The Contractor vs the Employee

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Everything has changed.

How many times have you heard that statement uttered but never exactly understood what everything was? In most cases, everything has changed. The way we view human interaction, make money, find a spouse, and discuss politics has changed. But one of the biggest shifts is the way we view jobs. No more are you an employee of a company, instead you are a brand representative of yourself.

20 years ago, the job market was full of employees. These employees sat in cubicles, worked in offices, stood on assembly lines, and helped us bag our groceries. It was the day of the employee. And everyone seemed to be happy with this. The system was set for how to become an employee, gain influence, and advance in the company. Fast forward to today, the only employment that is happening is unemployment and people are increasingly finding discontent as an employee. More and more people are shifting to contractors rather then employees.

The idea of a contractor comes about when people realize they do not need a big name behind them and instead just needed themselves. The contractor is the groupons of this world that took a model or system and created their own way of doing things. The contractor is Kevin Rose of the world who want to make cool apps and so they join up with their friends to launch a company that creates apps. The contractor is the one who collaborates with others, dreams with others, and executes ideas with others.

The Contractor vs the Employee comes down to the idea of how you see yourself.

Do I need the backing of a brand? Or am I brand myself?
Do I rely on others to fuel my ideas? Or is being me the fuel for ideas?
Am I limited by options? Or do I create different options to go beyond the limites?
Am I tied down in one place? Or am I able to move about from project to project?
Do I need security? Or am I willing to live with uncertainty?

These are all important questions to consider when weighing the battle of the Contractor vs the Employee.

I believe that contractors are relevant to todays market. They are the ones that have freedom, expansion, and blank canvases to work with. The very reason why you might be frustrated with your job is because you are an employee and not a contractor.

Are you a Contractor or an Employee?





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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Kevin

    I’ve played both sides…I prefer being contracted. I like the control aspect I have that way. :)

    • @kylereed

      me too

  • Jeff Goins

    Can I be both?

    • @kylereed

      absolutely. A good example of this is brewster. He is an employee of crosspoint, but does a lot with others outside of there. 

      • Jeff Goins

        Yeah he’s good about floating around and not being cliquey.

  • Stephen Lynch

    Well said Kyle. Even in companies, the employees that make a name for themselves are the ones who succeed. They are really acting as contractors.

    Wish I could hear a non-creative’s view on this. There’s a balance that needs to be kept; to completely lose the employee could have pretty devastating effects.

    • Stephen Lynch

      Forgot to tag this too ; interesting article on the relevance of bio pages versus resumes.

      • @kylereed

        checking that out now

    • @kylereed

      good point. Let’s find someone to give perspective on that

  • Hans Schiefelbein

    I want to be the contractor in a bad way – but it’s hard to get away from the employee.  I’m working on launching my exercise and fitness business via my website.  Such a long process, so much work.  But posts like this keep me motivated to move forward.

    • @kylereed

      keep moving forward

  • Luke Woodard

    I recently made the jump and I love it.  You need to have good connections and relationships.  You also need to have a tremendous work ethic.  The rewards are awesome.

    • @kylereed

      that is awesome dude, I would love to read more about that jump. You write anything about it?

      • Luke Woodard

        Thanks … I am not much of a writer or blogger.  I have sorta started here:, but struggle to find the time

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually a contractor for YouVersion. I’m helping them with some audio versification. Lovin’ it. I get paid to listen to the Bible.