This month, our Chicago Recruiter Meggie Thomas walks you through starting out with contract jobs.
Betty B. asks:
Q: I'm a recent college grad with some great internships under my belt, but I'm having a hard time landing a full-time job. I've read a lot about "gigs" and freelance contract jobs, but don't know what those mean. What should I do?
A: Meggie says...
Why Consider Contract Work?
Why take a contract job?
It will get you hands-on experience and build your skills
It will expand your resume
It gets your foot in the door
It's better than not doing anything
It allows you to explore different fields if you're still undecided about your career path
It will help you make connections that can help you in the future
It can lead to a full-time job
My first job out of college was actually a contract position! It kept extending and ended up lasting 10 months. I loved it, learned a lot, and met great people. Near the end of my contract, my boss formally introduced me to one of their clients and this introduction landed me my next job, which was full-time. Had I not taken that contract role, I would have missed out on a full-time opportunity!
Misconceptions About Contracting
- As a contractor, you'll receive benefits and pay through the recruiting agency you have been placed with. (Note: Not all recruiting agencies offer benefits, but Artisan does. ❤️)
- You are paid hourly versus salaried. Depending on the company and position, you can make very good money with hourly rates — sometimes even more than a salaried position.
What happens when the contract is ending? If there is still work to be done, there's always the possibility for the contract to keep extending and/or turn into a full-time position. The company might not be ready to lose you if you've done a great job or they might want to recommend you for another role or even a full-time position if it becomes available.
Do I recommend looking for and taking a contract position after graduating? Heck yes! You never know where it can lead you.
Before becoming a Talent Representative and Creative Recruiter, Meggie worked many jobs in marketing, account management, and communications. She relocated from Chicago to Denver and is now enjoying the clean mountain air working as an Account Manager.