With rapid technology innovation and changing lifestyles, the traditional workplace and work life have been altered tremendously. In addition, an increasing number of American workers are turning to self-employment. In fact, many of them are freelancing. It is expected that one in three workers will be freelancing online by 2020.
And many businesses hire self-employed IT professionals as contractors because it cut costs with regard to salaries, hiring, benefits, and office space. With many IT professionals transitioning to self-employment and business ownership, organizations are now employing a hybrid workforce of full-time and contract teams.
On the other hand, an increasing number of small businesses are run exclusively by contractors and freelancers. This model allows for freedom on all ends of the business spectrum. Are you considering self-employment? Here are some perks that you should consider.
Emphasize Your Specialized Skills
There are many companies that want employees with specialized skills, but do not require them on a full-time basis. You may have been offered jobs with a three-or-six-month time frame and nothing more.
Now, if that was your only option for work, it would be quite difficult to make ends meet. In contrast, if you work for yourself, you could manage several of these types of contracts to triple your income and ensure a steady salary stream.
As soon as one contract ends, you’re free to start another. You don’t have to wait for permission from anyone. You can choose when, where, and how you prefer to work.
Make As Much As You Want
Another advantage of self-employment is that you can decide how much you want to make and how much you are willing to work, and what you’re willing to learn to earn that amount. Take the example of former Google employee, James Knight. He left a lucrative position to freelance full-time.
Not long after his move, he was able to earn twice as much as he did at Google. That is saying a lot because Google is considered one of the top companies in the world to work for if you want a good salary and benefits.
Knight found that many enterprise companies are willing to pay qualified programmers as much as $1,000 per hour to increase their competitive advantage.
Explore Your Creative Impulses
Have you ever come up with an idea only to have it shot down by your boss? Perhaps you have a wireframe ready for the next great mobile app, but your employer isn’t very impressed. At your normal desk job, it may be rare that you feel you have a platform to realize your full potential.
Moreover, many employment contracts are structured so that if you come up with your idea using company resources or on company property, the organization can claim ownership of the idea as its intellectual property. So, you won’t get all of the credit for your creativity and hard work.
Working for yourself, or starting an IT business based on your own idea is something entirely different. You can create what you want and feature it on design websites or competitions. Alternatively, you can seek capital on crowdfunding sites.
Choose Your Clients
When you are self-employed, you no longer have any formal attachment to an employer. You no longer have to code for 100 hours a week to make a six-figure salary. Instead, you can terminate relationships with clients if you feel the contract isn’t working for you.
This can make a massive difference on your stress level because there are dream clients and there are also clients who are not so dreamy. Here is where it counts the most: as an IT employee, you can be fired. As an IT business owner, you can fire a client.
Pick Your Schedule
It goes without saying that many IT pros like to work at their own pace, within the environment of their choice. Some like to work at night, when there are fewer distractions. Others like to work during the day to have free time in the evenings.
Well, either way is fine if you’re self-employed. Plus, you don’t have to be at “the office” at a certain time each day. Your office is wherever you have a computer and Internet access. If you want to have your days off during the week, you can do that.
The only thing that matters is getting the work done. For whichever IT project you’re working on, there is nothing better than getting to work at your chosen pace and schedule. You can think more clearly without worrying about having to satisfy someone else’s schedule requirements.
If you are an entrepreneur, you can take advantage of several tax benefits. These include the ability to write off expenses for items such as:
- Phone bills
- Car payments (if you use your car for work)
- Home office
As an IT startup, you might even qualify for a government incentive such as those available for green technologies and others. A discussion with an accountant will give you an idea of the types of government incentives available in your area of expertise.
Choose a Specialty
If your former boss wanted to you to work only with Ruby on Rails, but you prefer another language such as Java or Python, starting your own IT business gives you the freedom to choose. Plus, you can expand upon your skills at your convenience or as needed.
In a corporate environment, you might learn one new thing every five years. As a freelancer, you can stay up to date by checking tech blogs so that you can learn about new tools and libraries to increase productivity and efficiency. You can learn new skills to help improve your services and increase your client workload.
Furthermore, there are many virtual IT courses you can take at your convenience. You don’t have to wait for your employer to offer more training. You get to carve your path.
There is a fair amount of risk that comes along with transitioning from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur. But with the skills and the determination, you can definitely reap the rewards that come with starting your own IT business.
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