What was once seen as an interim solution to save costs or a temporary solution to fill the roles of full-time employees on extended leave such as sabbatical, maternity, or others, contractual employment is on the rise.
The new world order calls for practical measures by organizations to control costs and boost growth. As a result, the labor market is experiencing a gradual shift toward the gig economy, and employers are gearing up to employ specialists for a particular role or project.
And why not, since it’s a win-win for both? It offers employees the much-need flexibility and better pay while it helps employers save on their fixed costs in the long run.
According to a recent survey by Linkedin, job postings for contract positions increased by 26% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Yet, only a small section of the talents are open to it.
Well, lack of job security, recognition, and short-changed employee benefits are some of the stigmas associated with a contractual role.
However, contractual roles can actually boost your resume and steer your career in the right direction. Here’s how!
Contracts usually last anytime between three months to a year and have the potential to be renewed further. This means that your job is secured during that period, and a couple of months is enough time for you to search for a permanent position. Contract staff are not accounted for in the headcount and are generally unaffected by layoffs or restructuring. Therefore, the risk of reduction is substantially lower in contractual jobs. Imagine working as a permanent employee somewhere only to be laid off one fine day without knowing how to find work elsewhere. A lot of people these days are leaving their full-time roles and opting for contractual employment. The American Staffing Association reported that staffing companies in the U.S. hire nearly 16 million temporary and contract workers annually.
Freedom and flexibility
From deciding whether to sign a contract or not to choosing your projects and employers, you are your boss. If a particular role doesn’t sound exciting enough, you can say no and wait for the next offer to come along. Contractual employment allows you to select projects that align with your interests and choose hours that fit your schedule.
Plus, you’re only tied to the work or the company for the duration of the contract. So whether it’s planning your sister’s wedding or taking that much-needed vacation with your kids, you can do it carefree once your contract ends. Remote contract jobs offer a much better work-life balance than permanent jobs.
Gain new skills and grow your professional network
In a permanent role, your role is defined, and job responsibilities are fixed. In a contractual position, on the other hand, you get to work on different projects which require different competencies and skills. You get to work on various tools and technologies and acquire new skills. Also, contractual roles expose you to working with diverse teams and people. It’s an excellent opportunity to build and grow your professional network, and it is no secret that networking is essential for all those who want to advance in their careers. A HubSpot study recently revealed that nearly 85% of jobs are filled through networking.
Explore and find your calling.
If you are still unsure whether your career is on the right track or if you are in the industry or profession, a contractual position might help clear the air.
For instance, you may be a digital marketer but must decide whether to pursue SEO, paid advertising, or performance marketing in the long run. Through contract jobs, you can get a taste of different industries, roles, and responsibilities as per your interest and choose the one that interests you most. I spent years working in other parts of digital marketing before finding my sweet spot in content marketing and creation.
If variety is the spice of life for you, contractual roles can offer much-needed stimulation of a diverse working life.
Contract positions usually offer no perks or benefits that permanent workers enjoy, like health insurance, paid time off, allowances, etc. However, contract positions can sometimes offer up to 1.5-2X what a permanent employee earns, which more than compensates for the lack of benefits.
Gateway to global companies
Contract employment is best if you want work exposure with multinational companies. Given the current economic situation, many companies decided to take contractual staffing routes as companies look to cut HR costs and hire an in-demand workforce instead. In 2022 Google contract employees outnumbered direct employees for the first time. It’s not just Google but Amazon, Uber, Facebook, and several other silicon valley companies employing thousands of contract workers.
As the economy shifts towards an on-demand workforce and the lines between contract and permanent workers blur, a contract role could be your ticket to a blue-collared job at a reputed multinational organization. Kunal, a resident of Kolkata, West Bengal who was once working in a contractual role through Uplers with Lyca is now a full-time employee with the same company! Kunal’s case is a classic example of how a contractual role can prove to be a gateway to a global career!
Gone are the days when contract jobs were considered akin to unemployment. Contractual employees today have greater freedom, flexibility, new possibilities, and a great career trajectory. While contract jobs are not for everyone, they can be a great option for those cash-strapped and looking to make great money while adding color to their CV. After all, multiple roles with multiple clients and projects only highlight life skills like adaptability, flexibility, and enhanced skills and knowledge.