The great divide - the reasons for and against contract employment

Aoife Hynes 21.11.2016

The dust has finally settled in the US Presidential campaign, unless of course you live in Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon... Okay I take that back and please excuse the pun - those of you interested in current affairs will likely agree.

Although inauguration will not take place until the 20th of January 2017, the people of the US have spoken. The 45th President of the United States will be decided and the drama that unfolds during this tenure is anyone’s guess. While the nature of this election was unique, bizarre or even daft to the extreme, there was nada the citizen of this island could have done to influence it. However, that influence pales in comparison to deciding our own employment decisions. The decision to take on a contract role is solely yours and to aid in the cases of “For” and “Against”, I have listed the important factors to consider below. 

  • FOR

 

Experience
Changing your environment is sometimes the only way to get into your dream job or preferred industry. A contract role is often seen as the stepping stone into that dream. Think of Bob who wants to switch to pharma. Bob has many years’ experience in manufacturing... just not in pharma!  It’s amazing what a 6 month contract can do for Bob’s CV.

Skills
Contract employment offers so much more than decorating your CV with the latest industry. Any working environment offers the opportunity to develop valued skills, such as adaptability and change that will support you throughout your career. These environments will also hone in on skills you didn’t know you had. 

Cash 
“Money transfer”, “a big fat cheque” or my personal favourite, “cold hard cash”. Whatever you like to call it, Christmas is coming and there’s no better excuse than to take up a contract role for the simple reason of bringing in some extra dosh. If you’re a stay at home parent, a student or you’ve being finding it hard to find a permanent role, then picking up a contract role close to Christmas is a sure way to enjoy your Christmas dinner. 

Get up and go
You know that saying “stuck in a rut”? When times are hard, it can be easy to bury your head in the sand. Whether you’re unemployed, looking to get your foot in the door, or just eager to gain experience within another industry, being productive and working in a contract role can help you to avoid job-hunters’ depression and stay out of a rut.

Training
Training is provided with most, if not all jobs so avail of the opportunities to improve your CV with certificates or skills you may not have acquired otherwise. 

Employee benefits
Contract employees are still eligible for sick pay and holiday allowance. Some even get bonuses!

Develop lifelong contacts 
Contract jobs are the perfect way to meet new people and build up contacts in a work environment. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” carries a great deal of truth to it, so make sure you make the most of the networking opportunities heading your way.

Permanency 
Rolling up your sleeves and proving yourself is a sure way to land the gig permanently!

  • AGAINST

 

CV structure
This really only applies if your CV goes off on a tangent or you are forever hopping from contract to contract. That being said, some people enjoy the regular environment changes so each to their own. 

Inferiority 
Standing on a production line doing the same work as permanent Jack but, heading home and looking for something permanent can be disheartening. This is where your skills will need to stand out if you want to be made permanent. 

Contract ends
Unfortunately, sometimes contract roles can do exactly what they say on the tin.

Aoife Hynes's picture
Team Lead | Supply Chain & Procurement
aoifehynes@morganmckinley.com

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