Are you a job hunter and still hesitant to consider contract work? You may want to think again. The gig economy is growing and it could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to network, be your own boss, get a full-time position, and so much more.
During the course of a year, U.S. staffing companies hire more than 15 million temporary and contract employees, according to the American Staffing Association. Of those workers, nine of 10 said staffing work made them more employable and 35 percent were offered a permanent job by a client where they worked on an assignment.
Why Consider Contract Work?
The joy of working on your own terms is a big draw. Many people choose contract work due to the flexibility and strong work-life balance. While captaining your own ship is a benefit, it’s not the only reason to look into temp opportunities.
Some people make a career of being a contract worker and go from one position to the next with ease. For others, it can be a great entry point into companies of interest. Many organizations use contract workers to test employees before making permanent decisions. It’s a low-risk way to evaluate a worker and the position. This can be your time to prove yourself to get hired on as well as network so that even if you don’t get offered a permanent position, you have valuable connections for the future.
Another reason to consider contract work is that it might open your opportunities. For permanent positions, recruiters try to flesh out the best that have all the requirements on the job ad. For an immediate-need contract gig, they may overlook the fact that you don’t have some skills, which allows you to come in, learn a lot and potentially work at a higher level, which is great for fast-tracking your career.
Tips for Transitioning to Contract Work
Are you ready to make the jump? Here are a few easy steps to take to open your opportunities for contract work:
1. Research staffing agencies that specialize in temporary work in your industry of interest. These will likely have many more specialized opportunities than general staffing agencies.
2. Reach out to any recruiters that have been working with you and note you’re now considering temporary options so they know to look for future opportunities for you.
3. Update your LinkedIn by making sure the hidden “open candidates” feature is turned on to signal to recruiters that you’re seeking employment. Go to the jobs section and click on career preferences to turn on the feature and then be sure to click “contract” where it asks what jobs you are open to.
4. Think about your rates. In past jobs you likely have worked for a salary but with contract gigs the work is often paid hourly.
5. Work with a GetFive career coach who can guide you in your job search and help you make smart decisions for a bright future in the gig economy.