Stepping out into the world of freelance is a very daunting experience. The more research you can carry out in advance the better. That way you can make a fully educated decision on whether it is the right career move for you. It is safe to say that the ‘gig economy’ has seen a real surge in recent years, and this is only going to continue to grow post-pandemic.
It doesn’t seem to have happened in just one sector either. There has been a rise of freelancers in the Childcare, Construction and Health & Social Care industries. The increased flexibility seems to be the biggest attraction, as being a freelance Assessor means that you have complete control of your own schedule. Of course, the downside to this is that you may not have a steady income. Plus, you will have to wear many different hats as a business owner, not just being an Assessor.
If you are someone that relies on a secure, regular income, then becoming a full-time Assessor is probably the best option for you. There is always going to be a need for Assessors within organisations, so the work will always be there. With the government trying to push businesses to take on apprentices, there is only going to be an increased demand for Assessors within the workplace.
When you sign a full-time, permanent contract it is the responsibility of the employer to look after you and ensure things like taxes are all taken care of. There will often be added perks of being employed too, such as; sick and maternity pay, paid annual leave and your pension will also be taken care of.
The main drawbacks of full-time employment are the strict working hours and policies. There is very little freedom and you have to complete the work that is assigned to you, no questions asked. Within larger organisations, it can be quite competitive so getting a foot in the door to begin with is challenging. It is always better if you look for promotion within a company as you will be adding more value.
Contracting can refer to being a self-employed Assessor, or a freelance Assessor. You can choose to work either completely on your own, or you could be contracted out by another organisation. This option gives you the best of both worlds as you will have a steady, reliable income; but the freedom to choose your own hours and schedule.
One of the main advantages of going freelance is that you can charge exactly what you like! As a rule of thumb, freelancers tend to earn around three times more than someone who is permanently employed. You do have to remember that you are responsible for your own taxes, national insurance and pension though.
Another benefit is that you can pick and choose your workload. So if there is a particular project that you aren’t interested in, you simply don’t have to do it! This means that you can take on more projects that you are passionate about, which in turn will give you more happiness.
A downside to contracting is that you are not an employee; so if for any reason you need to take a sick day (or just want a day off), you won’t be paid. You also won’t be entitled to any other employee benefits such as bonus pay or maternity/paternity leave.
Which Should You Choose?
So as you can see, there are a whole host of advantages and disadvantages of either being a contracted or employed Assessor. It really depends on your personal circumstances as to which would be the best option to fit your lifestyle. Both options have their own benefits, but we hope this has helped to explain the key points for you. If you are looking to make the switch between employment and unemployment, you might want to have a read through our ‘day in the life’ series to see what a typical day for a freelance Assessor looks like.
If you have any questions or would like any further information on how to become a qualified Assessor, please call the team at Brooks and Kirk on 01205 805155.