So let’s say I’m a current or former employee (or perhaps current or former contractor) about ready to pull the trigger on becoming a Free Agent…
- I’m not worried about health insurance or 401K, because I get that with FAS, since all Free Agents get FAS employee status.
- I’m not worried about switching benefits all the time, if my first contract is 10months, my second is 24, etc, because the insurance follows me.
- I’m not worried about being underpaid, like a staffing agency temp, because I negotiate my own rate with the client, so I can bill enough to cover my FAS costs, and I keep 85% of net anyway (instead of get half or less, depending on what a staffing agency isn’t showing me).
Seems like I’ve only got one concern: If the traditional ‘job security’ bullet points are all covered, what about the security or insecurity of working in the contractor job market. I know I have access to more jobs than traditional employment seekers, so I’m not competing with every Tom, Dick, and Susan, but how stable do you think the contract work economy is – both in and of itself and by comparison with traditional employment. Should I be worried that I might have to do the job seeking, interviewing thing again once every 6months to 2years, or not? With traditional employment, it seems like mobility is every 3-5 years, or was before the bust. Is the contractor job market robust enough to sustain me all my life, or does the traditional employment market provide me with additional security over the long haul, even if there aren’t pension-type retirement packages anymore? I guess I’m not limited to one or the other, and neither burns bridges for the other – quite the contrary – but is there anything I’m not seeing?