The Benefits of Being a Contractor

Contractors charge a fee for services, usually on an hourly basis. They do not receive employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement, or vacation pay.


Contractors can add value to a business by providing different perspectives and solutions to problems that may have been overlooked or undervalued by permanent staff. However, contractors must be careful to balance risks with rewards.

As a contractor, you have a lot of freedom in how you work. You can choose your own schedule, and you can work from home or in a coworking space. This allows you to create a healthy work/life balance, and it can help you to avoid the burnout that can often occur with a long commute or an unyielding 9-to-5 workday.

Another benefit of working as a contractor is finding projects and clients that match your interests and goals. This can allow you to gain specialized experience and build up your portfolio of relevant skills. This can make you more valuable to future employers and may lead to a full-time position.

However, you’ll need to be able to handle the uncertainty that comes with being a contractor. Projects may come and go, and you’ll have to manage cash flow in the meantime. Similarly, you’ll be responsible for your own taxes, accounting, and legal obligations. This can be a lot of extra work on top of your day-to-day job.

Contractors can also choose the type of work they want to take on, meaning that if a role is not quite right for them, it’s easier to move on than it would be with a permanent position. This flexibility can be beneficial for both contractors and companies, as it means that they’re able to hire the best person for the job and ensure that the work is completed on time and within budget.

Contractors are becoming more popular as businesses recognize the benefits of a flexible workforce. They’re frequently used to support busy periods, cover maternity or sick leave, and provide specialized skills for specific projects. Lean, flex staffing solutions allow contractors to balance work-to-worker ratios and complete projects more efficiently. In addition, they can renegotiate contract terms and reduce costs through process flexibility. In addition, contractual term flexibility and process flexibility have positive effects on contractors’ justice perceptions, thus reducing their tendency to behave opportunistically.

Higher Income

Contractors can command higher rates than the average employee due to their in-demand skills and expertise. They also have the ability to diversify their skills by taking on projects that align with their goals and interests, allowing them to establish themselves as an expert in a certain area or industry.

Contractor income can vary widely depending on how much tax they are paying and the deductions they are using. Generally, contractors pay more in taxes than employees because they are responsible for self employment tax (in the US these are Social Security and Medicare taxes) plus income taxes. However, if they have the right structures in place such as a sole-proprietorship or LLC and are able to utilize deductions properly, they may end up paying less than an employee.

While contracting offers a good opportunity to make money, it can be difficult for some workers to find consistent work and achieve financial stability. Many contractors have a lot of fluctuation in their earnings, and our survey found that nearly two-thirds of 1099s were first-time contractors who had only been contracting for one year or less.

It is important for new contractors to carefully consider their options and weigh the benefits of contracting against the risks. Choosing the wrong structure or missing out on valuable deductions could have significant consequences. It is advisable to consult a qualified tax professional before making any final decisions. Lastly, it is crucial for contractors to document their performance in order to negotiate access to employee-type perks such as free use of the company cafeteria or paid time off. These negotiations can be challenging and require a great deal of effort, but are often more successful when the contractors can clearly demonstrate their value and how they have helped the client to achieve its objectives.

No Guaranteed Time Off

Taking time off isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult for contractors. As contract workers, they don’t have access to the same employment entitlements as their full-time colleagues like sick leave, annual leave or employer contributions toward superannuation. This means that they’ll often have to work harder to find work during down times, or risk losing clients or even their livelihood.

Contractors usually earn on a project-by-project basis, meaning that they don’t get guaranteed income at any time of year or during slow periods. As a result, they may need to create a savings plan or find other ways to supplement their earnings.

However, it is possible to take time off as a contractor, and the key is to be transparent with your recruitment agency and your clients about what you’re doing and why. This can help you avoid burnout and still be able to fulfil your contractual obligations. If you don’t, it’s likely that neither you or your clients will be happy. In these situations, it’s important to consider your mental and emotional health as well as your financial situation.