You’ve always held a permanent position and value the security it provides. However, you are currently unemployed and really need a job and the money that goes along with one.
What should you do? Entertain a contract position or hold out, continuing your search, until a permanent one comes along? As you’re contemplating what’s best for you and your situation, consider the benefits of contract work listed below.
What is Contract Work?
For this discussion we will be using the term “contract work” to describe a position where the employee works for a staffing firm (such as The Alpha Group), “on a W-2 basis under the direction of the client company for a predetermined amount of time to work on a specific project. The staffing agency pays the contract worker and takes out their taxes.”
Now that we’re clear on the type of position we are discussing, let’s look at why you might want to accept a contract role.
1 - You Need a Job and the Income that Comes with It!
The fact is, there are bills to be paid. Your savings may be dwindling, or perhaps you didn’t have any to begin with. Unemployment has, or will eventually, run out. So, you really need a job. If this is the case, a contract position can help you earn the income needed, while you continue to search for a permanent position.
2 – Your Skills Are Getting Stale
When you are out of work, especially for an extended period of time, you may find you skills need some freshening up, particularly when it comes to workplace technology. Things change rapidly and you may quickly find you’re “behind the times” when you finally get back to work. By accepting a contract position you are able to stay up-to-speed on the skills you need for your next job. You may also find yourself learning new skills – even better!
3 - Acquire New Marketable Skills
Every position is different, and you may discover you are learning new skills during your contract employment. This can, in turn, make you marketable for an even wider variety of positions.
4 - Increase Your Professional Network
“The best way to find the right job is by building relationships.” Every company your work for, and every position you hold, allows you to expand your network. Even if a contract position ends and does not offer the ability to extend your services there, you are given the opportunity to build relationships with others. And those “others” may know “somebody” who may know “somebody,” who is looking to hire someone with your credentials.
5 – The Contract Position May Become Permanent
Better yet, the contract position may become permanent. If the company is impressed with your work skills and attitude, they may offer you the position. Or a different position may become available within the company – one you are also qualified for. You will already have your “foot in the door,” and therefore have an increased chance of being considered for this role.
6 - Keep Time Gaps Off Your Resume
Even though “resume gaps are becoming less of a red flag as a result of current market conditions,” reducing them, when possible, can assist you in your job search. In addition, filling in your time between permanent positions demonstrates your commitment to work and willingness to “think outside the box,” as needed.
7 – It’s Easier to Find a New Job While Employed
Employers “prefer to hire people who are already employed.” Just as it’s easier to find a position through networking, it is also easier to find a new job while employed. Plus, it may take a year or more to find a new position. Contract work allows you to earn money and pay your bills in the meantime.
So, what do you think? Could a contract role be for you, while you’re waiting for a permanent position to open up? You will be able to continue your job search, limit the gaps on your resume, network, and earn money so you can pay your bills, all at the same time. You may even be able to increase your savings and then go on that well-deserved vacation between the ending date of the contract position and the start date of that new permanent position you find. Or, you may realize you enjoy the “contracting” life and sign up for another contract position.
Best of luck in your decision and job search! If you are interested in learning more about the contract positions available through The Alpha Group, be sure to contact us. We’d love to help you find your next job – contract, permanent, or temp-to-hire.