select contract or perm  


select contract or perm

Know Your Options

  • Traditional permanent employees work solely for a single employer.
  • Contract consultants work on a series of different assignments anywhere from a few weeks to over a year in duration.
  • In the United States, IT consultants are usually full-time employees of a contract consulting firm which may provide benefits.
  • In Canada, most IT consultants are incorporated or sole proprietors, meaning they are entrepreneurs running their own businesses.
  • Contract consulting is not simply a job option but a lifestyle choice that is not always suitable for everyone. Consider the challenges and benefits of both contract consulting and a traditional permanent position before you decide which option is best for you.

Benefits of Traditional Permanent Employment

  • Most traditional permanent employment offers job security and stability.
  • Traditional permanent employees can rely on a continuous, predictable income stream that rarely decreases.
  • Traditional permanent employees usually receive benefits such as pension plans, paid sick leave, insurance, and medical coverage.
  • Companies are often willing to invest in education and training for permanent employees.
  • Traditional permanent employees belong to an ongoing social group and are members of a “family”.
  • Traditional permanent employees may have the opportunity to participate in stock option and profit sharing programs.
  • Many companies manage their employees’ careers and guide them into a desirable career path within the organization.

Benefits of IT Contract Consulting

  • Consultants are free to select the types of consulting assignments that meet their personal goals and preferences.
  • Consultants can gain a wide variety of experiences in different corporate and technical environments.
  • Since consultants control their own careers, they may enjoy a more positive attitude toward their chosen profession.
  • Consultants are usually encouraged to remain removed from the internal corporate politics of the client.
  • Consultants may choose to explore short-term opportunities in new communities or even other countries.
  • Some clients may be willing to pay more for the services of an IT contract consultant.
  • Depending on business status, contract consultants may be able to leverage allowable business deductions and lower their taxable income.

Challenges of IT Contract Consulting

  • Contract consultants are not always able to find work when they want it at the desired hourly rate.
  • Even highly skilled contract consultants may have to endure unpaid periods between assignments.
  • IT contract consultants often have to take responsibility for their own continuing education and training, including costs of tuition and unpaid time spent to take a course.
  • Some IT contract consultants must obtain benefits such as insurance or medical coverage on their own or forgo them all together.
  • IT consultants are typically not eligible for stock option or profit sharing plans.
  • Career planning and development is usually the sole responsibility of the individual.
  • On the job, consultants are often expected to be the team expert, someone who can ramp up very quickly and produce excellent results with minimal guidance.
  • Business and social interaction with coworkers may only last as long as a given consulting assignment.

Consider Your Personal Preferences

  • Some IT professionals prefer to grow with one organization through a number of years rather than consulting for multiple organizations.
  • Others rely on the security of a guaranteed work schedule and steady income without the periodic interruptions that may come with contract consulting.
  • Those who aspire to management may find that there may be fewer opportunities for consulting assignments.
  • Contract consulting may be best for you if you are a highly experienced, highly motivated individual with a lot of professional confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit.