Independent contractors, part-time employees, and self-employed entrepreneurs in temporary, contract or part-time jobs currently make up more than half of GTA workers; this is the new form of employment but it’s definitely not for everyone.
Some of the downsides include not knowing what to expect six months into the future, not having some or all of the benefits of full-time employment, and not having income security between contracts or projects. When it comes to family life, debt obligations and maintaining a certain standard of living, this type of employment can be a major cause of stress for some people. That’s why its often refferd to as ‘Precarious Work’. But for some, there’s nothing precarious about it, and it’s actually a blessing.
From the employer’s perspective, hiring temporary workers is not only justifiable, but it can be a practical solution to some of their most pressing needs (not just reducing costs); they can actually attract skilled/seasoned professionals who are retired or in transition, and for whatever reason might not want to take on the obligations of a permanent or full-time position, to lead a team, fill in a temporary vacancy or to help complete a project. Other workers may be interested in temporary projects as a perfect chance for career growth to try on different hats, work in various industries, or gain new skills and experiences.
For people who are thinking about a Career change (early on or even later in life), taking a temporary contract may be the best way to do a ‘Test Drive’ and really know if the new career is all you dreamed it would be. Even if it’s not, people still gain valuable experience and add connections to their professional network.
Temporary or Contract positions won’t always lead to full-time or permanent employment, but in most cases, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. If while on Contract, it turns out that you fall in love with the job or the company, you’ll have a golden opportunity to showcase your talents and subtly suggest that you’d love to be considered for a full-time position should their ever be a need. Even if it never happens, and you did a stellar job, you’ll likely have the benefit of references for future employers to contact.
Because we’re in the business of placing experienced Accounting & Finance professionals on contract, with some of the best and fastest growing companies in Southern Ontario, over the past 25 years we’ve identified some of the key benefits of contract work for our Contractors:
- Gain hands-on knowledge of a new system or software, learn about a new industry and expand professional skills.
- Whether in transition, fresh out of school or already retired, stay relevant and don’t let too much time go by without putting your talents and skills to practice; you know the mantra “use it or lose it”. Also, avoid substantial gaps on your resume.
- Showcase your skills and gain valuable experience to boost your profile. Overcome the dreaded “lack of experience” or if you’re new to the country “lack of Canadian experience”.
- Foster meaningful relationships with colleagues and coworkers while on Contract. They might become future references or potential employers.
- Depending on your lifestyle, you may be in a position to take time-off between assignments to travel, renovate your home or pursue other interests. Or simply enjoy work-life balance at your own pace.
Written by Fernando Brandt