Contracting vs Permanent Work?

Why do people go for contracting instead of taking permanent work?


As the title suggests, freelance or contract work means you will earn more - as long as you are in a steady stream of contract work. The differential between contract rates and permanent salaries varies from country to country but a general rule of thumb contracts pay at least double the gross earnings of permanent salaries.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Contract Work vs Permanent Employment
MONEY A contractor should earn at least double their permanent salaried counterpart. More exposed to fluctations. You need to manage your finances appropriately in case you are in between contracts for a time. 
CAREER No politics or power games. You do your work = you get paid. Limited opportunities to advance into management or leadership roles. 
TRAINING You choose your own learning and development. You choose your areas of specialisation. Clients pay a premium for you to hit the ground running. It is rare they will invest in training a contractor.
SECURITY  There are "no jobs for life" anymore. Permanent work is not that stable. You have more savings.   It is much easier for an employer to terminate a contract or not renew than to let go of a permanent. There is no denying contractors have less security than permanents.
 FLEXIBILITY You choose who you work for, how much you earn, what you do, where you work, you holidays etc.   No contest - contracting is by nature much more flexible than permanent work.

Hopefully this helps understand some of the benefits and negatives about contracting life!