Increasingly, HR professionals are considering contract work, which many within the workforce are migrating to. But contract work isn’t for everyone as success relies on a tolerance for risk as well as a personality that may have to be “on” more than you are comfortable with. Contract jobs can be a foot-in-the-door for a long-term job, but they can also become temporary lucrative and exciting career opportunities. They present the chance to try new things for a limited time or hone in on set skills and projects, allowing you to excel and change your day-to-day.
The downside can be instability and a need to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities. You’re also not typically eligible for the benefits you receive when you’re a full-time employee and you may always be seen or even feel like an “outsider.” But on the other hand, contracting comes with a lifestyle and benefits that can be significant – upsides you need to consider.
If you are good to great at what you do or if you have a specialized niche/talent you could find that you offer something companies are willing to pay for significantly. Make sure you charge a rate commensurate with your expertise and the fact that companies are gaining from your expertise without having to invest in a long-term hire. Also consider that many of your business expenses may be tax deductible as a contractor. Contract work can also give you the chance to recharge and get ready for either your next job/job hunt or your next project.
Master Your Own Domain
Think of your projects as a wave of clients to your own little business. One great client is nice, but multiple clients have the effect of amortizing your personal risk in both the short and long-term. If you have 3-4 solid, good-paying contracts you’re actually more financially stable than you would be with one full-time job. Or, if being a boss isn’t for you, partner with a firm like Willory. We work with our consultants – both W-2 and I-9 employee types – to find the right opportunities for their skill set.
A career as an HR contractor will expose you to lots of interesting people, companies, and projects. If you get bored easily contract work could be a perfect way to keep work engaging for you. Pick clients and projects that you can accomplish successfully (obviously), but also look for projects and companies that will hold your interest.
Hone Your Skills
Contracting is an excellent way not only for you to apply expertise, but if you choose the right projects it can help develop and refine your skills. Look for opportunities that are both a good fit for you as well as will push you to advance and learn professionally.
Everyone needs to navigate and succeed in office politics – but as a contractor, your threshold for needing to play office games is significantly reduced. You’ll also find that as a contractor, different rules apply to you – rules that you establish. Chances are if you are a contractor, you’ll have the ability to set your flexible schedule, depending on the responsibilities, of course. Some jobs have the need for your to be in the office at certain times, but other jobs are much more conducive to working traditionally off hours or from home.
Contract work might not be for everyone, but for those who make it work love the work they do. If you’re interested in learning more about contract work, let us know. Additionally, Willory held a webinar on this topic in the past – you can visit us online to view the replay.