You spend a third of each weekday working. Why not do so in the way that’s right for you? Most IT professionals zero in on positions that fit their goals, but barely consider the difference between full-time and contract IT work. Depending on their working style and preferences, choosing one over another might be trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Truthfully, working in a full-time position isn’t for everyone. In fact, chances are that you might be happier working contract IT jobs if the following statements ring true with you.
1.) You Are Always Seeking New Challenges
What you want most is often shaped by what you’re not getting. The annual Stack Overflow Developer Survey hints at just how true that is. At least 74% of participants identify as being employed full-time, and when asked what their highest priority in a potential job was, the second most common response was the languages, frameworks, and technologies they’ll work with. Though a change in full-time position might offer new technical challenges, how long before those too become mundane?
No one wants to solve the same puzzle endlessly. Even repeating the same processes to the letter a few times gets tedious. Full-time employment provides gradual project variation, which can turn repetitive for those who like to escalate their challenges at a faster speed. Contract IT jobs can up the ante drastically from one project to the next. The exact slope of the technical learning curve on each successive project is in your hands as an IT consultant.
2.) You Are Looking to Accelerate Your Career Growth
Think of your career goals as an airplane taking off. You need a long enough runway to allow yourself to get up-to-speed, otherwise you’ll be grounded for the foreseeable future. IT professionals who are able to reach their goals do so because they’re afforded enough career development. As the third highest priority for Developers in the Stack Overflow survey, it’s important for tech professionals to find work arrangements that enable enough professional development.
In a full-time position, development opportunities don’t always come when you want them. They’re dependent upon project workflow, internal openings, and the company’s commitment to your career advancement. Sometimes, your timing and theirs will overlap. Other times, you’ll be taxiing until an opportunity opens up. With IT contract jobs, you can time your career growth more precisely, picking consulting opportunities that will quicken your progress and heighten your expertise along a timeline that is suitable for your career.
3.) You Want to Have a Say in Your Schedule
The 9 to 5 schedule isn’t the only game in town anymore. As many as 43% of Americans spend part of their workweek telecommuting, and 51% of employees would switch to a job with flextime. There is definitely an appeal to finding work that fits into your calendar like a jigsaw piece and lets you perform tasks during the hours when you’re most productive. However, full-time employment only offers that leeway to a degree.
Flextime allows for some leniency at the start and end of each day, but the expectation is you’ll be available during the core hours of operation. No exceptions. When working as an IT consultant, that mandatory timeframe is smaller, more adjustable, and less restraining. As long as the Mobile Developer completes new features or the Cloud Solutions Architect migrates databases according to predetermined timelines, the exact schedule isn’t all that important.
Finding Contract IT Jobs with Full-Time Benefits
If IT consulting jobs offer so many great advantages, why isn’t everyone going for contract gigs? The answer mostly has to do with benefits. Working in contract IT jobs doesn’t necessarily come with the range of benefits that most full-time employees are accustomed to. Fortunately, there are contract IT opportunities that provide competitive benefits in addition to evolving challenges, flexibility, and growth. Our own benefits plan provides long-term consultants with healthcare benefits, 401k options, and inclusion in our employee stock ownership plan. You just need to find opportunities that value your goals and future as much as they do your contributions.
Want to get the best of both worlds from your contract IT jobs?