Freelancing or Contract Work – How Much Do You Want to Commit to One Company?
Who’s the boss of you? If you’re a freelancer or a contract worker, you’re a fan of calling your own shots. But the choice between the two comes down to the old adage of “putting your eggs in one basket”—plus it’s a question of your time management skills (and really how much of a people person you are!).
Freelance work: at home at your own pace
It’s a weekday. You wake up—not necessarily to an alarm—and get dressed. Today you have a few assignments due, and you’re going to sit on your back porch with your laptop. You have lunch plans with a friend, so you plan to do one of your tasks before lunch, take a quick conference call, and then work on another assignment after lunch. The beauty of your work is you can complete tasks whenever you feel like it (so if you feel like taking a nap after lunch, you can always jump back into an assignment later tonight). As long as you make your deadlines, your schedule is completely up to you. What’s cool is that the day dictates the assignment. You have a few clients, so you’re always working on something just a little bit different.
Contract work: less to keep track of
It’s a weekday. You’re up and at ‘em—dressed for the office and heading in for your morning commute. You’re building a website for a company that needs you on a temporary basis. It’s structured, but what’s cool is you know where your next paycheck is coming from… plus your paycheck every week for the next six months. You’re part of a team of web designers and have the camaraderie of their conversation and support when you feel like chatting. You can bounce ideas off them, too, and they’re a creative bunch… so you’re learning some new things along the way. When your assignment is up, you’ll need to make an appointment to talk with your recruiter and see what your next options are.
Which one of these scenarios sounds more like you?
Whether you’re more comfortable as a freelancer or as a contract worker is solely dependent on the work style you prefer and how much responsibility you are comfortable taking into your own hands. When you freelance, it’s up to you to find clients, pay taxes on your income and keep a steady enough flow of work to keep the bills paid. When you’re a contact worker, you have less freedom but also a more steady income and much of your paperwork is handled for you by your staffing agency. In the end—how you prefer to travel down your IT career path is completely up to you!