A contract position can be a great opportunity to gain valuable skills, make significant contributions to a project, and also make some significant money. With contingent employment on the rise, and projected to exceed 40% of the workforce by 2020 (Intuit 2020 Report) it may be time to consider taking a contract position. Here are 5 things to think about before accepting.
1. Will this position help me?
If you have been out of work, looking to change career paths, or move on to a new company, a contract offer may seem appealing. However, it is important to weigh the potential benefits. Will you be able to learn new skills? Will you play in important role in completing projects? Will you be able to leverage your expertise?
You don’t want to take a contract just to have a job. Carefully evaluate how this opportunity will shape your resume and contribute to your future. If it will allow you to build on your experience, then it is absolutely worth considering.
2. Will I receive any benefits?
Some contracts come with no benefits, leaving you on your own to cover health insurance, saving for retirement, and other benefits. It is important to ask and understand what your options will be. At DAVIS, we offer all of our contractors an Affordable Care Act compliant health plan, Dental Insurance, a 401(k) plan with a match, and paid holiday time. For more info on our benefits, check out http://www.daviscos.com/employees/benefits.html.
3. What will my pay rate be?
Make sure you understand what your pay rate will be and when you will be paid. Contractors often have the potential to make a little more money to compensate for the risk and less benefits. If you are working on a W2 or 1099, the tax implications will be very different. You may want to consult with an accountant on which option is best for you. At DAVIS, our employees receive their pay on a weekly basis.
4. How long will my contract last?
This important question should be asked before you interview, before you accept, and again once you start working. As you complete the project and see the timelines nearing an end, you will want to know if you could be extended, if there is any potential to stay with the same company, or if you should begin looking for your next opportunity.
5. How many hours should I expect to work each week?
Because you will be paid hourly, knowing the expectation for weekly hours is crucial. Many contract positions are full-time, 40 hour/week positions. If you will be working more than 40 hours, will overtime be paid? Some professions are excluded from overtime pay, including computer professionals, drivers, executive, and administrative staff.