Benefits of contracting

Careers are no longer about picking one lane and sticking with it until retirement. In fact, a study from McCrindle revealed that the average Australian will have 5 different careers and 17 different employers in their lifetime.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that contracting and temporary work is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are around 1 million people contracting in the country, with independent contractors making up 7.8% of all employed.

Contract employment now spans all industries

Contract and subcontract work has always been common in blue collar jobs and has traditionally been used in other areas to support busy periods, cover maternity leave or long service leave, and provide specialised skills for specific projects.

However, with the gig economy penetrating every industry, the pandemic revolutionising the way we work, and with hybrid and flexible working fast becoming the norm, contract jobs and temp employment now span several industries from IT to Professional Services to Marketing and HR.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of taking on a contractor job, now could well be the optimum time to go for it. So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled some of the key benefits of contracting to help you decide whether you’re ready to make the switch.

What are the benefits of contracting?

1) Flexibility

If you’ve always dreamed of four-day work weeks or having more free time to pursue your other hobbies, contracting gives you the freedom and flexibility to do just that.

Whether it’s working around family responsibilities or taking on short term projects between — or during — travel, contracting allows you to work in a way that suits your personal circumstances. It gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work, as well as the assignments you would prefer to undertake. The flexible nature of contracting allows for holidays or time off between contracts, giving you greater control over your work/life balance.

2) Experience and variety

Contracting is a smart and highly effective way to broaden your experience and diversify your skills. Gaining exposure to a wide range of companies, industries and assignments is an opportunity to continually learn new skills and experience different management styles, cultures, processes and practices. This helps to sharpen valuable and transferable skills such as communication, creativity and adaptability as well as build an impressive resume.

Contracting can also provide constant stimulation for people who enjoy a diverse working life. Contractors often work on a variety of projects across different environments, locations and industries, meeting new people in new companies with each new assignment. So, if you’re motivated by new challenges and enjoying mixing things up — contracting could be the perfect fit for you.

3) More opportunities

A key benefit of contracting is the opportunity to build relationships across a range of different companies. Providing an excellent service to each employer will help to build your reputation as a talented and reliable expert. Creating a wide network and strong reputation can then help you to obtain further contract work, or open the door to more permanent opportunities.

Contracting also opens up the opportunity to work in fun and exciting locations, or even to work remotely. The world is embracing remote work, particularly in the wake of COVID-19. As a contractor in a post-pandemic world, you’re not necessarily bound by a physical office. Many roles, such as admin services or marketing, no longer require you to be in a fixed location. Work from home, in a co-working space, or pop into the office once per week — it’s up to you.

4) Better pay conditions

In many sectors, contractors are paid significantly more than permanent employees. In fact, contractors can earn up to double the amount of a full-time worker per hour or day, with the added bonus of getting overtime pay for every extra hour worked.

Contract and temp jobs also allow you to set your own rate for jobs and projects — plus, you can take on additional jobs if you need extra income. This does, however, need to be balanced against no paid sick leave or annual leave as well as your responsibility for your own super contributions.

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5) Get a foot in the door with new employers

If your dream employer isn’t hiring permanent staff, or you’re not quite sure whether you’d mesh with a company, contract or temp work is an opportunity to dip your toe in the water and see for yourself if it’s a good fit.

Contracting is also a great way to get your foot in the door and prove yourself. It also gives the employer an opportunity to assess you for upcoming roles and allows you to experience the company or position before committing to permanent employment.

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