For many people, searching for a job means strictly considering full-time, permanent positions. Yet taking a contract or temporary job can offer many benefits, both short and long-term. The key to approaching temporary work is to change your mindset. Instead of looking at contract work as a last resort, or it not even being an option, consider these reasons why it may make sense for you and your career.
1. Improve Your Resume
A temporary position may offer the opportunity to learn new skills or gain needed experience in an area where you may be lacking. This is especially advantageous if you want to switch directions in your career or shift industries. You can gain experience with a new technology or software, too. All great resume builders that will make you more attractive to future employers.
2. Speedier Hiring Process
There is often a sense of urgency when hiring for a temporary role. Employers need someone to fill the position fast! Use the speed of the contract hiring process to your advantage. In some cases, candidates who wouldn’t be considered for a permanent role without the required experience can land a similar contract position. Why? The hiring manager may be more flexible with their hiring requirements as long as the contractor is strong in other needed areas and can start right away.
3. A Path to Permanence
A temporary position can mean being in the right place at the right time to land a role in a new industry or get your foot in the door at a coveted company. Contract work gives you a chance to make connections and build relationships while showing off your skills, aptitude and work ethic. And don’t forget, temping allows you to “try before you buy” to make sure the company or industry are really what you want.
4. A New Direction
A temporary position can also serve as a step in a new direction. Maybe you want to change things up a bit. You’re looking for a shorter commute, a better work/life balance, want to try working from home or explore a new career. The flexibility of contract work can be instrumental in helping you reach these goals.
5. Flexibility Rules
Contract roles typically offer more flexibility than permanent positions. You can do your job well, and then go home. Typically, contract workers can maintain a better work/life balance than full-time staff and aren’t expected to put in grueling 80-hour workweeks. Most temporary positions are paid hourly, so even if working late, you are adding to your paycheck.
6. Temping as a Career
For many people, temporary work is a career choice. The contractor life offers benefits that just fit well with certain personalities and lifestyle choices. Some people thrive on being exposed to “new” job responsibilities, management styles and co-workers. Temporary and project-based positions can offer all of these. Others enjoy the flexibility and not being obligated to one company for a bulk of their careers and the contract world innately allows for that.
7. Covering Resume Gaps
Temporary positions can help fill holes in your resume when you are between jobs. Rightly or not, employers are wary of hiring those who have long periods of unemployment on their resumes. Hiring managers don’t know if you’ve been actively looking for six months or binge-watching Netflix. Temporary work can give you a job to list on your resume and a chance to continue to build your experience and network. Working contract assignments shows hiring managers that you take your career seriously, you’re staying connected to your industry and you are keeping your skills sharp.
8. Financial Reward
In many cases, contract employees get paid more overall than their permanent coworkers. Working in a temporary role can lessen the financial burden of being out of work and having this monetary security may allow you to be more selective in your job search and not feel as pressured to take the first permanent position that comes along.
If you’ve ever thought about contract work but didn’t see the benefits or were put off by a negative perception, we encourage you to reconsider! Contract work, at the right time and at the right company, can be an ideal fit for many professionals.
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