The Permanent vs. Contract Option: Which is Right for You?

13 September 2022

When embarking on a career, most people start in a permanent position but once they’ve become experts in their field, they sometimes begin to consider whether this is still the right decision for them.


Permanent Job – Benefits

  1. Job security. Never to be under-estimated, a permanent job allows far greater job security than contracting. If you are looking to take out a mortgage, the job security provided by being in a permanent position will give lenders a greater degree of confidence in lending to you.


  1. Opportunities for development. When you work for an organisation, it is in their best interests to fund your ongoing training and development opportunities and to support you in progressing in your career with internal promotions.


  1. Employee benefits. As a permanent employee, you are entitled to holiday pay, sick pay, employer pension contributions and most product and design organisations offer an attractive bonus package based upon successful product launches. Many organisations will offer flexible working hours, the option for compressed hours, home working, and a range of other perks which make being a permanent employee a very attractive option.


Permanent Job – Disadvantages

  1. Greater responsibility. When the going gets tough, a contractor has the option to terminate their contract and move on. Permanent staff do not have this luxury and instead have to see a challenging negotiation or project through to the end, regardless as to its impact on their personal lives and working relationships.


  1. Reduced flexibility. As an employee, you have to abide by the terms and conditions of your contract, which may state a minimum time to remain in each role meaning that should you spot a potential job opportunity, you may be unable to apply for it. Equally, you will need to follow the processes set by your employer regardless as to whether you believe there is a better way of achieving an outcome.


Contractor – Advantages

  1. Flexibility. You can choose which contracts you take on and which you pass up. This means that you can work your contracts around your lifestyle, and by selecting a range of different types of contracts for different organisations, you can develop a wide-ranging skill set very quickly.


  1. Well paid. As a contractor, you set your own salary, which will generally be higher than that of a permanent employee doing an equivalent role. This is reflective of your wider job experience and the risk you take in being self-employed.


  1. Networking. You will meet a lot of people from different industries and by impressing the right people, you will never be short of work.


Contractor – Disadvantages

  1. Lack of job security. You need to consistently perform at an incredibly high level in each of your contracts to maintain your reputation as you are entirely responsible for finding work. If you have a gap between contracts, you will need to rely on savings to maintain your lifestyle until you find work again.


  1. No employee benefits. As a self-employed contractor, you are responsible for paying your own tax and national insurance. You will not receive employer contributions to a pension and will not be entitled to sick pay or holiday pay, meaning that although you will likely earn a higher day rate than your employed counterparts, you need to maintain a buffer to cover any time that you are not working.


  1. Self-funded training. In order to be an attractive proposition in the product and design industry, you need to be up to date with all mandatory training and although your breadth of experience will stand you in good stead, maintaining your professional development will help you to secure new roles. However, you will need to fund this training yourself and it can be expensive.


Whichever option you feel is best for you, Rmg Digital can help you to secure your next role. We are a Digital and Technology Talent Solutions Provider with a range of permanent and contract roles available. If you are seeking a change, please call us on 020 3800 1118 – we may hold the key to your next career opportunity.


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