When it comes to choosing between a permanent IT job and an IT contract, you always prefer permanent because you have job security and you do not have to go for job hunting after the contract expires.
Though people fear that contractual job has certain disadvantages, they miss seeing that it gives you an advantage to work at your own time, flexibility to earn at your own comfort and pays you more than your permanent job.
Risks are present in a permanent job as well, you may get fired if you do not abide by the rules and regulations of the company, do not maintain proper discipline, confidentiality and break the rules. It's just that we have built a perception to see both the jobs at different angles. In this article I will make you aware of “How Risky Are IT Contract Jobs?” and some amazing statistics on how the world is shifting from permanent job to contractual job.
Should you give up your full-time job for a contract?
If your thoughts are dwelling between a full-time job and contact job, I would suggest going with the contact job if it gives you a better career opportunity and at least 50% salary hike than your full-time job. According to the study conducted by QUARTZ, 40% of America’s work population will be freelancers by 2020. Contact jobs are preferred more by job seekers as they get to work in their area of interest, it gives them a learning opportunity and there's room for professional growth. Gone are the days when people were under the impression that contract jobs pay less, and are offered at entry-level positions. Though it’s a risk, it’s worth if you are getting a good opportunity to build a professional relationship with your industry. On a bright side, if you perform well when on a contact you might get a full-time employment within the company.
What is the difference between a fixed term contract and a normal contract role?
A fixed term contract is valid for a specific period. The start and the end date of the contract are clearly specified and extendable if required and mutually agreed upon by both the parties. It is also very close to a permanent working contract but has a defined end date.
It is a great way to test the skills of an employee before hiring him/her a permanent position in the company. It also benefits the IT company as they get to showcase their employee skills by completing a short-term project in a given time period.
Normal contact does still have an end date, but you will not receive any employee benefits like paid leave, sick pay etc. This is what a traditional contractor is typically known as.
3. What are the disadvantages of contract employment?
- The major disadvantage of a contract employment is job security. Since you are aware that it’s a contract job, a voice at the back of your head constantly pokes you that you will have to leave this job after a certain period. It may decrease your morale.
- Every company has a different confidential policy and you really have to catch up fast to keep a track of all. A simple error may lead to termination of your contract.
- Time management becomes a problem when you are handling different projects, you may lose track and suddenly feel whatever you are doing is a waste of your time and energy.
- The hourly payment option gets compromised as you get paid only for the number of hours you have worked. If you are idle for few hours, you do not get paid and your valuable time is wasted.
- You have a lot of pressure to prove yourself to the company by constantly producing good results, with a fear that any wrong move and you are out of the company for good.
Do contract jobs offer benefits?
The permanent employee benefits include fixed salary, health insurance, disability insurance and life insurance, retirement plan, vacation and sick day leave policy. You will not be able to enjoy these benefits if you are on a contract. You will have to purchase your own policy (which can be costly) and you will not get paid if you go on a leave. You will not get worker’s compensation benefits if you need one. Though some of the companies have changed their policy and they give insurance benefits to the contractual employees as well. It’s better to clear everything with your employer before you sign the contract.
Can you quit a contract job?
A contract is bound by legal terms and conditions and if you quit in the middle before the contract expires there can be certain consequences. If the contract clearly states that you will be charged a certain amount if you terminate the contract, you will have to pay the amount to the employer. Some employers have conditions that they have every right to blacklist you from the field you are working in if you leave early. Others will not give you the bonus which you were supposed to get at the end of the contract. In another case, the employer simply has a condition that you will have to serve a one month notice before you leave the company. The terms and conditions vary from company to company, so it is advised that you thoroughly read your contract before opting to quit.
There has always been a confusion in the mind of an employee whether to go for a permanent job or a contractual job. There is no correct answer as it all depends on what kind of package and job you are being offered and whether it is something you are interested to build your career in.
If you are happy with your permanent job, stick to it, but if you are not, contractual jobs have a lot of opportunities for you, learn how to master face to face and telephone interviews for software contract testers and take the plunge. Always remember risk is in both the jobs. It depends how much you are willing to take. It was my responsibility to make you aware of what you can expect from an IT contract job and the risks it has. Now it’s up to you, what you decide. I am sure the cloud of confusion is now cleared.
I would really love to know your thoughts, life experiences or any question you have about the contract job in the comment below.
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Happy Job Hunting!