Contracting refers to project-based jobs that are carried out by professionals for a fixed period of time. This type of work has many benefits to both your career and building your network, and these are often overlooked by those who may be put off by the word ‘temporary’.
However, there has been a steady rise in a freelance contingent which has indirectly helped to change perceptions of contract work. The industry is booming like never before; approximately 1.77 million professionals work as full-time contractors – up a third from 2008.
Freelancing professionals also contribute more than £119 billion to the UK economy.
1. Gain experience and build your portfolio
Gaining temporary work in a field you are trying to make your way into can be invaluable when applying for permanent roles.
Previous work experience in a similar role can be just as valuable to employers as qualifications. Working in a variety of different companies can help to make your CV stand out, demonstrating transferable skills through different roles. Many employers are willing to consider less experienced candidates for temporary work, meaning it may be easier to get a contract role in a field that interests you.
As a contract worker you also have the flexibility to choose which contracts suit you best. This also means that once a contract has been fulfilled, you are able to take as much time as you want before entering into a new contract with another company.
If you are thinking about moving into a different career, contract work can be the perfect opportunity to test the water if the move is for you. Not only are you able to get a better understanding of what the role entails, you can also gain valuable experience for future opportunities, think about your next role and plan towards this and target a specific sector or role.
Variety is the spice of life – and it is also one of the main factors for contract working becoming more popular. Experiencing new companies and working with new people will keep your working life fresh and inspiring. If you enjoy change and new challenges, then contract work may be for you.
4. Full time opportunities
Many companies consider hiring contract workers for full time positions that come available, especially if they are impressed with your work. Hiring is an expensive process, meaning there is a real advantage for companies to hire temporary workers that they already know on a full time permanent basis.
5. Build a network
Continuous contract work often leads to a long list of solid network connections across a wide range of sectors. This network can be invaluable if you are looking for work at short notice or recommendations for a new role.