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Should I accept a contract or wait for a permanent job?

by Nik Lemmens on May 21, 2012

The answer to this question will vary depending on what your current situation is; for instance, if you have been out of work for a long time it may be financially wise to accept such an offer. However, if on the other hand, you have attended a few interviews for a specific contract position but are still asking yourself if you should accept the job, then what you really need to ask yourself is why you went through the interview stages at all, if you weren’t sure about the job.

This situation is less than ideal, for the following two reasons:

1. You’re wasting your own time, which is incredibly valuable especially when looking for a job;

2. You’re wasting other people’s time and you have set yourself up as poor decision maker.

Many people will experience this indecision when they are offered a contract position that they wish was permanent and to an extent this feeling is very natural. However, you must make sure that you do not look at the situation in a negative manner, especially if you really like and want the role.
You must try to look at the positives of being offered a contractor role, such as;

1. Best of the bunch: The fact that you have been offered the position at all, especially considering the current economic climate and stiff competition, should make you feel proud and valued;

2. Temp to Perm: Many companies after a period of time, upon seeing how hard a contractor works and how well they fit in with the company, will decide to make the role permanent after all;

3. Extensions: Even if there is no chance of the role being made permanent, many contract positions are extended time and time again, so if you prove your worth, you could still end up being with the company for a year…or more!

4. Experience and training: Taking on a new role will provide you with more experience to put on your CV and will also show any potential employers that you are an active, determined person, who is keen to prove themselves and work hard, whether in a contract position or a permanent one.

So, in short the simple answer to the question – should you accept the contract role – is YES. Of course, it is always best to use your common sense at the time you are being offered the job, for instance, if you are waiting on the outcome of another interview, for a job you’d prefer and the decision is going to reach you in a few days, then just hold off making the decision on the contract role. Provided you do not start messing potential employers around, saying ‘yes’ one minute and ‘no’ the next, people will understand your need to take a few days to think about the offer.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gail Gardner May 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

The “right” decision is different for each of us. Personally, I refuse to sign contracts – even as a consultant – that ask me to sign away rights to what I do not control in the first place. That has pretty much meant I have turned down almost every contract I have been offered for years now.

Most require that we give them the rights to everything we do everywhere we do it even when we are not working for a company. I do not believe that we own what we have written for other sites so I will not sign a contract like that.

I know that most people – believing that they must sign or walk away – just sign anything. A better solution is to discuss whether they are willing to change the contract.

It is unfortunate that businesses continue to prey upon their potential employees, consultants, contractors, and suppliers by requiring contracts that are unethical in the first place.

That there are more people like me who refuse may bring about change eventually and is the most likely reason why so many are going freelance today.

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