On a daily basis, I interact with candidates, who approach me with all types of questions and concerns related to the government contracting experience. Having heard these thoughts, I think it is only right that people have the opportunity to be educated about this work avenue and positively enlightened by the differences between government and freelance contracting. I want to make this point, because they are just not the same things and should not be lumped together. For your sake, allow me to elaborate on four of these differences.
When you think of freelance contracting, what are the words that come to mind? Short-term, limited engagement, anxiety-inducing? Do you begin to dwell on the scary unknown, intimidated by the thought of what you will do once your contract ends in a few months? This isn’t what we are talking about at all when it comes to government contracting. This is a whole new ball game. One that you can count on to last you a lot longer than a freelance gig! The difference between the two is night and day.
1) Full-Time Stability
We don't hire contractors, we hire full time employees. You need to think of government contracting as being more of a career. Just like any career choice, government contracting also comes with the same stability that a position with a traditional employer offers with the added benefit of continuing to evolve your skill set.
2) Longer Duration
With the government contract work, the job has been won and the engagements tend to be five to seven times as long as the average freelance contract. The average government contract is 2-5 years. With freelance, you are more likely to land a contract lasting 6 months to a year max.
3) Steadier Income
As a result of these government contracts lasting longer than your average freelance contract, you could easily end up making more money. Of course, that greatly depends on what sector you work in and your specific skillset. Do the math: with government contracting, you have less down time between contracts resulting in a steadier income.
4) Benefits Too!
People who enter into government contracts receive full time benefits with PTO, health care and a 401K, which traditional contracting doesn’t have. If you are in freelancing, most companies will not even consider including you in any type of IRA or 401K because the contracts are so short. This is something that dramatically affects your retirement savings.
I don’t want you to get confused by the term contracting, and I advise you not to shy away from an opportunity just because it’s contracting. I want you all to know that you can get the added benefit of the best of both worlds with the full time benefits of traditional employment with the ever increasing opportunities with good challenges to grow that contracting brings.
Questions? Email me Scott Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org