Freelancing / Contracting:
Freelancing is a lifestyle choice and financially it can be far more rewarding
than permanent roles. Contractors have greater control over their careers
and are more independent and flexible than their permanent contemporaries.
They exercise greater influence over when, where and for what length of
time they wish to commit to a role or working environment. It is principally
for these reasons that most people who choose contracting rarely return
to permanent roles.
Risks and Rewards of freelancing:
While there are significant benefits to contracting there are also risks
involved, you are a freelancer totally dependent on just you to “make
it happen”. That said, there is significantly more support available
today to the contracting community than three or four years ago.
Risks: make it happen!
This usually means securing that all-important first contract (and subsequent
roles), packaging and selling yourself, negotiating your terms, conditions
and expenses, (while keeping your expectations in line with the market pricing
for your skill sets).
Planning ahead, budgeting and prudent financial management will also be
required of you. All these things can be daunting, however, there are many
sources of help, advice and guidance available to you…such as this.
Forward planning is critical for sustained success and getting the correct
advice and guidance from resources such as Recruitment Agencies, Accountants,
or the increasingly popular Managed Service Companies (some times referred
to as Umbrella Companies) which have become the preferred choice for many
contractors since the introduction of IR35 legislation.
These resources can help you manage your affairs and eliminate or reduce
the risks you may face. One surprising ally is the Inland Revenue who will
allow a number of costs to be offset in certain “trading styles”.
Rewards: The good news
Most contractors can earn significantly more from contracting when compared
to a permanent salaried position in the same or similar role. Although market
conditions vary remember each hour is billable (not always the case for
salaried staff). As ever, it is the balance between supply and demand that
will ultimately determine the daily or hourly rate you can achieve.
"less taxing" approach to Contracting and Freelancing