Exist in the business world for one moment and you will notice that just about any job can be turned into a contracted position. Having a freelance position within an organization can be beneficial for both the individual and the company looking to contract them. Depending on the circumstances, these positions can be temporary ventures or recurring ones. Of all the industries that retain a significant percentage of freelancers, tech support is a popular one. Because of the nature of technology and the general public’s surface-level knowledge of it, this can be a great space to explore.
Types of Services Offered
Whether you utilize a fancy job board site or rely on trusty ‘ole Craigslist, there are many ways to find and post relevant contract positions. But with so many niche tech support specialists, it can be a bit confusing getting started. Once you pinpoint exactly what you’re wanting to pursue, your path can be that much more illuminated.
The most popular branches of tech contracting include:
From these main areas come more specific fields that can create a specialty in email support, software installation, and countless other specificities. As you can see, there are many different avenues for contracts to form in the tech world.
The Positives of Freelance
With any paid position, there will be ups and downs that accompany your work, that’s just a fact of life. Many pros come to mind when you’re considering breaking free of a salaried position and delegating your time via contracting.
More money for you
With any type of small business, this is often a huge benefit for the entrepreneur. Optimizing your business to be able to accept all types of customer payments and having them directly deposited into your account is invaluable. Debit and credit card processing for tech support services supports your company and your wallet. Ensure that you are enabled to accept all payments as they come. Be aware that your business type may be hard to find processing for, though.
Many banks and credit card processing companies categorize this industry type as being high risk for financial and monetary reasons. The best option for your business starting out will be to find high risk credit card processing through an appropriate payment processor that has experience supporting other tech support contracting companies. This way you know that your eCommerce business is protected and has the ability to accept mobile, ACH, credit, and debit cards securely.
One of the main draws to freelancing–in any industry, really–is the flexibility that accompanies your new sense of freedom. No longer are you confined to the hustle and bustle of a 9-5 job five days a week. No, you now have the opportunity to curate a schedule that best fits your lifestyle. And while your clients may have specific time requirements they’d like you to adhere to, you can always find better opportunities that are a better fit.
Freelance is great for nontraditional people who like to live according to their own schedule. When completing tasks like software engineering, some individuals prefer to be in their zone. If productivity is the end goal, freelancers have the opportunity to hit it out of the park.
Another reason some individuals choose to seek out contracted positions is to be able to be more present in their personal lives. From stay-at-home parents to full-time students, contracting positions put a flip on the traditional job experience.
As a business owner, you receive a lot of flexibility in time and monetary value. Instead of having an employee who may not be filling a full day’s worth of work, you can hire an individual for certain projects or for specific times of the year. No more paying the salary of an employee who really could be in the office half the amount of time.
Like most things in life, career choices tend to be some of the biggest decisions we will make. They also happen to have the potential to shape a good portion of our lives. Freelancing is no exception to this rule. For the most part, being in a contracted position requires a lot of self-inertia to keep moving. Especially if you’re looking to innovate in your chosen field. While the organization or individual that is contracting you might be inclined to micromanage, at the end of the day the work you are completing is autonomous of outside influence.
With various gigs and contracting opportunities, it would be quite difficult to come out unaffected by all of the experiences that naturally come your way with each and every contract. Especially at the beginning of your contracting career, you will learn a great deal about business, your skills, and how your skills apply to the tech industry. Each contracting opportunity will ideally help you hone in on the exact area you’d like to exist in.
Likewise, if you’re a business owner who is looking to hire a contractor for the first time, there can be a definite learning curve that comes into play. Tech is an inherently confusing industry to comprehend for the average Joe Schmo. Combine that ambiguity with the newness of going from an hourly or salaried employee to a contracted one. You now have a whole lot of apprehension for things to go well. But like any new experience, it will be something to learn from, if not a teaching moment.
A perk to the job that goes hand in hand with the flexibility aspect of being a free agent is how independent you will be in the position. Aside from your contractor, you will work independently, often at home without coworkers around you. This is a major culture shock for those who are used to constant feedback. Others don’t acknowledge the proximity of others in the workplace. This will be an entirely new ballgame.
Naturally, there are definite drawbacks to you being self-sufficient in this new dynamic. If you don’t search and apply for contracts, chances are they won’t exactly be chasing you down. And when you do find a good prospect, drafting up or sifting through a pre-made contract can be taxing. Basically, all of those fine little details you took for granted with HR at your last job will make a reappearance.
The fear of falling without a parachute is quite possibly the biggest reason questioning individuals don’t make the switch over to freelance. To most, the idea of being solely responsible for orchestrating their means of income is terrifying. Questions about 1099’s and organization are enough to ward off most who briefly ponder the idea.
For those contracting services, the independence of hires is both exciting and frightening. Firstly, it can be exciting to be able to assign a position and see a deadline for your project. Beyond periodic check-ins, you can be reassured that your hire is off doing their job. This occurs without the need for your direct supervision. Along the same vein, it can be nerve-wracking assigning a job to a virtual stranger. Especially if your organization is reliant on a project being completed by a specific deadline. You may find yourself hesitant to hand over the reins. However, by contracting tech positions outside of your organization, you open up the possibility for highly skilled independents to be able to engage with your work.