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Pros and Cons of Being an Independent Contractor

Updated on January 11, 2013

With the job market in this day and age, more and more people are deciding to take the leap over into the independent contractor world. Sadly, they are doing this because most permanent jobs are not readily available, but being an independent contractor has both its pros and cons.

Working off a contract

Many independent contractors are only temporary; they are often staffed through a staffing agency. They work off a contract, which is good because it guarantees them that they will have a job for that certain amount of time, but it also is bad because they do not know for certain they will be needed after the contract is up.

Benefits

If you go through a staffing agency most of them will offer health insurance, but there selection is sometimes the bottom of the barrel meaning you may not get exactly what you are looking for. If you want better health insurance, you are completely on your own with that. Staffing agencies does not typically help their contractors grab better insurance than they are offering.

Pay

Since most companies higher staffing agencies to contract workers, the agencies will play low than the average rate, so they can make some profit. Yes, this helps staffing agencies stay in business, but it does not help the little man who is trying to make ends meet for his family. However, the plus to all of this is contractors can work overtime and will be paid for it, while seasoned employees will more than likely be on a salary.

Holidays/PTO

Some staffing agencies will pay their contractors for holidays after they have been with the agency for a few years, but others will not do such a thing. Working unpaid holidays can be quite hard, especially around the holidays when one is needing money more than ever. Plus they do not offer paid time off, or vacations. However, on the bright side one does not have the same schedule obligation as employees, which is good for those you may have a busy family life or for those who need a little bit of flexibility in their lives.

As one can see there is both pros and cons when deciding to take the leap into becoming an independent contractor. Yes, one may not get holiday pay, vacation, great benefits, but they do get flexibility, know they will be employed until their contract is up, and be able to work overtime and get paid for it.

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    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 4 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub!! Voted useful and up!

    • Brilqntin profile image

      Diana 4 years ago

      Hm, why is being independent contractors tied up with staffing agency here? There are plenty of freelance sites and social networks which allow independent contractors to find freelance projects and work without agencies and therefore, low pay isn't an issue (if you are good at what you do, of course) and neither is uncertainty since you are free yo manage your own time and employment. Health insurance and paid vacations could be an issue for many who are just starting but not really in the long run - when one makes a good living, he or she can always save and/or make better arrangements for both health and vacation :-)

    • abyas profile image
      Author

      abyas 4 years ago

      I was actually writing this article for those who use staffing agencies or decide to contract through companies. I was not meaning other freelancing sites that you are solely your own boss such as, oDesk, guru, and Elance.

    • Brilqntin profile image

      Diana 4 years ago

      Ah, sorry then - the title mislead me - as well as the statement "Many independent contractors are only temporary; they are often staffed through a staffing agency." - i know many independent contractors who are freelancing their skills on their own for years (i am one of them :-) so just wanted to emphasize on the fact that if someone wants to be an independent contractor, he or she does not need a staffin agency to succeed... maybe you should add the detail about the staffing agency in the title of the hub - this way it will be all clear.

      Thanks for writing and sharing the hub - voted up! :-)

      Diana

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