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Graduates – Why should you choose to work as a contractor?

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Wednesday 20th Aug, 2014

For graduates, the job market can be a tough place to enter as companies are less willing to employ inexperienced staff, preferring a more experienced candidate.

A recent survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that "around 9% of recent graduates had not managed to secure work, while 47% had been forced to take low-skilled jobs".

Given this, working on a contract basis can offer an alternative route for graduates, providing additional benefits that permanent employment may not offer, and here are some of those benefits.

  • Increased flexibility

A recent survey of graduates conducted by Elance found that "more than two thirds of those surveyed said freelancing presented a better work-life balance than a traditional job, and 38% found the variety inherent in freelance work appealing".

As a contractor you have the ability to dictate greater flexibility with the hours you work, alongside where and how you work, giving you greater autonomy. You will also find that you move around industry sectors more frequently than that of a permanent employee, giving you the ability to build your skills and gain that all important experience in a variety of sectors.

  • You get to sample your career before committing to it

Many graduates leave University unsure of what career they truly want to pursue. Contracting gives graduates a taste of what it would be like to work in their chosen career before committing to it.

  • Contracting provides a way of earning, whilst looking for longer term work

Many graduates will leave university with very little money and a large amount of debt and given how difficult it is to find a permanent position, it can put a lot of pressure on a graduate.

Contracting offers a quick solution to this problem, it allows graduates to make some money whilst they seek other employment options.

  • Higher pay rates

Higher salary expectations are usually one of the main attractions for most contractors and when you've gained that all important experience you'll find that you too will be earning more than a permanent employee working in the same field of expertise.

Plus, when working as an umbrella or limited company contractor, you are able to offset allowable business expenses against tax increasing your overall take-home pay.

Times are changing and very few people now believe in the idea of a 'job for life'. Working as a contractor not only means that you have the potential to earn more money but it also gives you a greater chance of flexible working which can lead to a better work / life balance.

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