What images does the term “contracting” evoke when you hear it? Thankless temp jobs in dark offices? Unreliable freelance work that could dry up at any moment? Underpaid, overworked internship positions?
It’s understandable why the term carries a negative connotation when it’s used in terms of marketing employment. It was long the industry’s four-letter-word and depicted with disdain in popular media. In the past, contract work hasn’t always been the most glamorous or prestigious—and that can sometimes still be true today. But the nature of contract positions in marketing, creative and digital marketing staffing has shifted dramatically in recent years to one that is much more desirable for talented professionals looking to gain proper experience to grow their career.
It wasn’t long ago that many people were reluctant to even consider a contract role. After all, why take on a changing list of uncertain, varying jobs when you could just as easily get a permanent position at a marketing agency or department? A reliable salary with benefits, steady work and relative job security were too good of an offer for most marketers to pass up. This trend changed over time, especially with the most recent economic recession. Amid waves of layoffs across the industry, many organizations turned more and more to contract marketing staffing to fill their needs. There is no such thing as a permanent position any more. Though we’re seeing more economic stability and job growth, contract work options have remained steady—and that’s not a bad thing.
Advantages of Contract Marketing Staffing for Top Marketing Talent
Contract work isn’t always the right choice for everyone. But there are plenty of reasons to consider it:
- Flexibility. The nature of most contract jobs is much more flexible than a standard 9-5 position. Exactly how much varies from client to client and job to job. Doors often open to work from home, take on another separate job, or get an education while working. You may even be able to dictate your own hours and schedule—as long as you’re getting the work done on deadline.
- Variety. Contract marketing staffing is perfect for people who get bored perpetually doing the same work every day but thrive when they get to frequently take on new projects and challenges. It’s a good way to build a foundation of experience for your resume, learning more in less time. You gain greater control of how long you spend doing one kind of work. And if it’s a job you find you don’t like, you know you won’t be stuck doing it indefinitely.
- Test driving. Contracting gives you the opportunity to sample a lot of different kind of marketing work within your field. If you’re hesitant to invest in a single career path or devote yourself to a single company, it’s a great opportunity to try a little of everything until you find a job and industry you’re passionate about.
- Open doors. Many of the most sought after and competitive marketing positions are in the massive marketing departments of huge brands. Without some prior connection, it’s nearly impossible to differentiate yourself among the thousands of other candidates that apply every week. Regardless of your qualifications, your application is almost certain to end up in a vast, unmanaged database with innumerable others. But most of these companies do contract out a large portion of their marketing staffing and frequently hiring from their pool of contract workers. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door, distinguish yourself and make the connections you need to get that full time position.
Marketing Staffing Concerns
As a marketing staffing agency, we hear the same concerns over and over when trying to find good fits for our contract positions. Candidates are concerned over the lack of benefits, the instability of the work, and the pay. Most of these issues can be remedied by working with a reputable marketing staffing agency. We provide benefits like healthcare and a retirement plan and ensure the clients we work with will treat you professionally. Most contract work pays a bit more per hour than its salaried counterparts and might even pay overtime—something that you won’t find at a full-time position.
Same Word, New Meaning
There once was a time that marketers might look down their nose at contract work. We’ve found that to no longer be the case. Agencies and companies have a more mature perspective than they once did and understand the value of contract marketing staffing. More than ever, contractors are turned to for specialized, high quality and sensitive work that needs a unique touch. And through a marketing staffing agency you still have access to many of the same benefits of a full-time position.