Being an Independent Contractor: Is it for you?
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Despite cautiously optimistic reports about the state of the US economy, times are still tough for a lot of us. With financial insecurity and declining spending, rampant cost cutting and unemployment, people are staying in jobs they hate just because they are afraid of not finding something else. From the rubble of these challenging times, a new type of job has reached it’s zenith. This new worker, known as the “independent contractor” eliminates the financial burden of providing benefits. These freelance contractors, IT contractors, consultants, whatever you call them, are a growing force in the new economy.
Like any job this new role comes with various benefits and challenges. Figuring out if these are worth the trade off for you can open new possibilities for opportunities in this crazy new economy.
What does this new worker look like? What are the benefits and risks of going independent? How do you know if being an independent contractor is right for you?
Top 5 reasons it’s actually great to be an Independent Contractor:
1) The freedom of being your own boss!
2) Flexible hours, you pick when you want to work!
3) The opportunity to pick and choose projects you are excited about!
4) Ownership of your work product (especially in a creative field).
5) The ability to work with lots of exciting people and businesses!
Top 5 reasons it’s hard to be an Independent Contractor:
1) Relative instability, where will your next paycheck come from?
2) You are on your own for benefits! Medical and dental coverage not included!
3) It’s extra challenging to be viewed as part of the team you are working with!
4) Worker’s Compensation and Unemployment are not provided to independent contractors.
5) You are an independent business which means you are responsible for keeping track of your time, your billable hours and your expenses.
Fortunately for Independent Contractors, there are super easy to use tools which will help you run your business, everything from invoicing your clients to preparing for tax season. Tools like WorkingPoint which allow you to send and track invoices and keeps your books automatically.
As an independent contractor might be that your time is your value, so the less time you can spend on “housekeeping” tasks like invoicing and bookkeeping, the more billable client hours you can accrue as an independent contractor.