The Benefits and Challenges of Contract Jobs

In the last few years, there’s been a significant increase in contract roles across the U.S., particularly within the tech industry.

According to data from LinkedIn, the number of job postings for tech contract jobs in the U.S. nearly tripled from January 2021 to December 2022. This trend in contract work is expected to persist throughout 2023.

Because of its rapid growth, you may be thinking about making the switch to contract work yourself. And while there are many benefits that come from taking on project and contract-based roles (especially for highly skilled Data professionals) it’s important to consider a few things before making the move from permanent to contract.

Below, we delve into some of the key benefits of contract work, as well as things to consider before making the switch.

Key Benefits of Contract Work

Consider this scenario: you’re a data professional whose been in the Machine Learning vertical for several years. You’ve become confident in your skills and comfortable in your role, but suddenly, you find yourself drawn toward Robotics.

While you’re interested in pursuing this new passion, you’re unsure if the leap is right for you. In this situation, a contract role could be a great way to ‘try it before you buy it’.

That’s because contract work offers flexibility and no long-term commitment from the employer or employee, meaning both parties can test the relationship to see if it’s a good fit.

Other benefits to contracting include:

  • More opportunity to expand your skillset: With contracts, you have the option to take on multiple projects, giving you an increased opportunity to learn, grow, and develop new skills.
  • Control over your own schedule: As a freelancer, you have a lot more control over your schedule and how much work you want to take on at any given time.

For a data professional with a few years of experience under their belt, contract work is a great way to pursue new passions, take on interesting projects with no strings attached, and grow at a rapid pace.

What to Consider Before Making the Switch to Contract

While there is undeniable flexibility and opportunity that comes with contract work, it’s worth considering the following before diving into the contract space:

  • Have you built up an emergency fund? Contract roles are, by their very nature, not permanent, which means your salary isn’t guaranteed or steady over the course of a year.
  • Are you ready to deal with the tax implications that come with contracting? Being a freelancer means that you’ll have to handle your own taxes.
  •  Do you have the right attitude? When you’re on a contract, you have a finite amount of time to prove yourself and demonstrate your value. Are you mentally prepared to dive into a project, and are you ready to hit the ground running?

As the contract space continues to boom, it’s definitely worth exploring whether or not a contract role makes sense for you. Consider speaking with a professional recruiter who can help you explore your options in more detail.

If you’re looking for your next role in Data & Analytics, Contract or otherwise, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

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