During your job search you’ll inevitably come across a variety of options for entry-level jobs. It’s a good idea to consider all these options while also making sure you focus your entry-level job search on the jobs that suit you best. One of the options that may work best for you, especially if you aren’t finding your dream job right away is independent or contract work. Let’s take a moment to consider the pros and cons of this type of work.
What Is Contract Work?
Contract work is simply a job undertaken for a set period of time, rather than a fulltime, permanent job. This can benefit those looking to gain new job skills. This is particularly valuable for those who need to develop soft skills, such as communication, time keeping, and organization; skills that are required in work environments. Often these temporary jobs allow you to develop your skills with different groups of people, which help to broaden your experiences and skill set.
What Are the Main Benefits?
Contract work is often better paid than permanent roles in the same career. This is recompense for the risk that the contractor takes because they may not have another job at completion. Another benefit is that it’s a great way to learn more about a potential employer, as well as give them the opportunity to learn more about you. Keep this in mind because contracts can lead to permanent roles, but not always.
It is also a great networking opportunity. You get the ability to make connections with a variety of people in a number of companies or departments of the company. Remember, entry-level job searches are often more about who you know rather than what you know.
Contractors often gain experience across a greater breadth of work areas than permanent employees do, since they have to adapt to multiple work environments. This often translates to new skills to add to your resume. Contractors can also fit their jobs around their lives rather than the other way around, taking work when their schedules permit it.
What Are the Main Drawbacks?
Contractors are always in job-seeking mode, which as we all know is inherently stressful. Even while under contract, they need to be looking to the future and working out where their next job will be. You will need to constantly update your resume to be ready for the next job opening as you may have to move fast. Permanent employees have access to company benefits that contractors do not. There is no job security with contract work, as contractors are always the first to go in layoffs.
As a contractor, if you don’t work, are sick, or can’t get into your place of work, you don’t get paid. Contract workers are not often given high-profile, important projects. It is also hard to develop working relationships with others as a contractor, as you are often not there long enough to really embed yourself into a team or organization. Many contractors are also not provided with health insurance, which may be important for some people, especially those with families.