There are no full-time, permanent jobs. None. Not any. The "permanent" description is a misnomer that the working world created to give employees a feeling of job security. However, one only has to look at the news lately to watch so-called permanent workers lose their jobs much like a contract or temporary employee.
In fact, some companies are letting permanent workers go instead of contract workers.
The reality is that every job is a temporary job regardless of who you work for. Full-time and permanent generally makes people feel that the position is long-term, at one company and one location. Nevertheless, what if two people, one working for a company and one for an agency, are doing a similar job for similar pay for 10 years. If both employees are let go at the same time, who really was the contract worker and who was the permanent worker? It can be hard to tell.
There obviously are differences between the permanent and contract employee style of work life. Some people cannot envision working in a contract job. However, some contractors would not dream of any other work life. What, then, are the benefits to being a contract worker?
There are many benefits, including:
- Contractors get to "try out" a company.
- Contractors can take assignments only when they want to, scheduling them around their life.
- Contract assignments give workers an income when they are between "permanent" jobs.
- Contract assignments give workers a chance to learn and master new skills, parlaying their job experience into new opportunities.
- Contractors now get benefits that employers customarily used to offer permanent employees.
- Companies are more inclined to take a chance on a contractor for a short-term basis rather than hire someone into their company long-term. This can provide more opportunities to the contractor.
- Because a skill in high demand today may be obsolete in six months, many agencies provide an incredible array of training courses to their contract employees free. This allows them the training needed to keep their skills fresh in their specialties.
- Contract jobs allow workers more flexibility to take the jobs they want. Project managers, for example, don’t want to stand around and maintain a project they worked hard to install. They want to move on to the next challenge.
- In today’s fast changing world, technology contractors realize today’s market can reward rather than punish workers who frequently move between jobs. The rewards can be the acquisition of new skills and the opportunity to move rapidly up the salary scale. There are many stories of people who have managed their careers at an agency into six figure incomes.
These are just some of the reasons why employees enjoy the contracting way of life. Although it may not be for everyone, for some, it is perfect. And, as we say in the agency world, "don’t take life too hard, it’s only temporary." IBI