After I moved to Ireland on my first day at work I was asked who I am and if I am here as a permanent employee or a contractor? I was permanent employee at the time and it was my first time I heard a term contractor. But I instantly knew that this is the kind of work I want to do in the future. In this post I will share some pros and cons of it.
- You earn more money compared to a permanent employee. It is common that contract work pays better than permanent since it has a higher risk factor in it as well.
- You don’t need to get involved in corporate processes: setting goals, all hands meetings, performance reviews, etc. You are hired to do specific work which internal employees struggle to or don’t have enough time to do and that is it.
- You are your own boss.
- You can take as much time off as you desire. I know some consultants who work only 6 month in a year. But there is some who do not take a single day off as well. It depends on what you want.
- It is okay to move to a new project or change a client every year. This one is main reason why I became a consultant. I just get really depressed when I figure out all ins and outs or project moves to support stage and you have too much free time.
- You are learning faster. When you move from project to project you get to see different approaches for a same problem. Various technology stacks and team structures.
- If downsizing will happen in the company you work for – you will be first one to go. When you are working on a contract basis it is really easy for employer to let you go if you are not needed anymore. Usually it is mentioned in your contract.
- No employee benefits for you. Health insurance, pension, paid annual leave – it’s all your own expense and responsibility now.
- Career development opportunities in a clients company are not for you. Sometimes you can get an offer to become a permanent employee and get higher position because of that, but then you are not a consultant anymore.
- You have to be more skilful then or at least equal to permanent staff. Personally I see this one not as a disadvantage, but as extra challenge and motivation to be better.
- It is harder to get a mortgage as a consultant. Consulting does not guarantee such steady income as permanent employment does.
- Being good at coding is not enough – you need to be able to sell yourself.
At the end there is two sides on everything and I hope that if you are struggling to make a final decision – this article does answer at least to some of your questions. If you still have some other unanswered, feel free to get in touch with me and I will do my best to help.