Benefits of Contract Work Tips

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What freedoms do contract workers experience?

Freedom from Office Politics

Freedom from office politics is seen as one of the greatest attractions to becoming a contracted employee. No matter what position you hold in a company, whether working as an entry-level office worker or reporting directly to the president of a corporation, office politics are as inescapable as the taxes at the end of the pay period.

Because contract working requires that an individual be brought in for brief periods of time, just long enough to get the job done before moving on to their next assignment, this can be an idyllic scenario for those with little patience for environments rife with drama. The fact that many employers use staffing agencies to “test drive” prospective employees prior to offering them permanent employment, finding work through a recruiter can work both ways in allowing you to get an idea of the atmosphere of a particular company without committing to permanent employment.

Is mystery shopping legitimate or just a scam to get money?

Benefits of Being a Mystery Shopper in Today's Economic Times

Mystery Shopping for many people conjures up images of scams and fraud. . .however, this thriving, legitimate business has been around for decades and is a vital component of branding and marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes.

Mystery shopping, sometimes known as secret shopping, has been around for decades. The industry has grown astronomically since internet reporting and online recruiting and job assignment are now possible.

As self-employed contractors, shoppers can set their own hours and choose which type of jobs they want to accept. The only equipment needed for some jobs are an internet connection and a telephone. Making phone calls from the comfort of your own home and then reporting your experience in a fact-based manner means that overhead is low-or even non-existent.

Specialty calls (to financial institutions or medical providers) can pay as much as $25 each and some offer an option of adding an in-person visit that doubles that pay. Typical phone calls take no more than five minutes plus ten to fifteen minutes to complete a report and pay from $2 to $12 dollars.

On-site evaluations at restaurants, auto dealers, mall outlets, fast-food venues, grocery stores and other businesses are conducted for a variety of reasons. Mystery shoppers may evaluate customer service, look for branding issues or test products while remaining incognito to get a real customer experience.

There are even highly lucrative offers that result in free cruises, free airline travel, free hotel stays and other expenses benefits. There are for skilled and experienced shoppers, not the novice and require a lot of detailed work, so don't expect to snatch one of these assignments your first week out of the gate.

Keep in mind that you should never pay to work-if a company asks you to pay to register with their company, cash checks and withhold a fee or make any monetary investment up front, walk away. Legitimate mystery shopping companies offer training and support without charging for these services.

You may choose to become a certified shopper and if so there could be fees to take the classes; however, certification is only required by a handful of companies that need highly-trained shoppers.

To gain valuable information about the industry and reputable companies visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Associate website at s

Are there opportunities for travel with contract work?

Travel Opportunities for Contract Workers

The world can be easily divided into two types of people: those who fear change, and those who embrace it. By definition, the nature of contract job work offers little in the way of security. But the opportunities are ripe for those hungry for a change of scenery.

A contracted worker may have the opportunity to work in a variety of locations—from city to city or state to state, sometimes even venturing to other countries for job assignments. For the individual that craves ritual and fears change, that prospect reads like a nightmare. But for some whose wanderlust isn't satisfied by vacations to touristy destinations, contract employment can be a dream come true, offering a wide variety of work environments in colorful, distant lands—even if that distant land ends up being Minneapolis. Who needs a travel agent when a professional recruiter can send you on your way to places never been?

Doesn't working a lot of short-term contract assignments look like job hopping?

Keeping Busy While Building Your Resume

Sometimes what you don't do speaks louder than the sum total of your accomplishments. Those long gaps in employment you may have between unexpected layoffs and your next permanent job assignment are sometimes seen as suspect by prospective employers. In a world where making a solid impression can mean the difference between gainful employment and months of joblessness, taking on contract work to keep your income flowing could be the best and smartest decision. It can demonstrate to potential bosses that you're not the type of person to sit idly by when unforeseen circumstance rears its ugly head.

Some people may have a tendency to shy away from any action they think might label them as “job hoppers,” but peppering your resume with contract work does not reflect negatively. Bearing this in mind should help you decide that using a professional job recruiter is the right move at any time.

Do contracted workers get paid more?

Same Work, More Pay

One of the main deciding factors for those who choose contract employment is the most elemental: pay. On average, contractors can expect to earn anywhere from 30 to 100 percent more than regular salaried employees, for performing the exact same work. Often the differential in pay is done to compensate the contracted employee for the lack of job security, coupled with the lack of health insurance coverage. In many cases a contractor may be required to make long commutes or even relocate to take on an assignment. Employees able to work remotely are also paid more due to the fact they incur no cost to the company for overhead. In all cases, it's standard for a company to offer a higher rate of pay to a contract worker as both compensation and to attract qualified candidates—an arrangement that can prove extremely lucrative to those actively involved with recruiting agencies.

Are there any tax benefits to being a contracted worker?

The Potential Tax Benefits of Contract Work

That contract work is sometimes looked on as a less-than desirable employment status is a source of mystery among those who know how to make the most of its advantages. Working with a contract recruiter to find temporary contract employment is for some the closest thing to being self-employed, and for the self-employed the list of potential tax benefits and write-offs are as plentiful as they can be confusing.

Working remotely from home may make you eligible for the home office deduction—a complex deduction that, if approached with organization and care, could result in substantial tax savings. Other potential tax write-offs can include phone and internet, vehicle expenses, and health insurance premiums. Needless to say, all contractors are encouraged to consult a tax professional to ensure they're qualified to take advantage of certain tax benefits before counting their proverbial chickens… and the savings they could potentially hatch.

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Kristle Jones