In recent years, many college graduates have been struggling to seamlessly transition from school to the full-time job of their dreams. Temporary contract work can act as a bridge between the two while providing an income, strengthening your CV, introducing you to new people and opportunities, and more. Millions of workers are currently employed in temporary jobs, and this number is projected to rise 13 percent through 2019 — with good reason.
Enhance Your Resume
The vast majority of new graduates — save for a fortunate few — struggle with the reality that you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. This may seem like an inescapable Catch-22, but contract work can cut you loose by allowing you to gain professional experience and learn new and relevant real-world skills without all the strings that come with a full-time position.
Depending on your occupation of choice, the contracting experience will be different from person to person. However, no matter what you’re working on, the experience will help you learn more about the industry, culture, and skills required to be successful in your chosen career.
Don’t forget to document these details on your résumé before you send it out. Promote what you’ve learned on LinkedIn as well to market yourself to any future employers that may be searching for candidates online.
Discover a New Passion
While everyone has a concentrated area of study in college, not everyone knows exactly what they want to do for a living the moment they graduate. Fortunately, because contracting allows you to try on all kinds of hats and get a feel for different companies, industries, and corporate cultures, you might find yourself enjoying a particular task or position that you’d never considered before. On the flip side, if you realize that the job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, you’ll be able to learn from the experience and confidently pursue a different direction once your contract ends.
Find New Opportunities
Another advantage of contracting is the opportunity to network. Because the recruiters who place you in temporary positions are well-connected with hiring managers, even a simple discussion with a recruiter has the potential to transform your career. They can share expertise about how to optimize your resume, who is currently hiring, and what these hiring managers are looking for throughout the job interview process. You never know who will open the door that leads you to your dream job — 85 percent of all jobs are found and filled through networking, so don’t underestimate the power and value of a conversation, or if time is short, a well-thought-out elevator pitch.
Enjoy a Flexible Schedule
If you’re reluctant to jump straight into the 9-to-5 grind or are interested in working from home, contracting and its accommodating culture might appeal to you.
Freelancers choose to pursue temporary work that can be completed from home, known as a contingent work style, for many reasons. Some are after a more equal work-life balance, while others take advantage of the flexibility to build up their skill set with multiple contract positions. This flexibility also makes life easier for those with young children or other familial obligations and those who would otherwise spend hours commuting. It also allows “night people” to work when they feel they’ll accomplish the most.
Turn It Into a “Real Job”
Contract work also allows employers to take you for a trial run and turn your temporary position into an extended job interview. If your employer is impressed with your work and fit with its corporate culture, there’s a chance that you could be hired full-time. In this sense, temporary work can act as a stepping stone between the end of college and the beginning of your career.
While contract work may not be as ideal as a full-time position to some, the fact is that you get what you make of it. If you approach every assignment and project with the same level of commitment you would have at a 9-to-5 job, you never know when a short-term role might become a full-time opportunity.
Ready for your next big adventure? Land a new job with Aquent.