What's the Difference Between a Full-Time Job and a Contract Position?

Carlee Nilphai
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Every year, we move further and further away from the traditional job world the generations before knew. Everything from technology to office environments in the work world is changing all the time. The next big wave of change coming is the number of people in full-time, traditional job-types and the number of workers choosing contract and temporary positions instead.

According to Forbes, more than three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week.

Full-Time Jobs
A full-time position with a company is typically more routine, in that employees have a set number of hours a week that they work and they are a committed employee to the company. Full-time positions are more likely to offer benefits, such as:

  • Paid- and sick-time-off
  • Healthcare, 401k, and retirement plans
  • More security and stability

While these are all substantial benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider, like:

  • Less flexibility in your schedule.
  • Higher chances of job stress, according to the American Institute of Stress
  • Lack of various experience and skillsets on your resume

Long-term full-time positions can be great, but they can also be detrimental. That’s why it’s always good to consider other employment options if you want a more varied lifestyle and flexible scheduling.

Contract Positions
Contract work can be anything ranging from temporary to freelance positions. Normally, they are only for a set amount of time and, much like any temp job, the employer does not have to offer benefits that a full-time employee would get. As a contractor, you are often paid hourly or receive a stipend.

While a contract position isn’t always as stable as a full-time job, there are a lot of benefits to it. As a contract worker, you:

  • Have more flexibility in your schedule
  • Are able to network easily
  • Can do more than one type of job at a time
  • Get your foot in the door with multiple companies at once

While there are a lot of positives to working a temporary or contract job, there are some negatives that go along with that, such as:

  • There is not as much security as a full-time job
  • You don’t have as steady of a salary
  • You are not normally afforded benefits like paid time off and healthcare benefits

Being a contractor can be a great opportunity, but there are some significant pros and cons to consider when you are deciding between that and taking a full-time position.

If you are someone who needs more stability and routine in their work/life, then full-time jobs are more likely to satisfy you. If you prefer more varied opportunities and a flexible schedule, contract positions or temp jobs are a great option to consider.


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