The pandemic changed so many things, especially the way people work and choose to be employed.
While full time jobs have traditionally been the most highly sought, more and more people are now embracing the flexibility and financial benefits of contract work.
Here’s why taking on contractor roles can be better than having a full time job and how you can leverage this option to be paid more for your skills.
Companies all over the world are now seeking contractors to fill roles remotely, especially in the digital technology industry. If you have recently left a full time role or if you are considering doing so to pursue contracting, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
You Don’t Have to Relocate
Don’t limit yourself to applying for contractor roles in your home town or believing you will have to move to a new city to take on a great contract position.
Put your hand up for opportunities or get in touch with a recruitment company and let them know you are open to being a remote contractor. If you have the right qualifications and experience as well as a good internet connection, it shouldn’t rule you out of consideration for a good position.
Earn More Money
Contractors tend to earn a higher hourly rate than full time employees. This is firstly because of different arrangements around holidays and sick leave but also because the business employing you doesn’t have to pay as many costs to have you as a short term part of the team.
Build Your Resume
Contract positions generally last a few months or a couple of years. This gives you the opportunity to build your skills across a range of companies and industries. When you’re starting out, contracting is an excellent way to build connections and flesh out a well-rounded resume.
You Can Take a Break
When your contract finishes, you have the option to take a couple of weeks or even months off work. This gives you freedom to explore your passions and spend time with your family.
Contractors who get the most offers and can charge the best rates prove themselves as excellent workers who over-deliver in terms of productivity and quality.
The other important thing to consider is the so-called ‘soft skill’ of communication. Being trusted to take on a contract role remotely means being very responsive and reliable, and being able to develop relationships with people who you may never meet face to face.
To thrive as a contractor, have a well-presented resume (even include a video of yourself if you can), learn to manage your time well and ensure you exceed your employer’s expectations wherever possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals so your next employer knows you come highly recommended.
Almost overnight, the COVID pandemic showed employers and employees how we already had the technology in place for a ‘work from anywhere’ world.
Many people who lived overseas for their job were able to quickly return home to be closer to family without actually needing to sacrifice their role. Their employers were happy to be flexible; if coming into the office isn’t an option, it doesn’t really matter where someone’s desk is located.
As time passed and lockdowns continued, employers were able to implement policies and practices for remotely based teams. Regular online catch ups, both formal and informal, meant people were able to collaborate and keep in touch.
Some employers even found productivity rose. As Forbes reported during the pandemic, nearly 90 per cent of US workers surveyed thought their productivity had either stayed the same or improved while working from home. As shared by the International Labour Organisation in 2022, “46 per cent of Africa’s formal enterprises said that COVID-related changes resulted in productivity gains, while another 39 per cent said that production efficiency had stayed the same.”
This shift has given way to the rise of contractors who are able to pick up short term jobs, regardless of where they are based. Now, skills are more important than location. As a result, contractors have a whole world of opportunities to choose from and employees have the flexibility of a team which can change size as necessary.
Find out How to Become an International Independent Contractor, download our guide here.