In the famous words of Rihanna we’ve all got to ‘work work work work work’, unless you’re one of the very few who have miraculously won big on the lottery or have lucked out on a huge inheritance, then chances are you’re faced with the common reality of working for the majority of your adult life.
As businesses change, industries develop, technology advances and workplaces transform we are now presented with a plethora of working opportunities. With these changes, contract work is certainly on the rise as businesses strive to enable more flexibility.
It should come as no surprise that there are pros and cons of both so before you plunge into one or the other make sure you weigh up your options and make an informed decision that is suited to you, your lifestyle and your qualifications.
It’s no secret that contract roles are often very well paid. This speaks for itself really, humans are very much motivated by money so if you’re chasing the big bucks then contract work could definitely be your calling.
Better rates of pay and the option for longer breaks between jobs really do go hand in hand if you’re an avid traveller or if you have other substantial life activities to plan your work around. Working as a contractor definitely gives you the flexibility to essentially be your own manager. You have the option to pick and choose projects and contracts that suit your personal life, goals and plans. Although do bear in mind, as a contractor, any days, weeks or even months when you’re not working, you’re not getting paid so make sure you budget accordingly and don’t cut yourself short.
Generally speaking, contractors change roles significantly more than permanent staff. This will naturally allow you to build your CV while giving you a sound opportunity to develop transferrable business skills and improve your technical knowledge. You’ll likely be exposed to a wide array of workplace cultures, business operations and projects with many challenges, opportunities and character building experiences. Conquer these successfully and the working world becomes your oyster.
As the classic saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Contracting gives you endless networking opportunities to build and grow your professional network. You never know what opportunities or benefits this network may provide in the future.
If you’re a permanent employee you have the luxury of job security, and for some this is very important. Mortgage repayments are expensive, kids are wallet drainers and ideally we’d all like to retire one day. In an increasingly competitive job market having a permanent role can be a blessing in disguise. Plus, you need not worry about the monumental task of job hunting every 6-12 months.
Training and career development opportunities
Regardless of your age, employment status or level of career progression, learning never stops. Learning and development opportunities to expand your skill set should be a priority irrespective of where you’re at in terms of career progression. As a permanent member of staff you’ll find the business is much more invested in your learning and development. You also have the option to advance up the ranks and develop your career within the company.
A complete advantage for permanent employees is the benefits associated with this type of employment. Holiday leave, sick leave, health and wellness packages, salary packaging, the list goes on. Admittedly, these benefits can vary drastically from company to company but holiday and sick leave are a given and can give you a great sense of security and the freedom to plan ahead and make the most of your time away from work. Even better, if you put a few decent years in at the one company you’re setting yourself up well for long service leave and retirement.
Studies over time have shown that if you are in fact in a permanent role you’ll have a greater sense of ownership and are likely to have a higher level of job satisfaction. As a satisfied employee, you’re likely to be more motivated, more productive and generally happier.
Regardless of your next career move, have a back-up plan, chances are not everything will go exactly to plan. Remain open minded and keep your options open. There are definitely perky parts to contract work and permanent work, however when you come to that fork in the road, it’s important to make sure you keep your priorities and lifestyle in check.