Flexible hours, higher rates, and building a wide set of skills are just a few reasons why so many talented professionals in the Data Science industry are taking on contract work.
More companies are seeing the benefit of employing contractors overtaking on full-time staff. Companies will use contract Data Scientists when facing particularly busy periods. Or when they need more hands to get a project over the line. They can also help fill a gap for a particular set of skills a team might be lacking.
So, what are the benefits of contracting?
As a contractor, you’ll be exposed to a diverse range of companies and organisations across a variety of sectors and industries. You’ll find that this is something companies will look for in a contractor as you’ll pick up a wider skill set and bring over new ideas. You’ll also learn how to use different techniques in different ways – developing your skills and knowledge as a Data Scientist.
Culture is a hot topic right now in the workplace. All companies operate differently and contracting gives you a chance to find out what works for you. It’s worth noting that this sort of diversity in your workplace will keep you stimulated in your role too.
As a contractor, you are ALWAYS networking. Over time you will build up a much wider network of connections as you move from place to place, meeting leaders of industry along the way. Meeting new people – employees, other contractors, colleagues, managers and so on will also boost your confidence. You’ll never be short for a reference, either! With more contract work taken on, the more your referrals and recommendations will grow (as long as you do a great job, of course!) This is a great benefit for personal and professional development. It can also lead to great friendships too!
We speak to people time and time again who say they want to leave their current position because the work has died down, the projects are no longer challenging enough, or they’re a bit bored and stuck in the same routine. But, as a contractor, you won’t find any of these an issue – deadlines come thick and fast and problems need to be overcome on the fly. It suits people who like to be busy and make fast impacts in a short space of time.
Job satisfaction is huge and is often overlooked when you’re receiving a great paycheck and perks. As a contractor, you’re going to work with companies with problems that need a solution building and delivering fast. Or, where things are broken and have a set timeframe to turn that around. You’ll see your direct input going in and making a difference.
When it’s done, it’s done – and that is really rewarding!
Okay so some days, you’ll be working flat out to meet deadlines. But on the flipside, you’ll also have times when you can work remotely or from home. As contracts are often based on finishing a task or project within a set time frame, its less about where you work or what hours you do. This gives you the chance to organise work around your personal life, not the other way around – as it is for most people! You can dictate how long you take off between roles. We’ve known plenty of contractors that make enough in the winter to take the whole summer off and spend time with the kids. It offers a whole new meaning to ‘work-life balance’.
One of the most attractive factors of contracting is money. As a contractor, you’re earning potential is higher (if you are good). On average if you keep in work all year without gaps, take-home pay can double that of a salaried position. Many contractors are set up as Limited companies and there can be tax advantages associated with this. You can claim expenses for work-related expenditure, and find greater tax breaks depending on your bracket. But be careful as we’re not accountants and definitely don’t advocate tax avoidance!
Sound good? If you’re thinking of getting into contracting, or if you’re a contractor looking for your next challenge – we can help with your search!