Should You Quit Your Contract Job?

Is a full-time job more your speed?

Gig work (also known as contract labor) can be great for those looking for flexibility. If you have a family to support and prefer stability, however, it might be time to look for something full-time. But first, do some research to figure out what type of labor is best for you. After all, the perfect choice depends on your own unique circumstances and financial situation.

In this blog, we’ll cover some of the key pros and cons of full-time work. And don’t forget to check out last month’s blog to see what we have to say about gig work.

Full-Time Labor

Pros

1.       Stability

When a person is working full-time, they don’t need to worry about where their next gig is coming from. As long as they do their job well and the company stays afloat, they’ll keep getting a regular paycheck.

As a full-time employee, one can expect their employer to be in charge of withholding income taxes and handling social security and Medicare deductions. Many full-time positions also come with additional benefits such as a 401 (k), profit sharing, or childcare reimbursements.

Contractors have to handle all of these responsibilities themselves. This takes both time and money. Although contractors are sometimes paid more to do the same work, it’s may not be sufficient to make up for these additional responsibilities.

2.       Existing Corporate Ladder

The gig economy does not provide a career path blueprint for workers to follow. In order to get anywhere professionally, contractors have to create their own career plan. Since contractors will never receive promotions, they need to create their own opportunities.

As a full-time employee, there will most likely be certain career thresholds in place. Employees can work with managers to set goals and expectations. They are also free to look at other positions in the company and work toward those positions.

3.       You’re Part of the Family

Being full-time means putting a personal stake in the future of the company. It is assumed employees will want to grow and learn with the company and that they are in it for the long-term. As a result, management will usually promote teamwork. Social nights, group projects, group lunches—activities designed to make each employee feel like part of something bigger than themselves.

Contractors do not always get this same treatment. They usually aren’t there permanently, and recognition programs cost money. Although it’s a financial decision rather than a personal one, it can still hurt to be seen as an outsider.

Cons

1.       Less Flexibility

Full-time employees are expected to work a certain schedule, regardless of how long it actually takes them to get their work done. This isn’t neccesarily a bad thing, but some positions come with plenty of down time in between tasks. An employee might even finish all of their work for the day in five hours. This can become frustrating and boring for some workers.

An employee isn’t his own boss with full-time work. Vacation, lunch breaks, sick leave—all of these are controlled by his or her employer. If a set routine isn’t for you, you might want to look into contract work.

2.       More Stress in the Short-Term

Full-time employees are expected to be a long-term asset to the company. To be good employees, they need to constantly up the ante, learn more, and apply it to their position. They also typically have more responsibilities than contractors.

Contractors, on the other hand, typically don’t have to deal with the hustle of full-time positions. They don’t need to worry about who likes them or where they are in their career path (at least as it applies to a single company). They are there to do one job, do it well, and move on. Their stress comes from finding the next gig and managing their life, not the rigors of office life.

Contractors know the terms of their position. They know when it will start, what they need to accomplish, and when it will end. Everything is clearly delineated (in the short-term at least—long-term is a different story). Not so for full-time employees. Goals may be set and worked toward, but the how of it is much more nebulous.

3.       You’re Part of the Family?

Here we are again. This one is both a pro and a con. Families aren’t always happy after all. Being a full-time employee necessitates bonding with managers and coworkers. Otherwise an employee can be seen as a loner.

However, if the girl in the cubicle across the way hates them because they took her friend’s job, there isn’t really anything they can do about it. Same goes for finding out that the company culture is completely against their values.

Contract workers are more or less free from these office politics. If a contractor does run into a toxic work environment, they just have to wait it out until their next gig. A full-time employee, on the other hand, has to either suck it up or once again plunge into a complicated job search.

Is a full-time position for you? If you find the very idea of a set schedule hair-raising, you should probably look into gig work. But if you hate surprises and crave consistency, full-time work can provide that for you. You’ll become part of a community, with its own rules, regulations, people, and culture. It’s far less volatile than contract work, and you usually know what to expect in the long-term.

Have any opinions on full-time work? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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