8 Reasons Why Contracting Might be for You

Nancy Anderson
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If you immediately rule out temp jobs when applying for positions, you're missing out on countless opportunities to expand your skills and professional network. While some job seekers view contract work as a last resort, accepting a temp job keeps you active in the job market and shows employers you have the competitive skills to adapt to diverse work environments. Before passing on temporary employment, consider eight ways a short-term position could advance your career.

1. Faster Recruitment

Many companies hire contract workers to quickly fill open positions. Job seekers benefit from a speedy hiring process because employers are often more flexible with job requirements and willing to train workers who already possess the core skills. Fast-track hiring is especially valuable if you struggle in interviews, as a strong resume and portfolio can lead to an immediate offer.

2. Gateway Jobs

Few things are more frustrating than being passed up for jobs that perfectly match your skill set. Succeeding in a temp job can lead to a permanent hire or even land you a better position within the company. Whether you're new to the workforce, changing careers or transitioning from unemployment, contract positions can get you in the door and allow you to demonstrate your expertise and work ethic firsthand.

3. Fewer Employment Gaps

In today's ultra-competitive job market, temporary work is better than no work. Employers are becoming less critical of job-hopping and more reluctant to hire unemployed people. Temp jobs create a continuous work history and keep you in touch with best practices in your industry, reassuring employers that you can immediately make an impact in a new position.

4. Professional Development

Temping exposes you to a wide range of colleagues, environments, training methods and management styles. The end result is a melting pot of experiences that can strengthen your ability to solve problems and collaborate with others.

5. Industry Contacts

Every temp job connects you to professionals who can facilitate future opportunities. By building relationships and making a positive impression on others, you can gain references and leads that aid you in finding long-term career options.

6. Higher Compensation

As temp jobs don't provide benefits, you may earn higher base pay than a staffer doing the same job. Getting higher compensation upfront also gives long-term contract workers more flexibility to decide what portion of income to reserve for health insurance and retirement needs.

7. Work-Life Balance

Temporary workers usually aren't expected to go the extra mile for the team, making it easier to maintain a balanced schedule. Many contract positions also have set hours and job duties, so employers are less likely to pile on supplemental tasks that could lead to extensive overtime pay.

8. Emotional Well-Being

In 2014, Gallup reported that 18 percent of unemployed adults who had been searching for work more than 27 weeks suffered from depression, compared to only 6.4 percent of employed adults. Temp jobs can offer diversion and empowerment, helping you overcome the emotional pitfalls of being jobless. By continually seeking out new professional experiences, you can stay in touch with qualities that make you valuable to the workforce.

Temp jobs can be more than stopgap solutions. A diversified career makes you skilled at understanding the objectives of each new role, so you can be a productive contributor from the start.

Photo courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Giselle M.
    Giselle M.

    I agree. I loved working as a temp and contractor especially because I stayed out of a lot of corporate politics.

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