In the past year, there's been a growth in hiring contract workers. Employers who need to fill positions but are still uncertain about the economic recovery may be more inclined to hire contractors because it frees companies from making long-term commitments in uncertain times.
While hiring contract workers may be advantageous for the employer, what about the job seeker? With unemployment still hovering around 10% in Georgia, many IT professionals who are out of work may be finding it difficult to quickly land a permanent job that pays well. Unfortunately, many of the unemployed do not or will not consider contract work. But being a contractor has its benefits. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a contract job in today’s uncertain economy.
- Taking on contract work can be a good opportunity in any economy. Job seekers having difficulty finding perm work can more easily find a contract position. Work with a reputable IT staffing firm (like Agile) to find contract jobs that will help further your career during this transitional period.
- Earn more money during the transition from unemployed to permanent job. Contractors typically earn more per hour – about 15 percent more – than perm employees. Why sacrifice going without cable, eating out at your favorite restaurants or shopping when you can earn a great paycheck as a contractor?
- The employer gets to audition for you. Taking on a contract job is an opportunity for the job seeker to get to know the employer and determine if the culture is a good fit. If it’s not, then you are free to leave once the term of the contract expires.
- Contracting is a resume builder. As a contractor, you’ll most likely learn new skills and get exposure to a variety of technologies, industries, cultures, and responsibilities. And a contract job offers current experience for your resume which can ultimately lead to a full-time role elsewhere.
- Variety is the spice of life. IT professionals choose contract work over a perm position for many reasons: freedom to choose assignments, exposure to more employers, better pay, and opportunities to learn new skills. Contract jobs can take the “ho-hum” out of the traditional office setting by providing more flexibility and job diversity.
- Prove yourself and you’ll be rewarded. When you do a bang-up job for the client company, your IT recruiter will want to keep you happy by making sure there are future opportunities. It’s also likely your staffing firm will be able to place you in a perm position when the right one comes along.
- Contracting is a terrific networking opportunity. Think of contracting as a very special networking event where you get to rub elbows with people who work with you and know how valuable you are. Take advantage and meet as many key people such as department heads, supervisors, executives, HR, and others with influence within the client company.
- Take time off when you choose to. When you become a contractor, you typically know when a job begins and ends. Because of this, you have more flexibility and control over how much time to take off in between gigs. Imagine working on a six month project and then having the opportunity to relax on a beach for an entire month or two – depending on how well you’ve been able to save the extra money you made as a contractor!
- Benefits. Despite the notion that only full-time employees receive benefits, staffing firms like Agile offer its contractors benefits like medical, dental, 401K and life insurance. If benefits are important, talk to your recruiter before beginning the job search to ensure the staffing firm has you covered.
- When one door closes, another one opens. If you're not offered a permanent job when your contract assignment ends...don't worry; there will be more opportunities. Keep your recruiter in the loop and communicate with her on a regular basis. In the meantime, ask the client company for a reference. Leave the client company on good terms – you never know when an opportunity there might open up. And keep in touch with your boss. Remember, you can never network too much!
If you’re currently looking for an IT job, keep an open mind and consider working on a contract basis. Working on a contract basis can be exciting, rewarding, and educational. In fact, you may enjoy it so much that you won’t want to go back to the traditional “perm” job ever again.