4 Ways Contract Positions Help Workers Reach Their Goals

Contract positions can carry some negative connotations, especially for workers who are looking for more permanent employment options. In addition to leaving workers facing higher tax burdens and often a lack of health insurance, contract positions are also by nature short-lived, which means employees need to continue job searching even while they’re working—especially if their contracts are for six months or less.

Despite the drawbacks of contract positions, there are also plenty of positives. They often come with higher pay and more freedom than traditional in-house salary positions. Perks can include more flexible work hours and even the ability to work remotely or from home—which are benefits that may be off-limits to other employees.

A quote Michelle Goodman uses in her ABC News article on contract positions echos the sentiment of many contract workers:

"My boss keeps telling me she wants to bring me on permanently, but I'm not so sure I want that. It's funny how everybody assumes that's my goal."

But the biggest advantage of contract positions is the effect they can have on workers’ career goals, and for many professionals, they represent turning points in their career trajectories.

Four major reasons for that include:

  1. Exposure to new processes, workflows, and ideas – It’s easy for employees to fall into a “rut” at their jobs, especially when they must work within the confines of highly-regimented and restrictive processes. And while the workflows at an organization may lead to great results and efficient use of employees’ skills, they can also result in stagnation. Contract workers get the benefit of learning entirely new workflows and processes in a short amount of time, and along the way they can pick up valuable new ideas from their coworkers, managers, and clients.

  2. Networking opportunities – Whether professionals are looking for new jobs, launching their own businesses, or finding great collaborative partners for future projects or hires, networking is key. Standard office positions provide plenty of chances to network with coworkers and clients, but most workers will find their opportunities shrinking the longer their tenures last. Contract positions expose workers to dozens of talented peers in a short amount of time, broadening their professional networks and increasing the likelihood that they’ll find like-minded professionals to connect with months or even years later.

  3. More intense focus on the work itself – While many employers like to think of their offices as shining beacons of productivity, the opposite is often the case. Whether it’s water-cooler gossip, office politics, mandatory performance reviews, or morale meetings, a substantial percentage of the typical work week involves a lot of time spent not actually working. But many contract employees are exempt from superfluous office activities, allowing them to focus more intently on their work without the frequent distractions that are common in many jobs. In turn, that can lead to greater productivity and more impressive achievements, which are key for career advancement.

  4. Downtime to look for new opportunities – In an ideal world, contract workers would seamlessly bounce from position to position without ever facing a lapse in jobs or paychecks. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and many contract professionals find themselves facing weeks or even months between gigs. Provided they have a supportive spouse or a cushion of savings to pay the bills during those times, contract employees can use their time between jobs to take their careers to the next level. By utilizing the skills, connections, and achievements in their previous roles, they can search for higher-tier positions or even start their own businesses.

Contract positions are often the "win-win" scenario that organizations are looking for and job seekers/consultants have in mind. Make sure your organization has the best talent for your needs while addressing these and other contract work concerns with a trusted partner.

TA Staffing can help with staffing needs suited for your organization, contract workers, and millennials. Contact us today! Make sure to view our staffing solutions section to see what staffing services are available.

Posted by Jeff Bates at 8:30 AM
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