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The classic 9 to 5 pattern of work is becoming undesirable — and with good reason. It doesn’t often pay well enough, it ties us to a particular location, and tasks can quickly become repetitive. Millennials and Gen Zers are turning their backs on full-term employment and becoming contract workers or freelancers.
If you’re considering joining the 59 million freelancers in the United States, take a look at these benefits you’ll enjoy.
What Is a Contract Worker?
Contract workers, or freelancers, are people hired for a specific project. Alternatively, they may be recruited for a particular amount of time. A fee is negotiated prior to the work commencing and a contractor uses their expertise to support the company’s project goal.
A freelancer may work with the same company regularly, but work with the one organization is rarely full-time nor indefinite.
Freelancers find work on sites such as Quality Contracts, where businesses post details about projects they require support with.
The Benefits of Contract Working
There are a range of benefits that contract working provides that aren’t found in full-time employment. These include flexibility, better income and opportunities to learn new skills.
Contract workers tend to be paid more per hour than their counterparts in full-time employment. The challenge for freelancers is finding enough work to secure the equivalent of a salary, but those able to fill a full 9 to 5 day with contract work usually reap the reward of higher pay.
One of the major advantages of being a contract worker is the flexibility it gives you. You can choose when to work — only picking up projects when you have the time and capacity to complete them. This makes freelance work a great option for new parents or those wanting to travel the world.
If your work can all be done online, you can reduce your commute time. You’ll have the freedom to work from anywhere. Whether you choose your home office, local coffee shop or a sunny holiday in southern Europe, the choice is yours.
The flexibility that contract working provides can also lead to a better work-life balance, which results in improved mental health and more time that can be spent pursuing your hobbies or meeting with friends and family.
Opportunities to Build Your Skill Set
As a contract worker you’ll regularly move from company to company, which builds your skill set quicker than if you’re employed by the same organization indefinitely. You’ll be asked to complete varying tasks across different clients — each of whom have unique processes, guidelines and expectations. This will make you better at adapting.
There are less freelancers and contract workers in the talent pool than those interested in full-time permanent positions. This means that if you become a freelancer, you’ll have less competition for desirable work. While the balance is starting to change as more people enter the freelance arena, the stats suggest that the advantage will sit with contract workers for a while yet.
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