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Freelancing vs. Contracting vs. Permanent Employment: What’s Right for Me?

Are you a stay at home mom wondering what the heck everyone is talking about when they say ‘freelancing,’ ‘contracting,’ and ‘permanent employment?’ If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the terms being tossed around in the working world – don’t worry!

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In this article, I will help demystify these words so that it will be easy-peasy for you to decide if freelance work or contracting could be the solution to your search for income.

Whether if it’s extra money to fund an excursion with your family or consistent income – prepare yourself with knowledge on how freelancing and contracting can offer viable alternatives from permanent employment.

If you’re looking to build your own business, check out these different types of workers and learn the different terms so you can make educated decisions for your career path.

Now let’s dive into what exactly makes these different and which option would best fit your situation:

The Three Types of Employment:


Freelancing refers to working as an independent contractor for multiple clients, rather than being employed by a single company.

Freelancers typically have control over the type of work they do and the schedule they keep, but have less job security and may have to spend time seeking new clients.


Contracting refers to being hired for a specific project or set of projects by a company, rather than being hired as a permanent employee. Independent contracts can be full-time or part-time, but usually have a clear end date.

Independent contractors generally receive higher pay than permanent employees, but have limited job security and no access to benefits.

Permanent Employment

Permanent employment refers to those who are hired as full-time employees by a single company, with the expectation of ongoing employment.

Permanent employees generally have job security and access to benefits, but may have less control over their work and schedule, and have limited earning potential compared to freelancers or contractors.

Why Do I Need to Know The Differences?

Knowledge of the key differences between freelancing and permanent employment is invaluable for job seekers as it will allow them to understand the potential opportunities available to them, legitimize their understanding of these available roles, and provide guidance on which is most advantageous for their particular situation.

Freelancing often offers autonomy and the convenience of working remotely, but can also be unpredictable when it comes to workload.

Permanent employment usually provides more consistent hours, but can require a high level of commitment in exchange.

Understanding both options allows job seekers to get clear on which type of role will best suit their needs and goals.

Permanent Employment 

Permanent employment used to be gold standard when it came to professional success. With its many employee benefits, such as paid vacation time and a W2 salary, you can expect long-term job security in the traditional 9-5 lifestyle.

What is Permanent Employment

Permanent employment is perhaps the most traditional type of job out there. It typically involves a full-time role with benefits like paid time off and insurance. With a permanent job, you can usually expect a steady paycheck and stability in your career.

Some industries that offer permanent employment to stay at home moms include education, accounting/finance, customer service, information technology/web design, and medical coding/transcription. 

When it comes to the pros and cons of permanent employment for stay at home moms, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Perks of Permanent Employment

Permanent employment offers job stability, as well as access to health insurance, benefits such as paid vacation time, sick leave, social security benefits, and retirement plans. Permanent employment can be done as remote work or a typical on-site office job.

This type of employment is also usually impossible for a stay-at-home mom who is looking to earn money while being able to stay at home with her kids. With this type of job, the big difference is that you may not have as much flexibility or freedom when it comes to setting your own hours or working from wherever you choose. 


For stay at home moms who want more autonomy but still crave some consistency in terms of income (which is especially important if they’re trying to support their families), freelancing could be an option.

What is Freelancing?

Freelancing involves taking on individual projects from employers or clients on a contract basis rather than being employed full-time by an employer or company. A freelance worker is considered a self-employed person and is responsible for paying their own taxes. They typically work with a number of clients and are their own boss, and set their own rates.

Who Should Freelance?

Freelancing is an ideal option for anyone looking to add some extra income or even make a career as independent workers.

It involves taking on work from clients who are in search of skilled contractors, such as graphic designers, writers and web developers.

How Does Freelancing Work?

The contractor supplies the labor needed to complete any given project and is paid per job or through a set hourly rate for the completed project or services rendered.

Where Can I Find Freelance Jobs?

You can find freelance jobs online through established companies and websites or you can create your own brand of freelancing service and become an entrepreneur who finds their own clients and works independently as small business owners.

