As an engineering, IT, or programming professional, you have the choice to get a job as a permanent employee with a company or to become a contract worker. While there are advantages to both, the benefits of being a permanent employee far outweigh the benefits of contract working.
We look at some of the main benefits below but before going into those, let’s deal with some common misconceptions about the comparison between permanent and contract working.
One of those misconceptions is salary, i.e. many people believe you will get a higher salary as a contract worker than a permanent worker. This is sometimes the case but it is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, many permanent employees in technical roles in Ireland earn the same or more than contract workers. In addition, your earnings over time will be higher as you will spend less time out of work, you can potentially receive more benefits, and it can be easier to progress your career.
Another misconception about contract working is it is more flexible. After all, you can leave permanent employment at any time so there is equal flexibility. You may have to honour things like non-compete clauses and notice periods, but these are likely to be part of fixed-term contracts too.
Benefits of Permanent Working
Here are 11 reasons why opting for a permanent contract is better than working as a contractor:
1. Employee Rights
In general, contractors should get the same rights as the permanent employees in a company. The reality is not as simple as this, however. You may have to work a set number of hours per week to be entitled to join a work pension scheme, for example.
2. Career Development Opportunities
You will have more opportunities to advance your career in a permanent position. This includes upskilling opportunities as well as other training to refine and enhance your skills. You can also take on greater responsibilities to gain further experience.
3. Easier to Follow a Career Path
Following on from the last point, you are likely to find an easier to follow career path in a permanent role as there will be more promotional opportunities available.
4. Job Security
As a permanent employee, you will have long-term job security. This is a weight off your mind plus it makes it easier to plan ahead.
5. Income Security
Following on from the last point, having job security means you also have income security. After all, as a contract worker, you could have periods of time when you are between contracts and not in work. This doesn’t happen when you are a permanent employee.
6. Work Instead of Job Hunting
Staying with this theme, as a contract worker, you must spend time job hunting, particularly as your existing contract nears its end. As a permanent employee, instead of job hunting, you can continue working, earning, and advancing your career.
7. Easier to Obtain Credit
In some situations, it can be easier to prove your income as a permanent employee. This can make it easier to obtain a mortgage and other forms of credit and/or you may get access to more favourable credit deals.
8. Don’t Have to Worry About Tax
As a contractor, you will have to pay your own taxes through a self-assessment tax return. Your employer handles paying your taxes, however, when you are a permanent worker. This saves you time and possibly the expense of hiring an accountant.
9. Easier to Plan Your Personal and Family Life
Having job and income security makes it easier to plan your home life – buying a house, deciding on a school for your children, etc.
10. Enhance Your CV
Some employers value commitment and loyalty when assessing potential candidates. This can be harder to demonstrate on your CV or in an interview when you are a contract worker, particularly if you move about a lot. Being a permanent employee demonstrates loyalty and commitment.
11. You’ll be Part of a Team
This one should not be underestimated as being part of a team can make you feel more valued and content with your career. The camaraderie of being part of a team also makes work more enjoyable.
Of course, there will still be some people who swear by the benefits of contract working. As you can see, however, there is a compelling case and significant advantages of moving into a permanent position.