The rise of contractual jobs in the new normal

With large-scale layoffs due to the sudden economic crisis, platform-based contractual employment is the most significant disruption in the labour market in a long time.
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The concept of a contractual livelihood is not alien in India. A lot of skilled personnel have been doing it for years, offering their services based on word-of-mouth, referrals, and reputation. However, the pandemic has highlighted the need and demand for these highly-skilled professionals.

With large-scale layoffs caused by the sudden economic crisis, platform-based contractual employment is the most significant disruption in the labour market that we have witnessed in a long time. This makes it evident that employees and employers alike are warming up to the idea of specialists who step-in, get the job done, and leave. It’s a precision-based model that pays a contractor more than a permanent job, while saving the employer money in the long run.

Let’s dig deeper and take a look at the many benefits contractual jobs provide.

For employees

Flexibility

This is one of the biggest perks of contractual work. Thanks to certain contract-based job platforms, we have had a revelation in flexibility that was minimal just a few years ago. Although it may have become a new norm worldwide now, yet, teleworking in contractual jobs offers a better work-life balance.

Better pay

You will not be confined to a constricted company pay package. Depending upon your skills and experience, you can quote an amount way above the average monthly salary of a permanent employee. If you are good at what you do, you will be everyone’s first choice and make really good money in a short span.

Options

Cutting-edge platforms give individuals endless opportunities for contractual employment. A contractor’s biggest decision is often only determining which on-demand portfolio and contractual opportunity is the best fit for their lifestyle, skillset, growth, and time.

Work exposure and network growth

Working with various companies, technologies, people, and tackling new challenges all the time certainly gives a contractor more exposure than a permanent job. Not to mention the fact that it takes away the monotony of the regular work cycle.

Contractual jobs also help individuals expand their professional network. Every person you work with during your contract period is an added connection to your network, which can come in handy to explore the choicest opportunities if the need be.

Help with employment gaps

Some people may be worried that a contractual job could leave you with an employment gap on your resume. But look at it from this perspective, if you’ve been out of work for a while, a contractual job can actually fill the gap for you.

If you don’t end up with another role at the end of the contract, it’s far easier to explain. You can also point out that you are professionally active and developing your skills further via contractual employment.

Contractual jobs are in most industries

Contractual jobs were initially native to certain fields. However, now they are widespread in today’s workplace, including Information Technology, Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Administrative, Project management, and many more.

For this reason, most people have started to venture into the world of contractual jobs like never before. And with millions of job opportunities opening up in the contractual landscape, the odds of employment are on the rise. This will in turn set the country’s economy on an upward trajectory.

Why do employers hire contractors?

Economic crisis

The answer is fairly simple. While COVID-19 continues to overturn most aspects of everyday life, many companies may not be able to hire permanent employees for a while.

Contractual jobs come as the need-specific and cost- and time-effective solution for companies that do not have the financial ability to hire permanent staff. Doing this saves them from spending resources on hiring, or training permanent employees.

A test drive for employers

A vast majority of employers don’t want to be stuck with a wrong hire, or someone who doesn’t fit the bill. That’s where contractual jobs can be a boon for both parties. These short-term roles provide an employer with a way to test what roles are most needed, and who would suit those roles (this works for a contractor too) without them worrying about being stuck in a position that they don’t like or want.

All in all, the rising contractual economy simply means more options and a broader horizon for employees and employers as well. The market increasingly supports freelance and contract employees who join the on-demand position by choice rather than in response to a crisis, or loss of a traditional job.

Gone are the days when “self-employed” or “contractor” was a subtle term for unemployment in India. Contractors are now associated with those having greater freedom, options, new possibilities, flexibility, a safety cushion, and a great growth trajectory.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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