Contract employment is a work contract between you and a business looking to fill temporary work for various reasons, a special project, staffing shortages or just simply to cover a workload increase. Assignments may range from one day to multiple years; it depends on the need of the employer. Here are some things you should know before considering contract employment.
Money: Employers of contract employees are not obligated to cover the same benefits of direct hire employees; which generally means contract employees receive 30-100% higher gross pay than their direct hire counterparts. Depending upon the company and project, there are times when overtime is also available. However, the contract employee is solely responsible for the coverage of insurance, retirement etc.
Certainty/Uncertainty: Contract employees are only obligated to fulfill the agreed upon assignment, unless they are in a contract-to-hire position where there is an opportunity to stay on after the trial period if both parties agree. After your assignment is completed, the contract services company should be able to place you into another company quickly. The caveat is that there may not be anything available, be prepared that you may be without a job for a period of time.
Diversity = Opportunity: Projects only take a certain amount of time to complete and then you move on to the next employer. That process allows you to build your resume and skill set exponentially over your direct hire counterparts. You have the opportunity to work on assignments that are cutting edge and be a team player with some of the best in the industry. This opportunity also allows you to increase your professional contacts.
Freedom and Independence: As a contract employee, you have the ability to walk away from the office politics that are sometimes inevitable in a workplace setting. Your employment is temporary, giving you the opportunity to work on your project and know that within a set time, your responsibility to the company will be complete. You’re in control of your work/life balance and that’s a freedom many aspire to have.