Contract work is highly misunderstood. In the United States, we live in a culture that teaches us to strive for security and in most people’s minds, this means full-time employment. As a result of this, contract work is viewed as less ideal and risky, when in reality it has unique benefits of its own.

Contract employment is a situation in which an employee is hired by a staffing company and engaged by a client for a particular job, under a specific rate, and for a certain period of time. Employment may or may not extend after the precise time duration specified in the contract. In many industries today, contract engagements are the norm—especially in information technology, software development, life sciences, human resources, systems architecture and design, and marketing categories. For individuals pursuing career paths in these industries, contract work is a much better option in terms of the practical benefits that it provides.

The Perks:

1.     High Demand

Contract work is in high demand in the United States, there is an abundance of diverse positions available. According to the American Staffing Association, “American staffing companies hire nearly 17 million temporary and contract employees per year” (Staffing Industry Statistics). Our clients have been turning in record numbers to our agency for contract engagements for long-term and highly specialized roles. There’s no shortage of jobs!

2.     Flexibility

Unlike full-time employment, contract employment has a greater degree of flexibility. This is mostly because you are hired by an agency (like Ascent) and the company that you are working on the assignment for is not your employer. Any issues that you face with the project or hours you’ve been allocated to will be taken up with your agency, which represents you. What’s permissible for full-time employees isn’t necessarily the same for contract hires. Depending on what’s specified in the contract and the type of position, contract hires often have more control over their hours and duties.

3.     Contract jobs give you a Diversified Skill-Set

When you’re a contractor, you take on diverse projects that encourage you to challenge yourself, grow, and problem solve. Each role entails a different project, with a different network, which diversifies and strengthens your skill-set. And when you have a diversified skill-set, with a big network standing behind you, you are a highly desirable candidate.

4.     You don’t have to be involved in Office Politics

Office politics occur in most workplaces. When employees spend hours every day together and strive for the same promotions, raises, and benefits, competition is inevitable. Some people claim that office politics are a mandatory part of the workplace, while others find it unnecessary and a lethal part of office culture. Whatever your opinion may be on office politics, contract professionals can avoid it because they’re working as a specialist to assist the company without the pressures for internal advancement. A contract professional will likely be moving on to their next problem-solving engagement in several months or years.

5.     You can earn Higher Wages

When you’re a contract professional, you can leverage a higher pay rate since your job is set-in-stone for a specific period of time. Contractors have the ability to charge and take home more pay than full-time employees do, simply because they can. Each project they’ve completed has provided them with new experiences, skills, and a pay bump. The more experience you have, the more knowledgeable you become, and the more value you provide to the agency you work for and the client where you are engaged. Contractors have a specialized skill-set that grows along with their hourly bill rate, which allows them to succeed financially.

While most people are under the impression that direct FTE hire candidates are looking to stay for the long term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that full-time hires are only staying with their employers for an average of 4.2 years. When you take into account six to eight months of training and overall productivity, this is a very short period of time. So, if you’re planning on leaving your company after 4 years or so, why not accept a contract position and have the freedom to leave without strings attached?

Additionally, no matter whether or not you’re hired for a full-time, part-time, or contract role it’s all on an “at-will” basis. At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for which an employee can be released for any reason, without warning, as long as that reasoning is not illegal. So, is taking on a contract role really all that different from being a full-time hire? That’s up to you to decide but take these benefits into account before you close your mind to contract opportunities.

Are you seeking a contract position? Allow us to assist you in your search, by applying here!