First things first—what is contracting? Contracting is when a company hires you on a short-term (or contract) basis. Contracts vary in length—three days, six weeks, nine months, ongoing or temp to perm. In marketing and advertising, contract roles can range from designer to copywriter to project manager and more.
But perhaps the most important thing to know about contracting right now is that it provides tangible benefits and valuable opportunities to jobseekers—even if you’re ultimately looking for a full-time position.
1) Great organizations and top brands are hiring for contract positions. Well-known, sought-after companies are looking for contractors now more than ever because it enables them to “try” talent before committing to a full-time hire.
2) A job can start as a contract and then convert to a full-time role. If a company needs design help but doesn’t have the budget for a full-time hire, they might open a contract position to get the help they need without being responsible for expenses like benefits, taxes, etc. And then once their budget is approved, the employer may convert the contractor to full-time, which is also referred to as going “temp to perm.”
3) You can break into a large company through a contract. If you want to work for the company everyone wants to work for, a contract is a great way to get your foot in the door. You and the employer can determine if it’s a good fit, and you can really demonstrate what you can do in the job you ultimately want.
4) You can build your skills and network quickly. Contracting allows you to learn and adapt to a variety of roles, industries, corporate cultures, personalities and more. You’ll acquire a lot of experience and many connections in a short period of time.
5) You can figure out where you excel. For junior and mid-level employees in particular, contracting provides the opportunity to try out different roles and gain multiple skills within an industry. Contracting allows you to figure out what you want to do for the long term and where your strengths lie.
6) Flexibility. Most contract roles come down to hours, so there may be flexibility when it comes to when you work.
7) Acceptable job-hopping. Moving from job to job in a short period of time is often viewed as a negative on a resume. However, that’s when you’ve had short- term stays in roles that were designed to be long term. Contracts, internships or any temp work designed to be short term enables you to move through a number of jobs quickly without the job-hopping stigma.
The job market is heating up. Companies are hiring for permanent and contract positions. But don’t immediately discount a contract opportunity. It might be the short-term solution that leads to a fulfilling long-term career.