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Maria Ricci
Maria Ricci

Not long ago, the norm would be to graduate from college, get a job, and stick with that job until retirement. 
 
But now, with the change to the new on-demand economy, the alternative is to graduate with a specific set of skills, find a contract position in your field, and then move from one contract to another, with a variety of different companies, gaining valuable work experience as you do so. 
 
To some people, this new way of working as an independent contractor has become a very satisfying and rewarding experience, with a lot more benefits than a comparable full-time job.
 
Let's take a look as some of the main benefits of being an independent contractor and why it could be an awesome and successful career move.
 

1 - Flexibility

As a contractor, you can have a very flexible work arrangement, especially if you're on a self-regulated schedule, working the hours you want and need. This also means that you can fit your schedule in with your lifestyle aspirations, deciding when the best time to work is.
 

2 - Become your own boss

Contract work provides greater independence, it can give you more predictable control of your work, and for many people, greater job security than traditional full-time employment. However, you are responsible for your own taxes, contracts, benefits and vacations.
 

3 - Maintain a good work/life balance

Some contractors are able to work from home, have less commuting time, attend fewer meetings, and/or have fewer issues over office politics – amounting to less stress.
 

4 - Earn more money

Being a contractor means you get paid for every hour of work you do, at the market rate. If your skills are in demand, your income could be high. If you're lucky enough to land on a team that desperately needs you to work overtime, you may be able to take advantage of it at higher rates.
 

5 - Benefits aren't a problem

Even though a lot of people seem to think that a full-time job has the best benefits, that is not always the case. You can still get the benefits you want, sometimes the third party company you're being contracted by, offers benefits packages, including paid vacation, life insurance, vision, dental, and health plans. But if you are truly an independent contractor, hiring yourself out as part of your own business, then your contracted hourly rate reflects the fact that you have to buy your own benefits, and this gives you a chance to customize your benefits program to your personal needs.
 

6 - Test out a new field of expertise

Not sure if there's a market for your particular skills? You can test a new industry without committing yourself to a full-time job. If it doesn't work out, you can move on.
 

7 - Start part-time

This can be appealing to young people just graduating from college, or older people who want to experiment with a second or even third career. Again you can try out the company and the industry.
 

8 - Test drive the company

If you're not sure a new company is offering the right full-time employment opportunity for you, suggest first working for them as an independent contractor.
 

9 - Permanent isn't important anymore

There is no predictability in today's employment market. Downsizing, upsizing and then downsizing again is common practice for some companies. You may prefer to have a set end-date for your contracts and know when your work is going to end, so you can prepare for the next contract at a different company.
 

10 - Experience!

Moving around jobs every few months is a good thing as you will get great project experience. You will get to learn new tools, meet new people, on new projects with different problems and solutions. This will build up your resume and make you a more desirable contractor for the next job, and you don't always have to do the same job.
 
If these benefits sound appealing, and if you don't mind moving around and gaining new work experiences, you might not only have the right stuff to become an independent contractor, but you may find it to be the best way to work.
 
On the other side of the equation, from a company perspective, they are increasingly beginning to reap the rewards of a contingent workforce by embracing an ever-increasing number of non-permanent workers as part of their growth strategies. But with these business advantages come the disadvantages, and these risks must be managed. A workforce management solution company like HCMWorks can help.
 
Steamline & Simplify Your Independent Contractor Program

About HCMWorks

We are a contingent workforce service provider helping organizations gain better access to talent through the use of independent contractors, consultants, temporary workers, freelancers and other non-payrolled employees. We provide the expertise, the technology, and processes to help you reduce your workforce costs, mitigate against misclassification and co-employment risks, and increase the efficiency and timeliness of your contingent recruitment process. Read more about what our clients say about us here.

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