Despite the Brexit and upcoming negations in the United Kingdom, contractors and freelancers are in high-demand for their specialised and versatile skills. Contractors are mainly hired as temporary workers to complete specific projects in a limited period of time.
For example, many major IT businesses hire contractors to carry out short and long term project work for them, and contractors help fill major skill gaps in areas such as this. The number of people in the UK who are choosing to work for themselves has been growing fast over the years, and contractors now make up 15% of the UK workforce.
Contracting in the United Kingdom provides professionals with the benefit of flexibility, a higher earning potential, more opportunities for skill development and fantastic career growth opportunities. Let’s look at the benefits of contracting in detail.
Benefits of Contracting:
Many professionals these days are trying to increase the flexibility of their jobs. Every person looks forward to flexibility in working. Permanent jobs mainly offer you a standard five-day work week with static working hours between 9am and 6pm. However, as a contractor, you are your own boss. You can manage and time your work accordingly as you see fit, and you can choose the work you wish to take on. Furthermore, as a contractor, you have an unlimited number of days you can take as a holiday, and you can also negotiate your rate of pay based on market demand and your skill level.
This is one of the major things which people look for in a career or job change. Pay scale in contracting totally differs depending on the contract location and industry. Contractors can also be paid higher compared to permanent employees due to their highly-demanded skills, sometimes reaching a weekly rate of two to three times that of a permanent employee. Contractors can also reduce their tax bills by offsetting their business expenses against their limited company income. You can find out how much more you can earn and take home as a contractor by using what’s called a ‘contractor take home calculator’.
When you are a contractor, you have more freedom to do what you wish, which is a benefit of having a positive work-life balance. As a contractor, you can choose to work or not, and choose the work you wish to do and when.
As a contractor, having a high-level of skill is very important. When you work as a contractor with various clients, you have the opportunity to experience different scenarios, which helps develop your professional skills. You can also complete training which can potentially be offset against limited company income. Working through a limited company also improves the professionalism of your contracting profile.
Free From Office Politics
90 percent of office workers suffer from office politics. But because contractors are independent and work for their clients, they do not have to deal with office politics. Contractors don’t have bosses to beg for promotions, increases in salary, holidays, time flexibility or training courses. There is also no pressure of being forced into excessive work hours.
Improved Work-Life Balance
Having control of your own life is the first priority. You will feel much more motivated when you feel that you have more control over your destiny. For contractors, this is one of the greatest benefits of being self-employed. If a contractor wishes to go on holiday, it’s easier for them to work their career around their holidays rather than their holidays around their career.
Alternatively, if you are more work-focused you can still spend the majority of your time contracting if that suits you.
With all of the benefits that come from being a contractor, there are very few challenges.
Contracting is competitive and uncertain, so you should be prepared to take opportunities as they come whilst staying in line with your desired role and rate level. Think about what you want from a role, personally, professionally and financially, before signing a contract.
This will ensure you maximise the benefits of being a contractor and enjoy a more fulfilling career.