Full-time employee or independent contractor? Factors to consider

Full-time employee or independent contractor? Factors to consider

In today’s fast-paced world, firms need to learn quickly and be prepared to change rapidly. In many cases, organisations rely on flexing their permanent workforce with contractors to provide a fresh pair of eyes and drive innovation within the organisation to help them to meet these requirements.


This is creating a wave of attractive job opportunities, and not just for career-contractors who like going from project-to-project. There is a growing trend of workers, who traditionally favoured full-time employment over the short-term nature of most temporary jobs, seeking contracting opportunities as a way to further their career development and grow their pay packet. These individuals thrive on innovative initiatives working in small project teams with a start-up mentality and, essentially, are flexible and extremely adaptable.    


Previous Contractor Corner posts have highlighted the benefits and pitfalls of contracting, as well as how to go about setting yourself up as a contractor.


We recently received a call from a guy - we’ll call him Bob - who wanted to discuss the possibility of giving up his full time job and the pros and cons of contract-based employment.


Bob had spent the last 10+ years with the same large organisation working in programme management. In this role, Bob frequently worked closely with contractors hired by the organisation to help deliver large and complex work programmes.


For Bob, contracting  always seemed a “highly risky endeavour” and he was never really sure what motivated his temporary colleagues to give up the security of a full time job and, importantly, a regular, monthly pay packet.


However, inspired by the projects that he heard about from some of these colleagues, Bob thought it was time he challenged himself to reach outside of his comfort zone and look beyond the security of a permanent job.


Such transitions are not always easy and require careful planning and consideration. While Bob was excited by the possibility of exposure to a variety of firms and experiences, he was nervous about sacrificing - what he perceived as - strong promotional opportunities within his current firm. In addition, he was nervous about giving up access to all the company-funded and -organised continued professional development courses that he had benefited from over the years.


Bob is now four weeks into his first contract job and is enjoying the new challenge and working environment, in addition to benefiting from an increase in his earnings. He is still undecided about where to from here - will it be another contract role or back to permanent employment? Watch this space.   


If you are considering switching from permanent employment to contracting  and have any concerns that we have not addressed in the blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss.