Tag Archives: business

The more you know: Navigating the switch

Navigating the switch from Employee Status to Independent Contractor.

Everyone dreams of being their own boss one day, and yet so many believe that this dream is unattainable.

In reality, all you need is a little determination, some time, a few dollars saved up, and a whole lot of planning.

Whether you’re working in a kitchen, on a construction site, or in an office, navigating the switch from employee status to independent contractor is possible, despite how intimidating or far-fetched it may seem.

Why Do People Want To Become Contractors?

There are a number of reasons why individuals wish to leave behind employee status is exchange for contract work. Some of the desirable aspects of contract work include:

  • Improved work/life balance – more and more, individuals are craving more flexibility in their schedules. The 9-5 is no longer cutting it for many people, and they seek positions that allow them to spend more time at home with their families, travel more freely, or simply keep their life balanced to ensure they don’t burnout. Being a contractor typically offers a lot more flexibility than that employee work does, as your work is calculated hourly rather than on fixed terms.
  • To earn more – one major draw to transitioning from an employee to a contractor is the opportunity to earn more money. As contractors hire out their services per hour and are their own bosses, they can set their own pay rates. Now, setting your own pay rate, especially at a high rate, only makes sense (and will only be successful) if you hold a higher skillset than others in your industry or offer unique or niche services that are more difficult to acquire. If this is the case, however, being able to set your own pay rate can have a great pay off, and the potential to earn more than you would as an employee is high.
  • To semi retire – the traditional path of working until your 50’s or 60’s and then settling into retirement is becoming less and less common, as many individuals choose to work longer or are unable to afford retirement. For either of these cases transitioning from employee to contractor may be beneficial. This transition can allow you to work fewer hours and have more flexibility, allowing you to enjoy your later years while still supplementing your lifestyle with some form of income.

As you can see, contract work definitely comes with its fair share of benefits – but that does not mean it is the right path for everyone. There are a variety of benefits to being an employee that you will lose if you transition to contractor, and in a sense being a contractor comes with extra duties you will be in charge of, such as handling your own taxes, insurance, etc.

Be sure to do your research and determine whether the pros and cons of switching from employee to contractor are in your favour before making any big decisions.

Contract Work and Accounting

As stated earlier, transition from employee to independent contractor is possible no matter what industry you work in – take accounting for example. There are many reasons why those working in accounting may want to make the switch.

Perhaps you are feeling stuck in your cubicle working the traditional 9-5 Monday through Friday, and feel that with your skills set, education, and experience you could find work in the industry that is more exciting, offers a change of scenery, and even higher pay – you’d be right. You just have to know what to do and where to look.

You Have Options

Accounting isn’t just the cut and dry tax preparing work that many believe it to be. The industry is diverse, offers a range of potential types of work, and is global, meaning that you can essentially find work in accounting across the world.

If you are interested in transitioning to a contractor, you first need to determine what area of accounting you are the most skilled in, the most educated in, and has the largest market and job availability for independent contractors. Some career path options include: financial accounting, audit accounting, tax accounting, consulting, and even forensic accounting.

The more unique your skillset is and the more diverse your experience is, the higher chance you will find quality contract work and the higher the rate you will be able to charge.

The Best of Both Worlds

Being an independent contractor in the world of business, especially in accounting, is a great way to blend traditional skills with a more modern approach. It’s a great way to utilize a business education all while being able to network, build up your own business, diversify your skillset, and live a life free of the typical office job constraints.

Services Available to You

Often times if you are just starting out as an independent contractor, you can first offer your services through an agency. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and begin building your resume as an independent accountant.

By hiring yourself out with the help of an agency you have a larger pool of job options that may not be available to you (or you simply may not be aware of) if you were searching on your own. Even if these starting jobs are not ideal, they are a great way to spread your name, build your resume, and make contacts in the industry – all of which are incredibly important when working independently.

The Time Is Now

It’s never too late to take control of your career and your future if change is what will make you happy. The idea that escaping the mold, being your own boss, and having the financial and physical freedom to live the life that you want is more attainable that you may think. No matter what industry you are in, what type of work you do, or where you live, making the switch from employee to contractor can be your next step if you just work for it.

The Story of Polar Park Brewery

One of Edmonton’s newest breweries is getting ready to hit the ground running and it has a backstory that will have you getting comfortable and sitting down for a beer. If you are familiar with the private animal park once also known as the Alberta Game Farm, then you’ll know why they kept the name Polar Park for their brewery. It’s a legacy.

Now hold my beer while I tell you a little bit about Al Oeming. That man was a legend. His boyhood neighbour, the one and only Stu Hart was a big part of his life. Growing up the two served in the Royal Canadian Navy During the Second World War. The two would feed off of each other’s love for strength training and wrestling. After the war was over, they moved to Harlem, New York. Stu was like a big brother to Al, and their move to New York was to enable them to fight in the National Wrestling Alliance. They fought under “Toots” Mondt who would later become the co-promoter for the W.W.F. (now W.W.E.).


