One out of every eight employers utilizes temporary or contract employees.
Independent work — in particular, contract work — is attractive to individuals who are looking to return to the workforce while or after caring for children or aging parents and those who are looking to transition from full-time employment into semi-retirement. It’s also increasingly an option for those who are starting their careers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Contract Work
As with any type of position, there are advantages and disadvantages to contract work opportunities.
- Contract work allows a jobseeker to gain experience in a new field or industry without committing to full-time employment.
- Compensation may be at a higher hourly rate than what would be paid to an employee, to compensate for a lack of job security and benefits.
- In most cases, contract workers are eligible for unemployment benefits when a contract ends, providing a bridge to benefits for individuals who may have been fired from a previous role.
- Contract work may turn into a full-time, permanent job offer in the future.
- Contract work often offers no employment benefits (although limited benefits are sometimes available, especially if working through an agency or Employer of Record).
- Contract opportunities are perceived to be less stable than permanent jobs.
- Because of the risk of being accused of “misclassifying” contractors as employees by the IRS, contract workers may not be invited to participate in employee functions.
Where to Find Contract Work Opportunities
Opportunities can be found in many of the same ways as traditional job opportunities are found: networking, online job boards, and direct contact with prospective employers.
When searching for contract opportunities online, look to the traditional large job boards such as:
Use search filters to identify contract and temporary roles (not all job boards offer “contract” or “temporary” as search filters, but many do).
Also consider specialized marketplaces
Or industry-specific job sites like:
- Authentic Jobs (for creative and media opportunities)
- Stack Overflow (for technology positions)
So, whether you’re considering contract work as a bridge between permanent positions or a new way of working, you’re part of a trend in the workforce.