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Contracting Vs Permanent Work – 6 Reasons To Switch If You Are An IT Professional

Being an independent contractor can be seen as the holy grail when you work in IT as it offers a huge earning potential and can give you the flexibility and freedom to choose your own clients.

Whilst you may have worries about not having the security you would have with a permanent job, there are a number of advantages you could tap into as a contractor. You’ll also develop other skills you might not have considered, such as business development, time management, learning how to handle a client relationship or growing your own authority in the industry.

Check out below some of the reasons you should choose to be an independent IT contractor:

 

  1. Flexible Working as IT contractor

Once you’re an independent contractor, you don’t necessarily have to work 9-5. If you feel trapped working in an office job contracting can give you more freedom to fit work in around your lifestyle. Unless your client requires you to be accessible during certain hours you can often negotiate flexible working arrangements. Many people in the UK spends hours a day commuting – as an independent contractor you could be more productive by not commuting and working from a home office. Overall, you’ll have an improved work-life balance.

 

  1. Higher earnings for those working in IT

Independent contractors tend to earn more than their permanent colleagues. This is due to the fact that the end client hiring the contractor is not required to provide benefits, holiday pay or sick pay. Being independent you are also free to charge whatever you feel your work is worth. So if you find your skills are in high demand you can charge more. Having greater freedom to charge your real worth will help you reap the financial benefits of being an independent contractor.

 

  1. Tax savings

By being an independent contractor you can benefit from a range of tax saving opportunities.  If you join an umbrella company  or form your own limited company you could save considerably on the amount of tax you pay. This can make contracting even more profitable  in comparison to being a permanent employee.

Some contractors will also be able to claim back VAT on certain business expenses.

It might be wise to hire an accountant to advise you with your expenses and ensure you get the most from your set up, but the small costs involved are often well worth it for the benefits that contracting can bring.

 

  1. You will be your own boss

Along with the flexibility of being an independent contractor, you will take control of your clients and your work. You can turn down clients or jobs you don’t like and can avoid being sucked in to the usual office politics. Another perk of contracting is being able to take time off whenever you want without being restricted by annual leave policies. If you would like to jet off for two months at a time you can, just make sure you have enough money saved up to lessen the financial impact of downtime between contracts.

 

  1. Variety is the spice of IT life

The advantages of being your own boss and having flexibility are that you can finally have variation in your work. You can choose the clients you want to work with. Some employers offer training and development but as an independent contractor you can take pro-active steps to improve your own skillset by actively seeking new challenges and experiences. You will constantly evolve in the direction you want, as opposed to being moulded by an employer. You could also have opportunities you might not have had working permanently – such as working for companies you wouldn’t have come across previously or travelling internationally.

 

  1. Increased skill set – will you learn agile, SCRUM or Prince?

As you have a more varied work life, wider range of projects, clients and environments, you will constantly develop new skills. Contracting jobs tend to be short so you do get thrown into the deep end but you gain experience quicker than you would in a permanent role. When you work different projects, you will get a chance to update your skillset with every new role. Also, you have to learn marketing and business development skills to complement your contracting career. This will be key for you as an independent contractor but also adds to your appeal with clients.

 

Ready to switch from being a permanent employee to being an IT contractor?

Contracting as an IT professional may seem daunting – after all you will be leaving the permanent world for the uncertainty of contract work. But once you take that first step, there’s no looking back. For many, the advantages of being an independent contractor far outweigh any drawbacks. You will have the opportunity to further your career, increase your skillset, enjoy flexible working and ultimately, earn more money. So take that leap into contracting and don’t look back!

Contracting Scout is here to help independent contractors with their needs. Give us a call to see how we can help your career with access to a range of contractor specific financial solutions.

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