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Thinking about becoming an IT contractor?

Mark Goode

In IT, contracting is a great opportunity to earn double the wage of permanent staff. But is contracting for you or should you stick to a permanent role?


As a contractor, you’ll be hired for a fixed amount of time – most commonly between three months and a year, but it could be anything from a few weeks to number of years! Contractors are usually taken on for projects or during busy times. If you’re a permanent member of staff, you’ll usually be in full-time, salaried position.


As well as the ability for contractors to earn more – up to double or even three times that of a permanent member of staff – there are a number of other benefits to being a contractor. Such as the ability to work for different employers, in varied roles, with diverse teams. You’ll also be able to shape your own career by choosing contracts that you are interested in. Often, you’ll be able to work from home and you’ll be able to avoid any office politics and, you’ll usually be able to find another contract relatively easily once your current assignment comes to an end.


Contracting vs. permanent


However, as a permanent member of staff, while you may not be paid as much, but you’ll be entitled to benefits, such as holiday, a pension scheme and childcare vouchers. Depending on the company of course, you could also have a whole range of other perks – like free lunch, a £5k joining bonus, company trips away, volunteering days, access to a gym or staff discounts.


Be the boss


As a contractor you are your own boss – you make all the decisions on when you work and what you work on, which is really exciting. That said, you’ll also be responsible for your own tax bills and expenses. You’ll need to make sure you file them on time and calculate them correctly, which can bring a certain amount of stress compared to someone who clocks in at 9am and out again 5pm. You also have to be a certain type of person, someone who is capable of working under their own steam – it’s not unusual for you to be left to finish a project on their own – able to effectively manage their time and be good at networking. You’ll need to find upcoming contracts and build relationships with employers too. 


Should I stay or should I leave?


Only one person can answer that question, and that’s you. The uncertainty and demands of contracting aren’t to everybody’s tastes, but the personal and financial freedom is undoubtedly a huge plus. Either way, enjoy what you do. And in the meantime, why not check out our range of permanent and contractor roles here.


Read our related blog: The most in-demand tech jobs for 2019

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