How Does Being a Contractor Impact Your Lifestyle?

By Alice Murray

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There are a lot of differences between being a contractor and being in a permanent in-house job.

Everyone has their own personal preferences on how they choose to work, and choosing to get into contracting is not a light decision. You should be clear on how a contractor job will impact the way you live. Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to it; but the important thing is knowing which route you want to go down.

One of the first things you have to think about is any other commitments you might have. As a contractor, you need to go where the work is – and you need to follow the money. This can mean that other aspects of your life have to take a bit of a backseat. It is likely that you’ll have less time to spend with family and friends, and you’ll be on the road a lot of the time; but the salary usually makes up for this.

The rate of pay for a contractor on average is 80-100% higher than a permanent employee. Merely adding the term ‘specialist’ after your job title can add a extra zero to the price tag of your services. With this in mind, it is clear that you’ll certainly have a few more pennies to rub together as a contractor.

However, this doesn’t take into account the potential dry spells, as the work is never guaranteed. You’ll also have to become accustomed to not being paid for any holidays or annual leave that you might want to take – which for some people is a big drawback of the contractor lifestyle.

But if you’re a contractor who has got regular offers rolling in, this isn’t something you have to worry too much about.

Another aspect of living the life of a contractor is having less job security. Not knowing when your next deal will happen can be a little off-putting. On the other hand, this is all a part of being your own boss.

Managing your own affairs and fitting in your work around the way you live is usually the main reason that the majority of people choose to get into contracting.

As a contractor, you have the opportunity to build your own business from scratch, which can give you an enormous sense of achievement and make you very attractive to employers. 

Something that appeals to a lot of contractors is the variety of work that they experience each day. Part of the contractor lifestyle is moving around, working in new environments and meeting different people. Therefore, it is rare that two days are the same, and your routine is much less repetitive than that of a permanent worker.

If you’re an incredibly social person, the downside of being a contractor could be the lack of colleague relationships. People who work full-time in offices for example, might find it easier to connect to co-workers and build solid friendships. As a contractor, you are only in one place for a fixed period of time so you have to be prepared for it to feel fairly lonely and quiet. For some people this is a blessing!

The way you live your life is a choice that you have to make. It’s true that being a contractor has its drawbacks, but it also offers a lot of opportunities and experiences in a variety of environments. Not only that, but you’re being paid a pretty good sum to simply do what you’re good at.

You can start your own company, improve your skill-set, pay less taxes, be your own boss and follow your own schedule. In short, being a contractor can give you the freedom to design your own lifestyle.

If you feel that you could benefit from some lifestyle advice, be sure to contact your personal concierge on KnowNetwork.


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