a mix of dreary drizzles. It’s times like this when your body starts to crave a two-week vacation in Mexico.

Reality comes knocking at your front door when you check your remaining PTO days. Four days left.

You love your job, sure, but the hours are demanding and it has little work-life balance. You’ve missed happy hours, weddings, recitals, soccer games, and it might just be time for a change. That change, called contract work, might be easier than you think.

If you read our most recent post, you know that hiring a contract employee can be beneficial to companies. However, as a contract employee, you are also entitled to a myriad of perks. While we mostly hear of people transitioning to contract work because of the flexibility in scheduling, there are many other perks to working as a contract employee:

  1. Higher per-hour rate
  2. Getting “your foot in the door”
  3. Expand your skill set

Higher per-hour rate

Imagine a world where you don’t have to sit across from your boss and brag about yourself then awkwardly ask for a raise. As a contractor, you can generally demand a higher per-hour rate. Why? Because, according to this article, companies “don’t have to enter into expensive, long-term commitments or pay health benefits, unemployment compensation, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes.”

The downside? You will be responsible for withholding your own taxes, as well as submit quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS. However, as the qualified and talented financers and accountants you all are, you might enjoy doing that. Unlikely, but possible.

Getting “your foot in the door”

I know this is an article about why you should consider contract work, but we can’t ignore the fact that sometimes you would just kill to work permanently at your dream company. Unfortunately, a lot of people would also kill to work there. In this case, your answer to getting a full-time position at said company might be to do some contract work for them.

If you’ve ever looked behind the scenes of the hiring process you know that it’s involved. By involved, we mean, EVERYBODY has to come together to find the right person AND package up their offer. That’s right, legal, finance, HR, hiring managers, etc. all have to come to agreement.

Sometimes, work just needs to get done and there isn’t any time to argue consult with every department of the company. Hiring managers can typically bypass all of the noise by hiring a contract employee. By the end of your contract, there might be a new hiring budget, or hey, you might’ve just blown the socks off of everyone and they want to bring you on full-time. Either way, there’s always potential for a temporary position to turn into a permanent one.

Expand your skill set

Often, when you get into a permanent role your professional growth plateaus as you utilize the same systems, work alongside the same people, and perform the same tasks day-in and day-out for years. Contract work offers you the opportunity to expand your skill set by challenging you to learn new software systems, work with new people, and solve a different set of problems that come with different companies.

A key component of our job is to examine your resume before we send it off to a company. Contract employees have, on average, a resume that is two pages longer and more variable than the typical traditional employee.

So, now what?

Well, we can’t make that call for you. We can, however, encourage you to reach out to see what contract roles we’re working with. They might just speak to you.