News  & Insights

5 Contractor Myths busted


Being a contractor is often seen as the less glamourous option when it comes to employment.

It seems this is not only the case in Australia, but globally. I was doing some reading online recently and I came across an article about contracting in the USA. Expecting to find similarities, I was quite surprised how differently contracting was viewed in the USA. The article outlined some of the detriments as:  

  1. You’ve got to make more as a contractor
  2. You aren’t treated with the same respect
  3. You won’t feel as safe as a full-time employee.
  4. It’s impossible to climb the corporate ladder.
  5. You will be seen as a “Career Contractor”

This highlighted to me that, in general, there are a lot of misconceptions about contracting and the benefits and challenges of being a contractor. So I thought I would set about dispelling some of the myths that are out in the market:

Myth #1: You’ve got to make more as a contractor.

You do not get paid a premium just for being a contractor within the Sydney market (well in Finance at least, I don’t profess to be an expert in all fields). In fact, at the senior end you may well find that you may need to be willing to work on an interim role at significant discount whilst looking for the right long-term role. However, the benefit of doing this is that you get an opportunity to see a business warts and all. It gives you a behind the scenes look at whether it’s the right type of company and industry for you to work in long term.

Myth #2: You aren’t treated with the same respect

What??? If one of my contractors told me he was not being treated with the same respect as a permanent employee I would call my client and ask why immediately. Personally, I can think of only one example in the last 5 years where this was the case and I would not work with that client again.  Being a contractor doesn’t make you a second-class employee and if any employer treats their contractors differently this may be indicative of the way they treat all employees and perhaps they are not the best employer in the long run.

Myth# 3: You won’t feel as safe as a full-time employee.

This is the only one I slightly agree with out of the five:  you may not feel as “safe “as being full time. By definition and depending on your legal agreement there is a lot more flexibility in working arrangements but that is not necessarily a detriment for some people. Interim and contracting work is a great way to expand your skillset; gain exposure to different industries and expand your network. You might not feel as safe but you generally are making sure that you are a “safe bet” and more employable in the future. 

Myth #4:  It’s impossible to climb the corporate ladder.

Climbing the corporate ladder is not a numbers game. Being able to make the right moves to achieve your career goals is not about how many “full time” roles you’ve had. It is more about the type of roles; the quality of work experience you have been exposed to and the skills you have gained along the way.  Often it is also the best way to showcase your skills to a potential employer. Furthermore, you can often get perm opportunities you would not have been considered for because you are a “known and trusted” employee in their network.

Myth# 5: You will be seen as a “Career Contractor” and will not get considered for perm roles

This is simply not true. Yes, some people who contract find it hard to break into the perm market. That is because there is more competition for permanent roles. If you are the best candidate for the perm role than you will get the perm role -with or without contract experience. The best experience combined with the right EQ and IQ for that particular organisation wins out.  The benefit is that, in many cases, your contract experience allows you to gain skills and experience you would not have otherwise obtained, actually making you more employable on the perm market.

As you can see contracting really isn’t that scary! There are many benefits and challenges of being a contractor. It’s the misconceptions surrounding these that often hold people back from taking on contracting assignments, and potentially missing out on a great opportunity to expand their experience, skills and network which will, in fact, HELP them to find their “dream” job.

Are you considering becoming a contractor? What “myth” is preventing you from becoming a contractor?

With over 20 years experience, our contracting consulting team has seen the many benefits that contract jobs can offer professionals in their career. They can help dispel the myths and find the right contract for you whether it’s to tide you over “in between jobs”  or to become a career contractor. 

  Click here to get in touch with our Contracting Team

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