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Due to shifts in the job market, it's now easier than ever to become an independent contractor in almost any field. Not just for plumbers and builders, even wait staff can become independent contractors if they know how to obtain gigs and promote their services online. Let's take a good look at the pros and cons of becoming an independent contractor.

Pros

Perhaps the biggest draw to becoming an independent contractor: flexibility. You can make your own schedule. You can take time off when you need to, or just when you want. Your flexibility is only hindered by the jobs and services you agree to take, and you can make those as far in advance as you want – or don't want.

When you're an independent contractor, you have the creative freedom to come up with new ways of doing things, and to present new ideas to potential clients. From creating a small business to making business cards, you have creative control.

The control doesn't stop there. Other than what you specifically agree to provide for clients, you have complete control as an independent contractor. When, where, how, and how much? These are the types of things you decide. Even if you're looking at contract work with set pricing, you can always choose not to complete work if the pay is too low, unlike working for someone else.

Cons 

One of the biggest cons of becoming an independent contractor is the inconsistency. The amount of work, as well as the amount of pay, may fluctuate a great deal. Sometimes, contract work is totally different, depending on the season. Make sure to research your market.

Lack of benefits, like health insurance, is another potential con for contractors. If you need health insurance, make sure to research the costs and check into potential state health insurance options for contract workers. 

When you're an independent contractor, you have to pay for everything related to your business out of pocket, including any necessary insurance, such as liability insurance. In addition, you must calculate everything applicable to your job in order to do your taxes properly and effectively.

Working with a financial advisor will help you understand the costs, as well as the potential risks and rewards of quitting your 9-5 and becoming an independent contractor. Contact a NAIFA advisor for financial planning help.

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