The Benefits of Working as an Independent Contractor
Working as an independent contractor has some similarities to being an employee. The key difference is freedom. As an independent contractor, you usually have the freedom to choose when you work. You usually have the freedom to choose where you work and what your work process is. You have freedom of employment – to choose who to work for, and how many employers to work for. And in many cases, as an independent contractor, you can choose which jobs or gigs to accept, or pass on.
Choose When & Where to Work
Become a Digital Nomad! The greatest freedom you have as an independent contractor is freedom of time and location. Choose your own work process. Do you prefer a sleek desktop with a fabulous view, or a slim laptop working from a cafe, or a beach?
Do you prefer a yoga session first thing in the morning, before settling in with a cold brew? Do you prefer working a straight four, six, or eight hours shift? Or working in shifts of a couple of hours? Do you prefer working early in the morning, or maybe you’re a night owl?
While many employers may have preferences about how you communicate, most will be flexible on when. Some will strictly communicate through project management systems. Some will communicate through a preferred chat app. While some will require some video conferencing calls.
Regardless, your freedom to choose when and where you work far exceeds the options you have as a full-time employee.
Choose Who to Work For
If you choose to jump in and become an independent contractor, you may find it preferable to work with a single employer. Or you may find that you’d rather build a client/customer base and work on projects for a number of employers. You may even choose to build a business and have contractors of your own that you delegate tasks to.
The freedom to choose who you work for is key in deciding whether to become an independent contractor. Many independent contractors get their start moonlighting at night doing gigs for single-employer before jumping in full time and expanding their business.
Choose Your Gigs
Then there’s the freedom to choose your gigs. What are your strengths? Do you have a specialty you can leverage? Or do you wear multiple hats and prefer to mix it up?
You can choose long term projects, or quick gigs that take a few hours, or even a few minutes. In many cases, you can also choose to blast through gigs and leverage your productivity to increase your income. That’s something you can’t do with a salaried employer. They’re happy to have you work harder, faster, and longer.
What About Taxes?
Don’t be discouraged by taxes. While it’s true that you won’t receive a W2 from an employer, and taxes won’t be taken out of your check, you will receive a 1099. Filing your taxes won’t be a problem. Money management is definitely key. Being an independent contractor will encourage you to make and follow that budget you’ve been putting off. Including a healthy savings plan for your end of year taxes and those unforeseen expenses, we all run into.
Here are a few articles that go further into taxes for independent contractors:
- How to File Taxes as an Independent Contractor
- Best Ways to Save on Taxes as an Independent Contractor
- Sole Proprietorship vs Incorporation
The benefits of becoming an independent contractor very often outweigh any perceived drawbacks. Sometimes the hardest part is just choosing to take the leap.