Contract employment is becoming a way of doing business for many companies today. A NPR/Marist poll found one in five jobs in the U.S. is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. This shift toward contract employment is being felt profoundly in the IT world.
A Brief History of Contract Employment
Contract employment grew out of both the Great Recession of 2008 and advances in technology that allowed for teleworking. During the economic downturn, companies utilized contract employment out of necessity. After experiencing the benefits of this type of staffing practice, companies have continued to weave this model into their corporate strategy. With this emerging pattern, many full-time IT professionals are leaving their permanent arrangements for more modern, alternative work models.
What Are the Benefits of Contract IT Work?
This new employment model does turn convention on its head, as it changes the way we think about employment, hiring and career planning. Though the idea of contract work can be scary for some professionals, with its lack of a guaranteed position, there are many ways it can benefit IT workers, both professionally and personally.
Professional Benefits: Exposure to New Tech and Tools
For IT professionals, contract employment allows workers to explore other industries without a long-term commitment. It also exposes IT workers to different types of technology, platforms and tools. The variety of exposure IT contract work affords can drive an IT professional’s market value higher than what they would experience in a traditional role, with one company, over several years.
Personal Benefits: Freedom and Flexibility
While there are professional benefits to contract work, there are also several personal benefits as well. Many contracting situations allow for IT professionals to have more freedom and independence than traditional arrangements. Some IT contract positions allow their employees to work remote, enabling workers to control their work-life balance. The ability to manage work-life balance provides a contract IT professional more time with their family. Thus, the flexibility afforded by contract work is crucial for many workers and their families, especially with the rising costs of childcare and can be akin to additional income.
How Do IT Professionals Adapt to This New Work Environment?
While these new, modern work arrangements can seem complicated at first, several benefits can be gained from this new employment model. For IT professionals, the best way to ensure success in this new market is to develop a long-term relationship with an industry expert, a professional recruiter. Having an in-place relationship with a recruiter will allow IT professionals to be connected to opportunities as they transition in and out of contracts. This long-term relationship also provides for professional guidance and support as IT workers navigate this new territory.
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At ASB Resources, we provide candidates with the connections, knowledge and advice enabling them to thrive in this new industry model. Connect with a recruiting specialist today!