Is becoming a contractor in health, safety and sustainability right for you?
Working as a contractor, particularly within the health, safety and sustainability industry, is becoming increasingly popular and for those looking for more flexibility and autonomy, it can be a great option. Some of the key benefits include:
As a health, safety and sustainability contractor, you have greater control over your schedule and can take on projects when and where you choose. This flexibility means you can balance work and personal life more effectively, with many contractors often allowing gaps in between positions for travel, training, development or personal commitments.
Health, safety and sustainability contractors may have the potential to earn higher hourly or daily rates than permanent employees, based on several variables including experience, skillset, industry, contract duration, and whether it sits inside or outside IR35. However, it’s important to take into consideration that a contract position comes without the additional benefits package. There is also the risk of not moving directly into a contract once one has finished and having a gap between earnings.
Contracting offers the possibility to work on a variety of projects with different clients. This diversity of work can help you to gain exposure to new technologies, various industries, and new people.
Working with multiple clients can grow your network significantly which can potentially lead to referrals and future opportunities.
Typically, health, safety and sustainability contractors have the autonomy to choose how to best complete their work and are left to focus on the project they have been hired for.
Specialism – do more of what you love!
You may have developed a real specialism within your permanent working life. This may have come from leading on a project or business unit. Behavioural safety programs, carbon management, wellbeing? Whatever it is, contractors are often engaged to deliver on these discreet projects allowing you to do more of the bits you love of your job.
However, as with everything, contracting also comes with its own challenges, and it is essential to weigh up both pros and cons before deciding on whether becoming a contractor is right for you. Some of the key challenges include:
Contract roles are often short-term, so as a contractor you may be regularly seeking new projects as each position comes to an end. This may mean you have gaps between projects and income.
As a contractor your earnings can fluctuate with availability of work and varying contract lengths. A salary may not be steady or guaranteed over the course of a year, so it’s important to have built an emergency fund to cover such periods without work.
As a contractor, you will be responsible for your own taxes. You should be fully aware of the implications and how you will manage this.
Training and development
It is essential for Contractors to constantly update their skills to remain desirable in the market. Attending training courses will consume time outside of work, and you will be responsible for covering any costs.
If you have the experience, skills, and expertise, moving from permanent to contract employment may be great opportunity for you. Although, it’s important to consider all the angles that come with the change.
If you would like to find out more about contract or interim employment within health, safety, environment or sustainability, our team would be more than happy to help. Get in touch here.