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Start-Up Guide :: Pros and cons of IT contracting
Posted May 28, 2012
Following on from our overview of the risks and rewards of contracting, we take a further look at the best and worst things you commonly associate with IT contracting.
Pros of IT contracting
- Potential to earn more income than a permanent employee.
- Far more freedom to control what work you do.
- Chance to experience wide variety of projects and industries.
- Chance to learn cutting edge skills on many projects.
- You are less likely to be embroiled in office politics (although this isn't always the case!)
- You can take planned breaks between contracts to travel, spend time with the family, etc.
- You have greater responsibility for your own financial planning, especially if you run a limited company.
- The independence contracting affords is a good confidence builder.
Cons of IT contracting
- Lack of job security (especially during 'tough times'). But then again, many permanent jobs aren't really secure.
- You only get paid when you actually work - no holiday pay, sick pay, or other benefits.
- You may have less choice of where you work, and may have to travel more to secure contract work.
- You will have more paperwork to deal with (if you have a limited company).
- You will have to negotiate punitive tax laws, particularly IR35.
- You may have to deal with occasional permie conflict.
- You may need to develop additional sales and networking skills to help secure fresh contract work.
For most contractors, the pros of IT contracting nearly always seem to outweigh the cons. If you've already decided to become a contractor, chances are you have the temperament to take a chance and take control of your own career.
Others simply aren't cut out for the uncertainly contracting can bring - especially in tough economic times, and prefer to return to permanent work.
Here are some further 'Start-up guides' on the site which may help you decide if contracting really is the life for you:
- Risks and rewards of IT contracting
- IT contractor success tips
- Contractor recession survival tips
- Professional Indemnity Insurance - Essential cover from Hiscox
- Helix Management Ltd - Up to 90% retention. Same day payments
- Parasol - the UK's favourite umbrella company
- Qdos - IR35 experts - Providers of low cost contractor insurance
- Contractor Finance - up to £30,000, when you need it
- Umbrella Company - 12,000 contractors can't be wrong!
- SJD Accountancy - UK's largest Accountants to Contractors
- Together we're stronger! - Join PCG, representing contractors
- ClearSky Accounting - specialist support for contractors
- Free IR35 & Tax Review - Call ICS on 0800 195 3750
- InTouch Contractor Accounting - Clients love our personal service
- Contractor Mortgages - Based on your daily rate alone