Dreaming of a summer break in Russia watching the World Cup Final? A cycling trip around Tuscany? Or just fantasising about having more time to do the things you love with the people that matter? Maybe it’s time to shape your career around you and your life, rather than the corporate ladder.
The lifestyle of a freelancer or contractor offers a more fulfilling, more flexible and with the right drive and focus equally stable career path to most permanent roles. If you enjoy making your own decisions on where, when and how you work, then contracting can be a rewarding career change; one very few people look back from.
Flexibility is the greatest driver for the majority of freelancers and contractors. It’s something of an urban myth that contracting is all about making as much money as possible. Yes, the rates are higher – but you’ll also be factoring in holiday and sickness pay, pension provision, managing your taxes and much more. It’s not just about the cold hard cash – it’s about funding a lifestyle. New research from flexible working experts Timewise revealed that almost nine in ten (87%) of the UK’s full-time workforce would like to work flexibly. Time and time again, we hear that flexibility was the biggest incentive for most of our clients in deciding to work for themselves.
Javier, an IT Specialist, working in the City is a prime example;
“I work hard, sometimes with long hours during the week so that I can leave on Thursday night to fly to Barcelona to spend long weekends with my wife and build my business there. It’s hard work, but I get to pursue my passion because I have the flexibility.”
Freelancing is especially adaptable. As a freelance copywriter, Julia works part-time to fit around her family.
“I didn’t want to go back to a full or part-time job after my children were born; the thought of rigid workdays filled me with dread. I wanted to be able to work when I wanted, so now it’s mornings, late evenings and nights. I get to spend lots of time with my family, and have ultimate flexibility with my hours. If the kids are off school I just take on less projects! It’s hard work and takes quite a bit of juggling but I feel lucky to have so much flexibility.”
It’s a common theme we hear over and over again; reduced working weeks, part-time hours, working at the times of day (or night) that suit, working flat out to then take long sabbaticals. The freedom to be able to work to suit your lifestyle is a powerful motivator for most contractors and freelancers.
Yes, careful planning is needed to ensure that you have enough money coming in to fund time off, but the contracting lifestyle offers a great way to allow you to put your passions and dreams first.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already thinking of making the leap to freelancing or contracting. It’s natural to feel apprehensive when making large changes, especially when that change is moving from the seeming stability of permanent employment to being your own boss. While there may be a daunting transition period, there are plenty of great resources and support to help you make the change.