An increasing number of jobs in North America are being offered on a contract basis. That means an employee is with an organization for a fixed period of time, typically for three-, six-, or 12-month contract periods.
Most job seekers tend to look for permanent job positions, but contract work, especially for call center agents, should not be ruled out, as its advantages may outweigh its drawbacks. For instance, if you’re a permanent, full-time worker, your employer will deduct contributions to the pension plan and income taxes from your paycheque.
Pros of Contract Work
With contract work, employers often look for candidates who are mature or experienced so they can jump into the position with little or no training. In this instance, being older or overqualified is advantageous!
During your contract period, you will likely have many opportunities to impress your employer with your impeccable skills; this can eventually lead to full-time employment. And since you are considered a contractor, you may be eligible to deduct a portion of your work-related expenses when filling out your taxes.
Furthermore, contract work will give you the opportunity to sample working at different organizations and in different industries until you find something that is a good fit. Lastly, since you’re only with the employer for a short time, you can avoid workplace politics.
Cons of Contract Work
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that you could be viewed as an outsider by your fellow workers. While many employees will probably make you feel welcome, just as many may not since you’re only going to be there for a short time, which can make forming long-term friendships difficult. You may also be out of the loop concerning company developments, as your employer might not feel the need to provide you with updates, since you’re only present for a small period.
Your employer will not deduct your taxes; it is up to you to do so yourself. You won’t receive the same benefits that permanent, full-time employees do, such as vacation pay and pension plan contributions. At the end of the contract, you will not receive a severance package.
One of the biggest (and scariest) disadvantages of contract work is re-marketing yourself, your skills, and your job worth to new employers at the end of each contract. If the idea of assimilating into a new company once every few months scares you, then contract work might not be the best fit.
When your contract is up, and if there are no opportunities available, leave a copy of your resume with the HR department. Should a position arise in the future, they will remember you! Also see if any of your coworkers are interested in keeping in touch via social media. They can keep you up-to-date on upcoming positions, as well as provide you with endorsements on career networks like LinkedIn.
Whether or not contract work is for you depends on your personality. Do you like meeting new people? Does the idea of working at different companies and perhaps in different industries excite you? If so, then contract work might be a good, short-term employment solution.
“The Pro’s and Con’s of Contract Employment,” Monster web site; http://career-advice.monster.ca/job-hunt-strategy/getting-started/the-pros-and-cons-of-contract-employment-canada/article.aspx, last accessed April 14, 2015.
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