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When to Leave Your Full-Time Job for Contract Work

The past two years have realigned the priorities of many job seekers. They’re considering a host of new opportunities available – the most notable being a shift from full-time employment to contracting. They’re discovering the many benefits to contract work, and how the traditional path to full-time employment may not be the optimal route for everyone. 

But it’s fair to be cautious before making such a leap. Should you do contract work? Is it a viable option? What does it entail? When you’re considering leaving your job to make it on your own, it never hurts to ask yourself what realistic opportunities are available.  

This blog will give you insight into whether contracting will be a good route for you and help identify the questions you should ask to make the proper decision. 

The Differences Between Contract Work and Full-Time Employment 

Before answering the question, “Should you do contract work?” It’ll be helpful to know exactly what the differences are between contract work and full-time employment. Here are a few key differences between the two: 

Contract Work: 

  • Flexible working schedule 
  • Work within a specified length of time 
  • Ability to pick the projects you work on 
  • Receive an hourly wage – typically higher pay than salaried positions 
  • May work with competitors 

Full-Time Employment: 

  • Guaranteed work and benefits 
  • Possibly receive improved onboarding and training 
  • Taxes are withheld and managed by the employer 
  • Often don’t work with competing companies 
  • Equipment and tools provided by the employer 

Click here to learn more about the differences between contract work and full-time employment. 

5 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Contract Position 

Now that you know the general differences between full-time and contract work, it’s time to think about how it might impact your life. Here are five considerations to keep in mind before leaving your full-time job to do contracting: 

1) “How Long Is the Contract?”  

Contract length can vary from project to project. Most contracts can last from three months up to twelve months. Contract length dictates the time you will have to devote to a project and how long you’ll have a reliable income. This should be considered when determining if contracting is right for you. 

2) “What’s the Company and Project Like?”  

Like many full-time jobs, the company culture and project expectations will be paramount in your decision. While you may not always know every detail of a company before applying, it’s helpful to do your due diligence. This includes looking into the company website, reading reviews from former employees, and looking at all project requirements thoroughly.  

The great thing about contracting is that you can be picky with who you work with and focus on projects that interest you. 

3) “Is the Offer Contract or Temp-to-Hire”  

There are two types of assignments in the contracting world: contract and temp-to-hire. Contract work is typically used when a project requires niche expertise for the short term. Whereas temp-to-hire is an arrangement in which an employer hires a contractor on a short-term basis on the condition the company may renew them for a full-time position. 

Both contracts are great options, but you’ll want to know the company’s intentions before accepting. 

4) “What Are the Project Expectations?”  

Get a clear understanding of the scope of the project. There are a few key details you’ll want to know before accepting: 

  • Pay rate 
  • Required working hours per week 
  • Direct contact 
  • Necessary equipment and tools 
  • Criteria for success 
  • Remote or in-office 

5) “Should I Partner with a Staffing Firm?”  

It can be daunting to find projects on your own, so many contractors will work with staffing firms to find projects to fit their schedules. Working with staffing firms can be great for those who want to take on multiple projects and want the security of having a third party represent them to employers. As an added bonus, staffing firms like ITAC can provide contractors with benefits depending on the assignment. 

Is Leaving a Full-Time Job for Contract Work a Good Idea? 

More and more people have left the traditional path of full-time employment to take on contract work. Some do it for greater freedom and flexibility, some do it for upskilling opportunities, and some do it just to try something new.  

Whichever the case, there are many reasons to consider taking the route to contract work. But, it’s important to weigh all your options to find what will work best for you.  

At ITAC Solutions, we can help you determine the best choice for your situation and lifestyle preferences. Our recruiters work with contractors every day to find them the perfect projects that fit their needs and schedules. Contact us today to determine if contracting is right for you.