We get it. Taking the leap from a permanent IT employee into the world of independent consulting is a huge and often scary one. Many people struggle with the decision for a number of reasons. However, there are significant benefits in doing so and we find that the independent consultants we work with are extremely happy they took that leap.
So if you’re on the fence as to what to do, here are a few reasons to consider when you look at your options as an independent IT consultant.
1. Do the work that fuels you
As an independent consultant, you won’t be constrained by the opportunities or work within one organization. Being independent means that you can move between companies, organizations and environments based on a project, initiative or environment that excites you the most. This means you’ll be more happy, productive and satisfied in your day-to-day work.
2. It can be more lucrative
We won’t make a blank statement and say that you will make more money as an independent IT consultant as everyone’s scenario is different, but ask any independent consultant you may know whether it’s been more lucrative since they made the transition. Most will tell you it is. In fact, a report by MBO Partners out of the US states that nearly half of the independent workforce (47%) reported making more money working on their own than they would in a traditional permanent job.
3. Tax deductions
Sure you’ll have costs with running your own business, which you may not have had to deal with when you worked for someone else. Having said that, those costs entitle you to some special perks. Whether it’s professional memberships, subscriptions, fuel, software or professional services, there are multiple expenses you can write off as an independent IT consultant.
4. The ability to move on
Often you may find yourself doing work or working in an environment that doesn’t provide the fulfillment you’re looking for. The nature of being an independent IT consultant is that you don’t have to stay in one spot if you choose not to. A permanent employee can often feel stuck in a position, where as IT consultants, you have the flexibility to move on from a contract if you choose to do so.
5. Broaden your skill-set
When you are consulting, you often find yourself in different environments with different people working on different projects. This is a great way to expand your current skills and learn from a wide variety of people and approaches. You can see what works well in different environments and learn what can work best in a given project or initiative. In other words, the more you consult, the more knowledgeable and experienced you become, making you that much more valuable and attractive of a hire. It allows you to become better at what you do.
6. Expand your network
Working on a variety of projects and initiatives within different organizations can only expand you professional network. A permanent employee is limited to working with the same people, often for many years. Independent IT consulting connects you with different teams in different environments, creating a network that you can leverage for years to come.