IT is seeing a growth in contractual recruitment as opposed to permanent employment. Contract-based employment allows for more flexibility with work life and time at home while permanent employment gives the employee a sense of security. Are those the only things worth considering? We explore more of the pros and cons of Contract and Permanent employment.
Permanent work is pretty self-explanatory and is the way of working we tend to be most familiar with. You go to work to fulfil your contractual duties during office hours, get paid by your employer at the end of the month or by some other arrangement, and carry on for as long as you are good at what you do, the company can afford or wishes to keep you, or until you want to leave. Be good at your job, eventually receive management duties, climb the ladder, watch your pay gradually increase - and so on. It is the most predictable way of working. Nothing is recession proof, and there are other variables that can affect the longevity of your permanent job, but on the whole - it is seen as the safe and reliable option.
Despite these advantages, nothing is perfect and permanent employment comes with its own drawbacks, as outlined below.
Contracting, particularly within IT, is often the end goal of many professionals. The cumulative of day rates often exceed permanent salaries and coupled with the excitement of working on new projects rather than staying with the same company for years, this is a dream for many. And it does come with very distinct advantages and features that are not found in permanent employment.
In many ways, the benefits enjoyed by contractors act as a reward for the risk they take by forgoing permanent job security and benefits that only permanent employees are eligible for. This is the area in which the disadvantages of contract work come to light. IR35 is the latest spanner in the contracting world, read more about it here. For more traditional drawbacks of contracting, see below:
There is no right or wrong answer to this! It all depends on you as a person, your circumstances, preferences and even personality. If you thrive on stability, predictability and are excited by the prospect of working your way up the ladder with a solid track record of growth in well-established roles - permanent work is for you! If you find the prospect of this dull and are someone that thrives on trying new things, working with new people and frequently changing your environment (and if you fancy some risk and unpredictability!) then contracting is for you.
The great thing is that you don't necessarily have to pick one or the other. The skillsets overlap and you may find that doing a bit of both will put you in a stronger position as you will have acquired a wide variety of skills. Beware, however, that a track record of contracting may put some permanent employers off as they may perceive you as someone that will get bored quickly and leave not too long after starting. And often that is true about contractors, so make sure that you know yourself well and choose the best path for you.
And if you would like some help with finding your next role or if you're a company looking to hire IT, professionals, let us know - we are all about creating the perfect client+candidate matches.
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