4 Ways Contract Work Can Jump-Start (or Re-Start) Your Career

by Alysia Robertson

For decades working at a “temp” agency held a bit of a stigma.  It was often stereotyped as something someone did between jobs but was less than ideal.  Let’s just say, times have changed!  More and more qualified professionals are choosing to work on a contract basis, and when you consider just some of the benefits, it’s not hard to understand why.

1. Contract Jobs Can Help You Quickly Gain New Skills

Did you know that many C-Level executives, while climbing the career ladder, opted to work in various departments, and even with other companies in order to diversify their experiences and give them greater insights in their leadership role?  Whether or not your vying for the corner office, everyone looking to boost their career can take advantage of this strategy.  Contract assignments are often project-based and each new project can involve new and exciting objectives to achieve.  You will be able to observe how each new company you engage approaches challenges and use that info to better equip you in whatever role you serve next.

2.  Contract Jobs can be Resume’ Rocket Boosters!

All the new skills will, of course, translate into diverse and definitive professional goals you have achieved.  Keeping track of how you contributed in the different roles will quickly fill your resume’ with marketable skills, without the blot of having been fired from a job.  Employers understand the nature of contract jobs and know that your experience may appear more transient in nature, by design.

3.  Contract Jobs Multiply Your Professional Networks Exponentially

We’ve addressed “what” you know, but what about “who” you know?  Beyond a virtual LinkedIn introduction, what better way to establish an authentic relationship with someone than by working together towards a goal? Working on multiple projects, with multiple employers allows you to get to know many new people in your field.   While you may move on from an assignment, the professional contacts you’ve established will remain, should you choose to stay in touch.

4.  Contract Jobs Often Provide Flexible Shifts

Lastly, if your ultimate objective is to grow in your career, contract jobs often offer unique flexibility in regard to time and schedules.  Depending on the employer and position, you may be able to negotiate off hours, a remote working location, etc. That can give you the ability to pursue classes, attend networking events, or even (gasp!) other job interviews without conflicting with your commitment to your employer.

The skilled recruiters at a “temp” agency – now more commonly known as a staffing firm, can help identify strategic opportunities that fit your interests and skills, where both you and the employer can benefit and grow!