Contracting to Get Your First Step on The Career Ladder
Like many recent college graduates, you are probably busy searching for a new job in your chosen field. Even in the best of economic circumstances, securing a permanent position in many fields can be tough, but with the current economy still struggling back from the brink, getting a full-time in-house job with benefits may take months of hard work.
One solution to this problem may be to look for a contract position with a company that interests you. Contracting has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are making it their first step on the career ladder.
Benefits of contracting
One of the biggest advantages of taking a contracting job is that, typically, they are very well paid. Contracting with a company means you are classified as a temporary employee, so you will likely receive only minimal or no job benefits. However, this usually means that your paycheck will be larger. This higher pay is a great advantage, allowing you to start paying off those student loans.
You may be attracted to contracting because of its flexibility. Contracting does not guarantee job security in one place, but you will have the opportunity to gain a wide range of experience, both in your chosen field and in others, while working for many different companies will help you to enrich your resume. An experience-rich resume is a goldmine for anyone seeking permanent employment and sets you up to be at the top of company lists when you are ready to take on a more long-term working arrangement.
Another benefit of contracting is that you maintain a large degree of control over your career and finances. When you work in a permanent position, the company handles the administrative side of things, including taxes and any legal requirements, for their employees. As a contractor, you have to manage these things yourself, including completing and submitting your timesheets to the company on time; filing taxes, sometimes in multiple states if you have traveled for your job; and taking care of your own medical and dental insurance. Though this may seem like a disadvantage, having this degree of control over your finances can be very advantageous, allowing you to manage your money to suit your individual needs.
Many contractors want the best of both worlds: all the flexibility and advantages without having to hunt for jobs and manage the financial side. If you are one of these contractors, you may want to utilize the services of an umbrella company. An umbrella company can keep you in contract work as long as desired, searching out prospective jobs and giving you several to choose from. They will also handle many of the financial aspects and are an easy way to handle contractor pay, supervising paycheck issuance and functioning in many ways as a permanent employer would, but without the long-term commitment.
Working as a contractor has many advantages, from higher pay and more job opportunities to the chance to improve and widen your skill set. Whether you want a springboard into a permanent position with a company, or simply the chance to work a great job for a short period of time, contracting is well worth considering.
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