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Stephanie A Bell

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Pros and Cons of being an independent contractor
by Stephanie A Bell   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, January 07, 2010
Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010

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With the job market these days, more and more workers are being forced to be independent contractors for companies because permanent jobs simply are not available. As an independent contractor myself, I see proof of the pros and cons each day.

1). Working off a contract. In case you didn't know, an independent contractor is a temporary worker, often going through a staffing agency, who is not an actual employee where they work. They work based off of a contract, which is good because it guarantees they will have a job for an


 allotted amount of time, but bad because they may not be hired after the contract, and it is difficult to know which way it will go. Some companies may need them for a month, some may hire for contract for as long as one year. Independent contractors sometimes have the opportunity to be hired on after their contract expires. However, often they are hired simply to do a long project and their services may not be required after the project is completed. Working off a contract is often motivating to workers because they can show their best work and hope that a vacancy opens up so they can be hired on as a full employee. No matter how exemplary a worker is, there is still a chance that the company simply does not have the budget to keep them on.

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Reviewed by Patricia Hilliard
There's a difference between a temp-agency employee who is covered by some labor law and an independent contractor who is not protected by law unless there is an actual written contract--and it better be a good one. To work without any written agreement puts you at risk of being used and then not being paid. Then you have to go to court and will have difficulty showing the work you did. If the company requires that you work by their schedule, you are an employee (as defined by law) and not an independent contractor. Don't let companies fool you into working without the protection of a contract or labor law.
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