There has been a major shift towards temporary employment and contract work over the last several years, and for good reason. While many people prefer the stability of traditional, full-time employment, there are manifold benefits to contract work, which now have the attention of many working professionals.
Commonly referred to as “temp” work, an employee in a contract model performs their work for a fixed period of time, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months or a year. Temporary employment encourages flexibility, a diverse work experience, and opportunities to acquire and refine new skills. For businesses, it helps bridge employment gaps, especially during seasonal surges.
As a point of note, some temporary employees may not receive the same benefits or job security as their peers who are in permanent positions. As such, it is important for candidates to review and analyze the employment benefits offered to contract workers, from 401(K) and retirement planning options, to health and life insurance plans. Not every business affords the same benefits. With that in mind, if you are a job seeker hoping to work under temporary contract, the following conditions are worth considering:
Temporary employment agencies are well attuned to the organizations and businesses seeking to fill roles that are designed with a predetermined end date in mind. Their connections and experience enable the opportunity for efficient networking, and a more productive job search. Once hired, working flexibility often enables you to maintain greater control over your schedule, especially if you have other obligations, whether family commitments or school. In the same vein, temporary and contract positions often offer more flexible working hours, allowing you to create a schedule that works for you, and one that may not even be restricted to traditional daytime working hours.
As a temporary or contract worker, you may find yourself working for different branches of a parent company or in different departments within the same company – a great opportunity to expose yourself to diverse work environments, technologies, and business practices. Such variety can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are unsure of what they want to do or where they want to do it. It encourages the exploration of many diverse career paths at once, before having to commit to a specific industry or role, or even to a specific employer.
Such diversity can also be useful for those who are looking to transition into a new field of work. By taking on temporary roles in a new industry, employees can gain valuable experience and make connections that often lead to future opportunities.
Networking is an essential part of any job search, and temporary employment and contract work can be an excellent way to expand your professional network. The diverse range of contract engagements provides valuable networking opportunities that could lead to a promising long-term career.
While contract engagements may not offer the same level of income stability as traditional, full-time roles, they still provide a steady stream of income. In fact, many temporary employment agencies can connect you with employers that offer competitive pay rates, and many of the same benefits as are afforded to their traditional staffs. By working methodically through multiple contract roles over time, you may potentially earn more money than you would in a single full-time position.
As a temporary worker, it is likely that you may be given more autonomy than would a full-time associate, allowing you to develop new skills and increase your value as a professional through mentorship and formal training programs. Such experience immediately makes you more marketable in your next role, and it makes you especially attractive to staffing firms and other companies, who leverage key talent acquisition strategies to identify top talent.
Through work on a temporary or contract basis, you may have more control over your schedule and the amount of time you spend working. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who want to spend more time with family or pursue other interests outside of work.
For contract professional working in the capacity of a team lead or manager, this sort of balance encourages a positive and productive work environment for all. It also makes management of tasks and team easier, reducing the likelihood of workplace issues, such as an insubordinate employees.
Increased Job Security
Contract work might even provide increased job security in certain industries. For example, many companies in the tech industry rely heavily on contract workers to fill specific roles, and these workers may be more likely to be hired through a staffing agency on a long-term basis if they perform well. By taking on multiple temporary or contract positions over time, you can build a diverse portfolio of work experience that immediately makes you more attractive to potential employers.
Important Considerations for Temporary Employees
If you are considering temporary employment or contract work, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- It is important to do your research and ensure that the job is a good fit for your skills and experience.
- Be proactive in networking and seeking out new opportunities, as these types of jobs can be competitive.
- Be adaptable and flexible, as temporary employment and contract work can involve working with different clients and on different types of projects.
From the flexibility, to variety, to the opportunities for professional development and networking, contract engagements often prove to be a valuable and rewarding work experience. If you’re looking for work, temporary employment and contract work is an underrated, viable career option.