Last week at the gym I struck up a conversation with someone and learned that they were working as a Software Developer for a Consumer Products company here in Phoenix. As you can imagine, I was intrigued to hear more about the company, what type of specific work he was doing and whether or not he enjoyed working there. As the conversation carried on he let me know that he was working as a contractor for the second time at this company. My ears really perked up. I then asked, “How do you like working as a contractor?” It was almost like he was hoping I would ask so he could share all the reasons he loved being a contractor.
Let me share some of the reasons he shared as well as others I have learned over the years:
Many who prefer contract work really enjoy the flexibility it brings. Contractors are not usually tied to near as many meetings as full-time employees and can usually set their hours to fit their desired schedule. Many times a contractor can take an extended vacation between contracts without having to worry about the responsibilities that a full-time employee might have. Let’s face it... taking two or three weeks off consecutively as a full-time employee is difficult to do. Not the case with a contractor.
Contractors have the opportunity to be exposed to many different environments/technologies at various companies and therefore build their skill set quicker and at a deeper level. In Information Technology this is definitely the case. An added benefit is that often earning potential increases more rapidly as you gain these various skill sets. And, of course, more opportunities open up as your skill set is improved.
Contractors are paid for every hour they work compared to salaried workers who receive a set amount. Often times a contractor may be working side by side with a salaried full-time worker on an important project or deadline and it will require the individuals to work 50 or 60 hour weeks. In these cases, the contractor gets paid for every hour they work and, as you can imagine, are very happy!
Some people prefer to not be involved in office politics. They say, “How nice would it be if I could just go in and do my work and leave all the drama behind?” Although contractors may not escape all of the drama, they usually can stay pretty unscathed from the office politics.
Let me be clear that contracting is not for everyone. There certainly are advantages to permanent, full-time employment (paid holidays, possibly better benefits, a feeling of belonging, etc.). More and more companies are turning to contractors to carry out important and specific objectives for their organizations. If you find yourself interested in some of the advantages of contracting listed above then please contact someone in your local Xtreme office… we would love to talk to you about it!