By Andrea James, Recruitment Consultant, FastERR team, Eden Ritchie Recruitment
As we progress through our career, we begin to understand it’s all about the opportunities that present themselves and the decisions we make along the way. A common choice I see people having to make is the cross-road of “Permanent -v- Contract roles” … and I am asked which is better?
Ultimately the decision is what is better for you and what you are comfortable with. Some people prefer permanent roles as they feel they have more security and the other benefits such as annual, personal and long service leave whilst having a role you feel is “yours”.
As for contracting, well on a personal note, I was engaged as a contractor for over seven years and it was a great experience. I was often asked along the way “why don’t you just look for a permanent role?“ Whilst to most people this question would make sense, for me and at that period of my life contracting was perfect for me, and if I had not made the decision to contract I would not have the experience I now have across so many departments and roles.
Here is what I found when contracting:
- You are in charge of your opportunities – as a contractor you get to decide what roles you wish to take and can have more control in the path your career takes.
- The higher rate of pay – As a contractor you do not accumulate leave or have the permanency, however you are on a higher rate to compensate this and in most instances this rate is higher than if you factored in the same role with permanent pay and spread your salary across when you took leave.
- Contracting is about being adaptable to your environment – As you are placed in different contracts, each environment is different. You need to be adaptable to your environment including different team sizes, personalities and drivers within that department and role. Within those departments there is also different policies and procedures and it is expected you have an understanding of these or know where to find them so you can align to them.
- Open opportunities while you are on your contract – So many opportunities can arise while you are on a contract if you make a positive impact including permanent opportunities, extensions to your contract or being offered another contract within a different department. This can be of great benefit as long you honour your commitments to build the trust factor.
- Adding to your experience – As a contractor, you will experience something different in each role. Different processes, systems, duties and through this you are also broadening your experience within each role. Be a sponge and soak it up.
- You have more flexibility in your life – Would you like to take a month off to focus on the family or study? Would you prefer to work three days a week instead of five? With contract roles you are able to tailor your life to the roles you accept bringing more flexibility to your life.
With these benefits, you may want to consider if contracting will work for you and your lifestyle. The only thing I will say is that as with anything, reputation builds trust so make sure you follow through with your assignments and give great customer service and build a reputable personal brand with employers.