What’s Best For You – Contract or Permanent?

The availability of contract work has grown enormously as an alternative to conventional permanent work, but how do you decide which is for you?
Let’s examine their individual benefits and drawbacks.



  • Money – let’s be honest, this is usually the main attraction for contractors. They are better paid than equivalent permanent staff because employers have no obligation to pay benefits such as sick/holiday pay or pension.
  • Experience – from working in varied settings with differing personalities contractors quickly gain a diverse CV and impressive experience. They are seen as coping well with change and well equipped to tackle unexpected problems.
  • Flexibility – contractors can take on work – or take breaks and holidays – whenever they want.
  • Employer convenience – hiring contractors is often seen as a more attractive option, particularly if the employer is not in a position to hire new permanent staff.
  • Preparedness – contractors are more agile than permanent employees because they are never surprised by redundancy and never have to quickly relearn forgotten job hunting skills.
  • No office politics – because they are always on the move contractors are less likely to be affected by office politics, gossip and intrigues.

Permanent Employee

  • Job Security – put bluntly, permanent employees know where their next meal is coming from and in difficult economic times usually have more job security.
  • Benefits – even when on holiday or off sick permanent workers still get paid and they receive a range of other benefits and/or incentives.
  • Career progression and training – permanent staff enjoy training, promotions and periodic pay rises, and find it easier to move into management positions.
  • Fixed location – most permanent workers can reliably say where they will have to travel to work.
  • Lack of recognition or ownership – being around from start to finish of projects means permanent staff receive more recognition and gratitude for their contributions. Their opinions are given more weight and they can see the outcome of their work.
  • Trust – permanent employees are more likely to be trusted with confidential projects.

So which is for you?

Many people enjoy the security of having an ongoing familiar role, in which case permanent employment is probably best for you.

But if you are keen on new challenges and don’t mind not knowing what or where you might be next month then becoming a contractor could suit you very well.

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