For quite some time, people who were actively looking for a job had as a first, and maybe only option, to accept a position as a regular employee. With time, this idea and the working environment have evolved, and working from 8 to 5 in an office just isn’t for everybody. As a result, other options have become more popular, like for example, working as a consultant/contractor. Let’s see what the advantages and the differences are…
Regular employee– Is considered to be a member of the organization or company, and has certain rights and protections. They usually agree to work during specific days and hours, in a predetermined office or space, while receiving a fixed income.
Consultant/contractor- Usually refers to when you provide your services to an organization through a professional services contract, but you’re not part of it. You may have your own company, or belong to one, but you can also provide your services as an individual. In most cases, contractors are hired to work on specific projects that eventually end.
Advantages of a regular employee:
- Many times, being a regular employee gives you more economic security and stability, because there are many recurring tasks that depend on you specifically, rather than working on a sole project that will eventually be completed. Therefore, you have a steady income.
- Taxes from Social Security and other deductions are retained for period of payment. The employer will pay for half of the Social Security taxes, and for the unemployment insurance tax.
- Some organizations and companies offer benefits, such as bonuses, medical plan, and vacations with pay, They also take care of compensation insurance for their workers in case of an emergency or accident, so they can receive the help if necessary.
- It comes with a sense of belonging, because you are actually part of the team. This can lead to more solid connections with your peers.
- You have the opportunity to be promoted to a better position in the future, and with this comes a higher salary as well.
Advantages of a consultant/contractor:
- You have greater freedom when it comes to choosing which tasks or projects you want to work on, and also your schedule and work place. This means that you will have more flexibility time to dedicate to other aspects of your life, This is probably one of the greatest advantages, since nowadays we’re used to a fast paced lifestyle, and looking to do more things in less time.
- You have the chance to work with different companies and gain experience, while having a dynamic professional career. This way, you can expand your resume as well.
- You have more control over which tasks interest you than a regular employee.
- You don’t have to go to all the team meetings or activities, unless you find it necessary.
- In many cases, you could earn more money than a regular employee. According to The Wall Street Journal and Stephen Fishman’s article Being a Consultant, Freelancer, or Contractor: Pros and Cons: “ICs are usually paid 20% to 40% more per hour than employees performing the same work. Hiring firms can afford to pay ICs more because they don’t have to pay Social Security taxes or unemployment compensation taxes, provide workers’ compensation coverage, or provide employee benefits like health insurance and sick leave”.
- Don’t just take into consideration jobs were you would work as a regular employee. Leave the door open for opportunities to work as a contractor as well, because both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Evaluate which one is ultimately the best for achieving your goals.
- Educate yourself as much as you can! If you decide to work as a contractor, you should separate a budget for trainings and workshops. If you’re a regular employee, you should do this as well because not all companies have a designated budget for their employees’ education.
- If you decide to work through professional services, prepare yourself economically for 6 months or 1 year, because these projects eventually end. If you’re a regular employee you should also look into this, since nowadays no one can give you full job security.
Remember that in the end, both options are great, it just depends on which one suits your lifestyle best. After having evaluated both options, have you decided which is the best for you? If not, watch the video below for more tips from our HR experts and our special guest. ¡Join in on the convo!