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Ever wonder what it’s like?
If you have been in a permanent role for most of your career, it may not have even crossed your mind to move into a contract role. What’s the point? You feel secure and likely receive great benefits and career development. But if you ever wanted to know what contracting is like, here’s a good place to start.
Contracting is all about variety. The level of variety may differ, but from contract to contract, you are bound to find differences between roles. This may entail responsibilities, company, department, location and so on.
Contractors are becoming more prominent within businesses and are less on the outskirts of the company culture. They are able to truly experience what it is like to work there, just for a more definite amount of time. For some people, this is ideal.
That being said, you may have several contracts within the same company. It may be one that you are happy to stick with and decide to either renew the contract or work on another contract role available within the business. That is the beauty of contracting, there are so many different options to customise your career.
Why are people moving to contracting?
Permanent roles have traditionally been the end game for those in contracting, being seen as the ultimate security and a place to settle when wanting to bolster their career and set up a life for themselves.
This changed a few years ago when Covid hit. Employees were faced with the harsh reality that although they were in permanent positions, they were dispensable too. This may not be a deterrent for permanent positions but it has made job-seekers more comfortable with the idea of contracting. The main barrier to entry was the perceived lack of job security that comes with working in contract positions. However, people who are enjoying the benefits of contracting no longer feel the need to work with the goal of achieving a permanent position.
As well as this, the demand for work-life balance has only increased over the last few years. With the dwindling popularity of hustle culture and the avoidance of burnout, the workforce has a renewed perspective on the importance of life outside of work. The structured yet flexible nature of contracting allows for a more personalised structure to accommodate all aspects of life, including and outside of work.
Benefits of contracting
Specialising your skillset
Contracting allows you to focus on areas of expertise that you find most interesting and that will maximise your value to the business. Focusing on an area of specialty within your position allows you to strengthen an area of interest, and bring a unique perspective and expertise to projects. This can be especially beneficial for organisations that need specialised skills on a project-by-project basis.
Contracting jobs provide an opportunity to work with different companies, industries and professionals, which can help to expand professional networks and gain new insights and skills.
Contracting work often offers more flexibility than traditional full-time employment, which can benefit those who value having a more accessible work-life balance. It may even be a matter of wanting to do more seasonal work as well. For example, tax season increases the demand for contractors within consulting businesses, who can assist with the increased work coming into the business.
Increased motivation and focus
Contracting often allows for shorter-term goals, projects that can be rounded off and tangible achievements that can be checked off. Due to the more condensed time period, this format requires more short bursts of energy, which allows you to dedicate more attention without the risk of burnout.
These jobs often pay higher rates than traditional full-time jobs, especially in technical fields such as IT and engineering. Specialised skills are more niche and therefore more difficult to source, which makes you a more valuable candidate, especially in times of need for the company.
You can use contracting as a way into a specific company or department that you aim to work for in the longer term. Permanent positions are much more of a commitment for companies when hiring, so angling your entry via a contract is much more likely to get you a shoo-in to prove yourself.
Businesses are moving toward contracting
Post Covid, contracting has been realised as an effective recruitment tactic to keep team sizes nimble and adapt to the rise and fall of demand. Many projects and seasonal workloads require either specialised skills or a higher team headcount to accommodate. This is exactly what contracting allows them to achieve, along with a quicker recruitment process. Candidates should take advantage of this growing demand from businesses and consider contracting as part of their career portfolio.
If you are looking at either evaluating or changing your current employment situation, you can reach out to the team here for a confidential conversation.
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