The Life Of A Contractor

It can be scary making the jump from Full Time Employee to Contractor. Both our Managing Director, and Executive Director are practicing Contractors themselves and love it!

We interviewed a number of our Client's, as well as our friends and colleagues who also Contract! Below are some questions and answers from different people about how they feel as life as being a Contractor.

Craig Wiltshire

Head of Solution Architecture, Federal Government Department, ACT

1. In a few words, how would you describe being a Contractor?

Being a contractor is what you make of it. I treat is as any other role and approach it with a strong work ethic and I seek out job satisfaction in delivering on discrete work packages associated with the role. Contracting offers a significant amount of flexibility in regard to how you are able to manage your income.

2. Are you concerned with the volatility of employment with being a Contractor? 

In my view there is little difference in terms of job security between contracting and permanent roles these days. Job losses are posible in both permanent and contract roles and precautions should be taken either way. In fact given the nature of contracting (higher rates of pay, more flexibility) it is easier to prepare for these eventualities as a contractor.

3. How would you describe being a Contractor is different from an Australian Public Servant (APS)?

Honestly, I have not worked as an APS. My background is in the commercial arena. That said, there is a distinct change in approach from working as APS to Contracting for yourself. Deliver, Deliver and Deliver again.

4. What would you believe the benefits are being a Contractor? 

Clearly the key benefit to contracting is the rate of pay. Additional to this you get to be flexible with how your pay works and indeed how you manage the revenue earned.

5. Any advice to anyone thinking or becoming a Contractor?

Think very carefully about your personal and financial position. If you make a decision to become a contractor hold to it. Set yourself up with the appropriate financial vehicle to manage your finances. Speak with a financial consultant or accountant about company, sole trader, superannuation and taxation topics. Set yourself up with a plan that will enable you to go for a month or two without pay, plan for the eventuality (rare though it is) that you may be let go early.

Amie Dekantios

Program Coordinator, Federal Government Department, ACT

1. In a few words, how would you describe being a Contractor?

Being a contractor has given me a different perspective on professionalism and working hard to earn respect in the workplace. The learning experience has been incredible thus far.

2. Are you concerned with the volatility of employment with being a Contractor? 

Not at all, but I got lucky in respects to working alongside a team of great people.

3. How would you describe being a Contractor is different from an Australian Public Servant (APS)?

Purely speaking from my own experience coming from full time employment to contracting work for the first time, contracting enables me to push myself beyond the limits of a standard working environment. Working hard, earning respect of your peers, and having to prove why you're a valuable asset so you remain employed means you have to always have the mentality of being at your best.

4. What would you believe the benefits are being a Contractor?

You push yourself more, you earn extra money and you don't have to be involved in any politics. You do your job and you go home.

5. Any advice to anyone thinking or becoming a Contractor?

Its a competitive market, take the step if you're willing to work hard.

Zachary Hurst

Senior Project Manager, Federal Government Department, ACT

1. In a few words, how would you describe being a Contractor?

You are paid a premium to delivery a premium.

2. Are you concerned with the volatility of employment with being a Contractor?

It is certainly something to consider. However, i was always taught that no matter where you work, if someone wants to to get rid you, they'll find a way somehow. So as long as you can stash away a few dollars every pay cycle for a "rainy day", you'll be fine.

3. How would you describe being a Contractor is different from an Australian Public Servant (APS)?

I think the atmosphere is different. You are paid a premium so you damn well better be sure that you deliver a premium. You earn your keep because you have been hired to be a specialist, so deliver a specialist service.

4. What would you believe the benefits are being a Contractor? 

Obviously the pay is one thing. But it affords you the opportunity to thrive in your field of expertise. For instance, if you are a Contracting Project Manager; you must specialise in Project Management. Therefore, Project Management is your comfort-zone, what you're best at, so you can offer your skills to the Client to deliver a great result.

5. Any advice to anyone thinking or becoming a Contractor?

I think it's a great opportunity if you know you're a hard worker, and you're smart with your money. I've worked in Sydney, and Melbourne where the supply and demand are way out of wack. But in Canberra, I believe the supply and demand for Contractors is perfect. And if you're good at what you do, your reputation will proceed you.