There are a lot of obvious draws to being an independent contractor – but what does that mean exactly? What is an independent contractor, and what exactly are these benefits?
To put it simply, an independent contractor is exactly what it says on the tin. You aren’t someone who is regularly employed by a business – you’re contracted for a certain amount of work, then you’re moving on to the next business opportunity. Instead of working nine-to-five, you might be working one day at one company, and then three months with another.
Can you draw any obvious benefits from this? Fortunately there are many – and here’s a few to start you off.
1 – Flexibility
So you already know that independent contractors work like nomads, floating from one business to another – it’s mentioned above, as a matter of fact. This kind of work means that it’s easier to have flexible hours. As a contracted worker, you have a lot more freedom than someone who is employed with a business.
This sort of freedom is shown in many different ways. Think about the “contractor” part of the job description. When you’re contracted, you have room for negotiation. Your specialized skill is obviously worth something to this company in question, and this means you can be a little more malleable with your work hours. Maybe you only work five hours a day, or maybe three if you’d like. You can start as a part-timer, or throw yourself into your work. It all depends on your contract and business agreement.
2 – Work/Life Balance
Because of all this flexibility, it’s much easier to have a balanced life. When you work as an independent contractor, you set your own schedule. If you need a specific day off, it’s easier to get it than if you were actually employed. This sort of employment opportunity is very attractive to a lot of people, especially those who have outside obligations or who have a family to take care of.
3 – Toeing the Water
Say you just graduated from college with a degree in computer IT services. You want some experience so you can flesh out your legitimate job resume. You can intern, but that often doesn’t pay well – if at all. What do you do?
When you work as an independent contractor, you set yourself up for an ideal situation to gain experience in your desired permanent job field. Continuing with the IT example, it’s very easy to market yourself to a small business as a contracted IT specialist, gain more in-house experience and include it on a resume for when you apply for a full-time job.
4 – Potentially More Money
Don’t want to make a minimum or standard wage? No problem – become an independent contractor.
While this is highly dependent on your skill set that you’re marketing, it’s very likely that you can make more money as an independent contractor than you would as a standard employee. You get to set your own rate, which can be negotiated with the business you’re working with, but the typical pay rate is based on the market rate, which is usually more money than you would make compared to being an actual, on-the-books employee.
5 – Great for Independent-Types
Are you one of the types of people who would rather be their own boss than take orders from someone? While you do have to answer to the business you’re contracted to, at the micro level. The only orders you’re taking are your own.
As your own boss, it’s a lot easier to feel secure in your position. You have a business to keep happy, but this relationship is based largely on skill. It’s likely you won’t have anyone to disagree or butt heads with since you’re your own leader as an independent contractor.
6 – Trying Out a Company
Just like you can try out your desired business field, independent contracting is also a great way to get an inside look into a company without actually being employed.
Have you ever worried about being employed by a company, only to discover that you don’t like the corporate environment or you don’t actually mesh with the way the business flows? Independent contracting is one of the best ways to avoid this problem. Offer yourself as an independent contractor to a business you may want to join. If they accept, you have an easy way to experience what it’s like to work in a business without being an actual employee.
7 – It Looks Great On Resumes
Going back to the above example, say you do end up liking the business that you test out. It’s time for their hiring season, and you decide to actually apply. Because you already have experience inside the company, you push yourself to the top of the list of potential employees.
In general, independent contractors are associated with specialty skills. It takes a lot of expertise to be an independent contractor, and this kind of job field influence is something that companies love. If you ever want to move from a contracted worker to someone with a full-time job, you have a distinct advantage when you have “independent contractor” on your resume.
Want to learn more about becoming an independent contractor with Valued Merchant Services? Call 1-800-531-8575 x 100