Working as an independent contractor has a lot of perks: you get to be your boss, set your hours, and work from home (or wherever you want). However, it also comes with some drawbacks: you don’t have the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, or stability.
So before making the switch to contract work, it’s essential to research and ensure it’s the right fit for you. However, the benefits of being a contractor can be great if you’re prepared for the challenges.
If you’re considering pivoting to being an independent contractor but aren’t quite sure yet, don’t fret. In this article, we’ll list and discuss three benefits and challenges of being an independent contractor.
You have more control over your career and life.
As an independent contractor, you have much more control over your career than an company employee. You have the freedom to choose the projects you work on, your clients, and how much you work. The flexibility of having your own career can be a great perk, especially if you have other commitments outside of work.
Because you’re in charge of your career, you also have the opportunity to make more money than you would as an employee. This is because you can choose higher-paying projects and work more hours if you want to.
You can set your hours.
One of the benefits about being an independent contractor is setting your hours. You don’t need to stick to a 9-to-5 schedule and can work whenever you want. This is ideal if you have other activities or events outside of work or if you’re not a morning person.
Of course, this flexibility comes with a downside: it can be tempting to work all the time, and you may find it challenging to take a break.
You can work from home (or wherever you want).
Another benefit independent contractors have is being able to decide where you work. You don’t need to go to the office everyday. In fact, you’re free to choose were to work. This is a great way to save on costs, like transportation and child care. You can also work remotely with clients from all over the world.
However, working from home can be challenging as well because it can be difficult to stay focused and motivated when you’re not in an office, and you may miss networking opportunities.
You don’t have the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, or job stability.
One of the biggest challenges of being an independent contractor is that you don’t have the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, or job stability. This can be a considerable risk if you’re not prepared for it financially.
You must find your health insurance and retirement savings plan as a contractor. It would be best if you also were proactive about finding new clients and projects, as your income fluctuates monthly.
You have to do your marketing and networking.
You’re responsible for your own marketing and networking as an independent contractor. This can be challenging if you’re not used to promoting yourself and your work. It can also be time-consuming and expensive to attend industry events and meetups.
However, there are some ways you can make networking and marketing more manageable, such as joining online communities and using social media.
You have to manage your finances.
Another challenge of being an independent contractor is that you have to manage your finances. This includes paying your taxes, setting aside money for retirement, and staying organized with your receipts and expenses.
Working in a company, other people usually can help with these things. But as a contractor, you’re on your own.
Being an independent contractor also has its challenges. But if you’re prepared for them, the benefits can be significant. You have more control over your career, set your own hours, and work from home (or wherever you want). Just keep in mind that you might not have the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, or job stability.
Ebnu Sudarso is the Co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. Graphic design and writing have always been a passion. Over the years at Milkwhale, the company has created and published numerous infographics and great visuals.