Contract Vs Permanent Jobs - What type of role is better for me?

Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Laura ReeveNo comments

Are you currently looking for a new job? There are a number of factors to think about when considering the change from a permanent role to a contract option.

Here are our thoughts on what you need to consider about contract role opportunities:

Advantages of Contract Work

1. Job Variation

As contract roles usually last 3 – 12 months in duration it gives you the chance to vary the roles that you apply for. This can lead to a greater range of skills and experience in many sectors and also the opportunity to work for several different company types. Adding variety to your CV could lead to the addition of some stand out companies on your CV, which would be advantageous in the future. The other option to consider is the prospect of international opportunities, which can be a great way to learn new things and experience new cultures.

2. Attractive Remuneration Package

Contract roles often offer a better pay package as they are based on supply and demand. Many of the roles are focused around specific project development and completion within a given time scale. As a result organisations can offer a more attractive package for specific projects. Also, while you are working on contract roles your skills and experience will be transferred to permanent staff within the organisation, giving them the opportunity to learn from you and develop and improve their own skills for future roles and opportunities.

3. Future Opportunities

Some contract roles can lead to a full time position. There are a number of companies who recruit certain roles on a contract basis to begin with. This gives them the opportunity to see how the role will work and gives candidates a chance to prove themselves before they offer a contract extension or in some cases offer them an employment opportunity as a full time member of the team.

4. Flexibility

Working on a contract basis means you can manage your own roles and apply for jobs according to your own preferences. You know and can manage your finances to know which roles will work for you and the timing of roles available, rather than waiting for a full time position to become available. It gives you the flexibility to develop your own career path and skill set.

5. Network

With every contract position you take the larger your network of contacts will become. As mentioned above, the flexibility and job variation will result in you forming relationships with a range of contacts from varying backgrounds. Moving forward these can help when you are looking for your next opportunity, they may even contact you.  

Disadvantages of Contract Work

1. Job Security

The standout point about working on a contract basis is that unlike a permanent role you do not have the same job security, although no role is 100% secure. Due to this it is important to plan for a rainy day, if a project gets cancelled then your contract role will no longer be needed so you could face being out of work while you search for a new opportunity.

2. Job Hunting

As already highlighted contract roles vary from 3 – 12 months in duration. This means you will often face the prospect of job hunting every 6 months to look for your next opportunity. As much as your network of contacts may be able to help highlight new roles, you will still have to go through the recruitment process frequently. As long as you are happy with this and the prospect of the interview process does not faze you, then it is not a problem.

3. Benefits, Holiday etc.

Unlike permanent roles, contract positions do not come with benefits. If perks such as private medical insurance are important to you, contract work may not be for you. You would also need to weigh up the cost to you. Holiday entitlement and sick pay are nonexistent in contract positions as you are normally paid only the hours you work. Holidays would need to be planned based on contract durations and when you can afford to take a holiday.

4. Skills and Training

If for any reason contract roles do not work for you it can be more difficult to then secure a permanent role, some companies are not keen on candidates that have moved between roles frequently. Any training you wish to undertake during your contract roles will normally have to be self-funded and this would need to be considered.

5. Insurance and Payroll

If you decide to become a contractor your contract will probably require you to have a Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance policy in place. You will also need to consider which route to take with regards to pay and status – e.g. self-employed, Limited Company or using an Umbrella Company, more clients are insisting upon a Limited Company or Umbrella Company. Depending upon the sector you are considering working in public or private then it is important to understand the IR35 rulings and how this will impact you.

As you can see there is a range of pro’s and con’s to consider and a lot comes down to personal preference and your situation. Only you will know what works for you and it could be that the decision is made for you when the dream role appears and you know it is the one!

Whichever route you take we specialise in both permanent and contract job roles, so talk to us about your requirements today and we will help find you your next opportunity.

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