Trends | May 15, 2018

Gig work and the opportunity for work schedule flexibility

Guest post by GigNow Recruiter, Charlotte

Perhaps a new full-time job is on the horizon or you have just commenced employment with a new company. The work is enjoyable and things are going well. But then a friend asks you to join them on a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure later in the year. Or you need to spend time some extended time with family or want to launch a personal project or get certified as a yoga teacher. But your work commitments are such that you won’t have more than a week or two to take off so you have to pass and put your personal life on hold, yet again.

Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for most full-time employees. Unless of course, you are working a contract gig instead of a full-time job and that gig contract end date allows for time off afterwards. More and more employees are turning to gig work as they enjoy the newfound flexibility that contract work brings. The gig economy is growing at a rapid rate and the contingent workforce is already taking advantage of the welcome change to the traditional work pattern.

The idea of gig work is not new. Contractor projects have been highly prevalent in many business sectors and fields such as design and IT for a long time. However, we are witnessing a surge in other sectors turning to contractor candidates as well and have now seen an increase of contract roles in HR, finance, business operations, legal and communications and more.

If you are considering contract work to improve your work-life flexibility, there are a few things to consider as you embark on your gig journey:

The contract term

The length of the contract is essential to know when considering your long-term plans. When interviewing for your contract position, be sure to ask the right questions: Will there be a likelihood of extension after the initial term? Is an extension something I can commit to? The longer 8-month contract might initially sound the most appealing, but will it hinder your other plans for the near future?

The opportunity as it relates to networking

Many contractor candidates enter the gig world in order to build their portfolio of experience. If you are missing a key project that is hindering your full-time job search, would a gig role help you to obtain it? And equally important, will this gig work give you opportunities to network and build relationships with contacts you can work with again in the future? At GigNow, EY’s central place to discover exciting contract opportunities, we are always looking to build long-lasting relationships with our contractor candidates and will revisit with a strong candidate as business needs arise for their continued experience and skills.

Right fit roles

Workers are also looking for the right type of gigs. They want to take on interesting projects that they are passionate about where they can make meaningful contributions. Groups of employees, such as working parents, are also constantly looking to identify ”right fit” contract opportunities and they are turning to gig work in order to gain a more realistic work/life balance. That summer vacation time when the kids are out of school may have just become a bit more manageable.

The numbers

Of course, compensation is a major consideration as you undertake any type of role. Contract employees often see good rates of pay and if you can make other arrangements to cover for what the benefits might lack, you might find the contract compensation a welcome change.

All things considered, gig work is not a blanket solution for everyone. Some professionals want and need the longer-term stability of a full-time role. But the shorter time commitment and flexible work pattern are benefits worth considering. Perhaps now is the time to look in to that once-in-a-lifetime trip after all.