Why might I want to work as a contractor?

Contracting is great for people who want:

  • Variety – a chance to work across a range of environments, sectors and areas of work
  • Challenge – assignments that will build on your current skills and teach new ones
  • Flexibility – about the hours and times of year they work
  • Control – chose your assignments instead of being given them by an employer
  • Balance – the ability to balance work with family, community and personal needs and interests.

What does Careering Options do to make sure the placement works?

First we make sure we fully understand the needs of our contractors and of our employers. We are not interested in forcing a fit. The match has to work for both. We make sure you have a genuine choice about whether a particular contract is right for you.

At the beginning of the placement we work closely with both the employer and the contractor to ensure things are going smoothly. We are there to help sort out any teething troubles or to facilitate solving problems.

Throughout the placement we keep in regular touch, to ensure that things continue to work well, and that any changing needs are responded to.

At the end of the contact, we check in with both the employer and the contractor to make sure we understand what has contributed to the success of this placement, and what might be needed in the next.

What will I need to be responsible for as a contractor?

As a contractor, you are self employed. This means that you need to be responsible for:

  • payment of all taxes, including GST, income tax and ACC levies
  • your own record keeping
  • your own professional development, beyond what you get on the job.

There is no guarantee of on-going work, therefore you need to arrange your finances to manage any down time. You will also need to allow for holidays, times when you are sick and public holidays when you will not be paid.

Do I need to be able to work full time?

No. Being able to work full time may mean that you are eligible for a wider range of contracts, but many of our contractors are only interested or able to work part-time. It is important that you are realistic about how much time you can comfortably give to paid work.

What is the usual duration of a contract?

Contracts range from several weeks to many months. The length depends on the nature of the work and the need being covered.

Can my private sector experience be used effectively in government?

If your skills are in areas needed in the public sector, then they are definitely transferable. Many public sector employers appreciate the fresh perspective that experience in other sectors can bring. You will, however, need to be prepared to learn how the public sector works.

How difficult is it to move into contracting from permanent work?

Contract work typically has a short lead time. Shorter than the average notice period that most employers of permanent employees require. If you are interested in becoming a contractor, you may need to plan ahead to ensure you have sufficient finances to cope with income fluctuations between assignments.

Once you do have a firm date for when you are going to be available for contract work, let us know so we can start actively considering you for suitable opportunities.

How much work am I likely to get?

This will depend on whether your particular skills and experience are in demand and general economic conditions. Some of our contractors are kept in continuous work for much of the year through Careering Options. Others use us to supplement work they find through other sources. Call us if you are interested in knowing what the situation is for your particular area of expertise. We can’t make any promises, but we will talk openly and honestly with you about the market and the likelihood of current demand for your skills.

Want to know more?

  • Want to know more about us? Visit About Us.
  • Wondering about the tax implications of contracting? Check Resources.
  • Or, if you’d just like to ring for a chat or send in your CV, contact us.

Is contracting for you?

To help you decide whether contracting is the right way of working for you, think about the following questions.

  • Do I have well developed skills that are in demand?
  • Am I confident about my knowledge and skills?
  • Do I enjoy going into new organisations and quickly learning how they work?
  • Do I prefer to focus on doing the job, rather than getting involved in the politics of the workplace?
  • Can I focus on what I am responsible for and not get drawn into others' issues?
  • Am I looking for flexibility and control in my work so that I can fit it in with family or other commitments or interests?
  • Can I cope with my income fluctuating if there are breaks between contracts?

If you answered yes to most of these, contact us.