Contract Work - from Scary to Opportunistic

Rethink the future of work with contract work

Outside of a few specialized roles, the average American worker has typically been hesitant to take on a contract position versus becoming a full-time employee. Traditionally, Americans were conditioned to find a stable job, work hard, move their way up the corporate ladder and then retire with a healthy pension. They put in 30-40 plus years with the same company and valued that stability and longevity. Even though how people view work has changed over the last few decades, influences of the old way of thinking can still be seen in how candidates see contract work - less stable or valuable. However, a shifting economy and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to reevaluate their relationship with work and one of the results is that “contract” is no longer a scary word in staffing and talent management. In fact, several workforce trends have made a contract job a more viable option for many professionals.


Here are a few perks of being a contractor that may have you rethinking your opinion as well.


1. Brevity of Commitment

This is normally seen as a reason people resist taking on contact work because the work is only for a 12-24 month period. However, studies show that the average American now switches jobs roughly every 3-4 years, so having a 1-2 year contract position isn’t so different and shouldn’t be looked at as that much different from being a full-time employee. Additionally, most states are at-will states, so just because it says a position is for a full-time employee, it doesn’t come with any more security or guarantees than a contract job. If anything, a contract position is likely more secure than an FTE position on a moment-to-moment basis.


2. A Foot in the Door - Networking

Contract work is a great way to get your foot in the door and explore new opportunities. Professional and Fortune 500 companies tend to have the highest number of contract employees, so contract work can offer access to larger and more well-known companies that may not have been an option if you were strictly looking for a full-time role. Not to mention the incredible network of professionals you get to work with and show off your skills.


3. Interesting Work and Professional Development

Contract positions also present opportunities to develop new skills and experience new fields of work in a short period of time, providing the professional development needed to thrive in the modern business world.


Contract work isn’t just beneficial for employees either: employers are increasingly recognizing the value of relying on contract and temp employees. Not only does it speed up the hiring process and keep long-term labor costs short, but it also delivers an immediate impact for a company rather than it taking a long time for a worker to grow into the job. Employers don’t need to worry about five-year development plans or a lot of training, as contract workers usually have a very specific skill set and are accustomed to performing on very niche projects. It’s also possible to be more specific when evaluating potential candidates, tailoring hires to a project rather than a long-term company role. Most importantly, hiring contract workers is an easy way to get an influx of new talent and new perspectives, which can encourage further innovation and company growth.


Explore Opportunities with Mackin

So, if you’ve been hesitant to take on contract work, now is a good time to think over your current career path and decide if it might be a good option for you. Contract work might not be for everyone, but when you look past the preconceptions surrounding it, there are far more benefits to it than critics often realize. We encourage you to hear recruiters out, ask about the work you will be doing in the role, and even ask if there is an opportunity for conversion, which is also sometimes an option.


Visit our website at and click on the Now Hiring tab to view open positions and find out more about how our long and short-term positions may be a fit for your next career move.