Typical freelancer occupations revolve around a given skill set, and gig workers can find work through popular freelancer sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fivver, and more. The hiring process is very similar to that of a permanent position. Self-employed people are usually able to set their own rates versus working with a company’s budget.

Perks of Freelancing

Freelancing is appealing because it provides flexible hours, work-from-home opportunities and an environment in which you get to be creative and have autonomy over your schedule.

This type of work often pays higher hourly rates than traditional jobs but does come with some risk since it’s likely that you won’t always have consistent work coming in each month—or even each week! 

Downside of Freelancing

While there may be no set manager hovering over you to ensure your success, you must be motivated enough to stay on top of your tasks and manage yourself accordingly.


One of the greater cons is inconsistency in income due to variable client demand and the difficulty of getting new work at times. Contract workers are usually the first to go when a company goes through lay-offs and budget cuts.

Trouble Starting Out

Jumpstarting your career as a freelancer often requires investing in components such as software licenses or equipment which could add up quickly.

Make Your Own Contracts

Legal protection isn’t ironclad when self-employed so make sure you familiarize yourself with the appropriate regulations before signing any contracts.


Finally, another option for stay at home moms is contracting—also known as temporary assignments or independent contracting positions (ICPs). ICPs are opportunities to be a temporary employee for short or long-term projects, depending on the need of the client’s needs.

What is Contracting

Contracting essentially involves taking on short-term projects through staffing agencies instead of being employed directly by the company who needs your services (though sometimes companies will hire contractors directly).

Common industries offering contracting opportunities for stay-at-home moms include healthcare and IT/tech-related fields such as software development, web developer and data analysis roles.  

Is Contracting Right for Me?

When evaluating if contracting is right for you as a stay at home mom, consider factors like whether you need health insurance (it’s unlikely that contracts will provide this) and how long you plan to stay in this type of role (it’s generally not ideal for long-term career planning). 

Advantages of Contract Employment

1. Clear Job Responsibilities

When you sign a contract job, everything you need to know about the job should already be detailed in the agreement itself. This means that there won’t be any surprises about what you are expected to do or how much work will be required of you during your contracted period.

2. Specific End Date

With a contract job, there is usually an end date specified in the agreement which makes it easy to plan your schedule accordingly. Knowing when your job will end allows you to plan ahead and have other opportunities lined up once your contract period is over.

3. Opportunity for Higher Pay

Most contract jobs offer a higher rate of pay than regular full-time jobs because they require special skills or expertise that come with a higher price tag. With this higher rate of pay comes greater financial security and stability for yourself and your family, making it easier for stay-at-home moms to balance their budgets more effectively.

Disadvantages of Contract Employment

1. Limited Job Security

One downside to taking on a contract job is that there is no guarantee that the position will continue after the specified end date. This means that if you want to keep working after your contract ends, you may have to look elsewhere for new opportunities since there isn’t any guarantee of continued work with the same company or organization after the initial period has ended.

2. No Benefits

Another disadvantage to taking on a contract job is that most employers don’t offer benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, or retirement savings plans with these types of positions since they are temporary in nature and often times only last until the project has been completed successfully or until certain goals have been met by both parties involved in the agreement.

3. Limited Opportunity for Advancement

Since these types of jobs are often short term in nature, they don’t typically provide much room for growth or advancement within an organization or company due to their limited duration and scope of work involved with them from start to finish..

As with any type of employment situation, there are pros and cons associated with taking on a contractual role as opposed to full-time employment when it comes down deciding which option is best suited for staying at home moms who want additional income without sacrificing too much time away from their families and other responsibilities at home.

While some people prefer full-time work because it provides more stability and opportunity for growth within an organization, others prefer contract jobs because they allow them more freedom and flexibility when it comes down planning out their day-to-day schedules around their family needs first before anything else.

Ultimately, it really just depends on individual preference when weighing out all the various factors associated with each type of employment situation available today so make sure that whatever path you choose suits both your financial goals as well as personal needs before committing long term.

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