The job market has changed. In the not too distant past, when a candidate was hired into a company, he would work in the organization for 30 or maybe even 40 plus years. It was not unusual for someone to start and retire from the same job. Most people held only one or maybe two jobs for the entirety of their careers.
Today, workers stay at each of his or her jobs for 4.4 years. And that number is cut in half among the youngest employees in America’s workforce. And more and more jobs in the United States and around the world are being advertised as contract or temporary.
As of March 2014, there are 2.8 million workers in the United States who are in temporary or contract positions according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is just marginally more than two percent of the workforce in America.
So what are the benefits of obtaining a temporary or contract position? If you’re just entering the job market for the first time, contract work is a great way to build your resume and hone your skill set. It’s also a perfect time to sample a variety of employers. It gives you the space to examine what type of company cultural you will thrive in, as well as what kind of management style makes sense for you. Contract work is the time to explore your options, so you can make informed decisions about how to manage your career.
Although some may say that you might be labeled as a job hopper, changing jobs with the intention of receiving a promotion is not a new concept and it’s being done more and more.This path isn’t for everyone and it usually works best when you are just starting out. You do run the risk of being labeled as “unreliable,” so be careful and strategic when deciding if or when to change jobs.
Contract work also gives candidates the opportunity and time to really impress their employers. Managers are looking to their employees to solve their business problems. As a contract worker, this is your opportunity to shine. If you are able to demonstrate how you can solve their problems and add value to the company, you might receive a permanent job offer!
Transitioning into a new career? Contract work might be just what you need to take that leap. Employers are more willing to take a chance on a contract employee that is sharp and driven, despite the lack of relevant experience. If you can show how your current skills are transferable to your target position, that contract position might be your spring board to a new career!
So what if you’ve recently lost your job? Now what? You can’t afford to be unemployed. Temporary or contract work to the rescue! Demonstrate your willingness to show up and work hard in a contract role, and your actions will show perspective employers what type of work ethic you possess.
Contract work is also good for older or semi-retired Americans. It’s not unusual for companies to seek out highly experienced talent in hopes that they can arrive ready to hit the ground running. Companies are looking to well-seasoned professionals to provide guidance and expertise to younger and less experienced employees. Companies view older contract workers as an asset because they do not have to invest as much time or money in training or in job coaching.
So what about the benefit package that comes with most full time or permanent positions? While it’s true that some temporary or contract jobs do not offer benefit packages, that’s not the case with companies like Contract Professionals, Inc. (CPI). CPI offers a full benefits package including health care and a longevity bonus.
It’s no secret that contract or temporary work is not for everyone. But as the world changes, the workforce is changing with it. And as you navigate the often choppy employment waters, you may find out that contract work is just right for you.