Making a career out of contract jobs isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
While it does involve a lot of work, the payoff and the joy of entrepreneurship are hard to match.
But where to start?
How do you keep it going?
Last month, I was invited to an event with CaliberLink to tackle one of the industry’s biggest questions: Can you make a career out of contract jobs?
These are a summary of the contract jobs and career I’ve shared during the event.
Q: How does someone get started in the contract workforce? How to find contract work?
Amos: To start working as a contractor, you need to look for related job boards.
You can also work with a recruiter or agency you can partner with.
The recruiter will be able to share the job content, some of the details of the contract role, and what would the requirement be.
Q: I got a job offer, is it ethical to leave the contract jobs before completing them?
Amos: It is alright to leave a contract job as there would usually be a termination clause.
However, you have to make sure to evaluate the permanent role offered carefully.
A candidate in a contract position is always in growth position.
A sharp contrast with permanent roles. Of which are specific-focus tasks that do not require you to learn new skill sets or have new exposure.
Evaluate this and then make a decision.
Don’t just make a decision based on the fact that there is a permanent role available or that it offers better pay.
On that note, always make a career-based decision.
Q: I’m worried that if I take on a contract job I will not have the time to go for interviews. How should I overcome this challenge?
Amos: Employers are quite flexible with interview arrangements.
Just alert your employer in advance. You could ask for time off for interviews.
The key to success here is to be selective of your interview choices.
Make use of the limited leave can take.
Employers probably wouldn’t be too happy if you attend interviews three or four times a week.
Q: How to negotiate a salary and other non-salary benefits before signing up for contract jobs?
Amos: Leave this to a recruiter, if you are represented by good ones.
However, most of the time the benefits that are non-monetary are also non-negotiable.
Though you can usually negotiate on the basic salary.
Successful salary negotiation can increase an offer by an average of five per cent.
Q: What is the role of a recruitment agency when they place me in a contract position? Will they help me find another job when the current position is coming to an end? How should I work with them on this?
Amos: Yes, we would. Most recruitment agencies will.
If there’s no extension to your existing contract, recruiting agencies will usually approach you only towards the end of your contract term.
We’ll also try to recommend other roles that we have available.
Additionally, you should know that there are no fees involved in working with a recruiter as we are paid by the employers.
Q: I understand that employers prefer job seekers that have a job history with permanent long-term roles rather than those who take up contract jobs.
Amos: We have seen a different trend in the market of late.
More candidates are applying with resumes that show contractual jobs history.
Traditionally, employers may find that worrisome.
On the contrary, today most good employers are more concern about skillsets than your job type.
So focus on building your knowledge, capability, capacity and skills regardless of whether your job is permanent or contractual.
Q: What are the obvious differences between permanent and contract jobs?
Amos: In general, basic pay could be higher for contractors since they receive lesser employee benefits.
However, in terms of workload or working experience, the are similar for both.
Q: Supply Chain Recruiters—do they offer contract opportunities?
Amos: The outlook has been bright over the past four years.
We have seen a shift in the market with more contract roles.
Having said that, there are still quite a few roles in the supply chain sector that requires a permanent specialist with the right and relevant skill sets.