Navigating the Outsourced Career World
For the last decade, there has been a steady erosion of fulltime employment for many career paths. Particularly for any service that can be performed online, you’re far more likely to be able to command the salary you want if you stop trying to “get a job.”
If the role of an “independent contractor” is a little daunting for you, some straight information could change your future for the better. First, a look at the benefits of self-employment should get your interest.
Control of your life schedule – No, not complete control all of the time, but a lot more control than having an employer dictating your schedule. Depending on your skills and chosen career, you may or may not have a lot of contact with clients/customers. The more you must interact with them, the less you can control your schedule. Your customers will have their own requirements for when you need to communicate with them.
Of course, if you’re a writer, programmer, web designer, or some other online professional, you may do almost all of your customer communication with email. It’s great to be able to reply when you’re ready, and you’ve had time to think through your response.
Tax advantages – Whatever your chosen contractor career, you immediately gain some leverage with the taxman; it’s legal. You can write off things like a portion of your home or apartment as your office, business mileage costs, supplies, materials, and any other legitimate cost of doing business.
If you buy a computer for business use, it’s a deduction, often the entire cost in the year you buy it. Software for your business is also deductible. Any online service subscriptions that you use for your work are also deductible.
Determine your income – No, you’ll not be able to start right out making what you want unless you have zero competition. That’s not likely, so you’ll need to start bidding for work at a price for your services that some buyer is willing to pay. You’ll be competing for business, and you’ll have to start at a price that will get you some work.
After you’ve worked with clients, have recommendations and good reviews, you’ll be able to begin to work your rates upward toward your ultimate goal. The important thing to remember is that you aren’t waiting for a boss to recognize your value and give you a raise. You can at some point pick and choose the clients you want to work with based on the value of their business.
For online work, you can live where you want – This could be the most valuable benefit of self-employment. If you want to live near the beach or in the mountains, you just need Internet service and your business is open. Couple the ideal location with the ability to choose when you work, and you really must consider independent contractor status for your future.
Rather than fear the growing outsourcing of work by major corporations, embrace it for the freedom and income potential it offers. You’re only limited by your own hesitation.