After some time, Al and Stu were able to buy the Alberta rights for the wrestling organization. This was known as Stampede Wrestling promotion. When Al was a boy, his father had instilled a love of animals and wildlife, but it was when he met his proffessor, that his passion really took off. As Al and Stu promoted wrestling events, Al majored in ornithology at the U of A and obtained his masters in Zoology. Al’s professor, Dr. William Rowan, one of Canada’s top world renowned zoologists was who really sparked his interested in zoology. Al went on to become the Edmonton Zoological society’s inaugural president while selling his share of the wrestling venture to Stu, and using his investment to create the Alberta Game Farm which was later known as Polar Park.

Al Oeming is known for his love for animals, and for presenting to kids and large audiences and sharing his love for animals all over the country. Polar Park, while distant to someone my age, was a well known destination for those older than me. It’s amazing for me to think that I missed out on this Park because the passion for the animals is evident. The vast space and freedom that the animals had was unique to Polar Park.

If there is one thing I can tell you about the Oeming family, it is that they are extremely ambitious. When I went to the brewery for my tour, I got to meet Al Oeming’s son, Todd Oeming. Al Oeming passed away in 2014 but in the years where he needed the help and support, Todd brought his busy life in the commercial real estate industry back home to be around and to support his father. In the years since Al’s passing, Todd has been battling against cancer. His son, Robert has returned home to support him, just as Todd did for Al. The legacy of Polar Park lives on. There will always be a love for Wildlife in the Oeming family. It is just a piece of their legacy which will become the Polar Park Brewery.

What sets Polar Park Brewery apart from any other in Edmonton is their ability to create a broad selection of beer. They are well equipped with a great deal of custom fabrication and attention to detail. If you like nitro brews, they will have you covered. Their space at the top floor of the building has been reinforced to allow a weight capacity to accomodate events such as wedding receptions, networking events, parties, etc. Their bar is meticulously planned with the little details in mind, the atmosphere will be unique. Their brewmaster has a vast experience in the industry and they’ve got shareholders such as the likes of former Oiler, Andrew Ference. It’s a very exciting time to drink beer in Edmonton. Stay tuned to their social media, as their opening day is projected to be only a matter of a few months away.

Chris Liddle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christianliddle/

3 Successful Alberta Companies Supporting Oil & Gas In 2018

3 Successful Alberta Companies Supporting Oil & Gas In 2018

Oil & Gas is Alberta’s largest and most vital industry. Despite the economic downturn and the decreasing price of oil and gas causing hardships throughout the industry, it is still one of the biggest and busiest in the province.

With 2018 just around the corner, the oil & gas industry is expected to see consistency and stabilization for the first time since the crash. After huge budget cuts, devastating layoffs, and numerous closures, the industry is being looked at optimistically once again.

Not only is this anticipated recovery a huge sigh of relief for the provinces many Oil & Gas companies, and the province itself, it is also drawing the attention of various companies across the province who are ready to invest in and support the industry once again.

There are many ways in which different businesses can support the Oil & Gas industry, such as providing equipment, providing services, or providing financial support. Here are 3 successful Alberta companies that are supporting Oil & Gas in 2018.

GRM Flow Products

GRM Flow Products is a Canadian company based out of Edmonton, Alberta that offers oilfield wellhead and valve parts as well as maintenance and repair services. They actively work with numerous oilfield companies to ensure their wellheads and valves are of the highest quality and are running smoothly and safely.

Acumen Capital

Acumen Capital is a Calgary based boutique investment dealer. The Vice President of Acumen, Ian Thomson, has pitched and created a fund project with the intention of supporting Alberta’s smaller oil and gas companies by aiding in drilling and exploration, but also by restoring old, inactive wells.

Blackline Safety

Blackline Safety is company from Calgary, Alberta that focuses on creating and supplying safety-monitoring products to multiple industries. They have recently introduced the “world’s first wireless gas detector with 3G wireless, two-way speakerphone and live monitoring”. Their innovative and unique products offer a new level of protection to oil and gas workers across the country.


Evidently, there are many Albertan companies that are prepared and willing to support the Oil & Gas industry in a number of ways in the upcoming year of 2018. These companies offer a variety of products to enhance oilfield equipment; maintenance and repair services; investment funds necessary to create new sites and restore old ones; and safety products, to ensure the safety of the industries hardest workers.

GRM Flow Products, Acumen Capital, and Blackline Safety are only three of the many companies throughout the province that are gladly supporting Alberta’s Oil & Gas industry during the industries rebuild.