What’s your vision for your marketing career path? If you see yourself simply climbing the ladder, working full time job after full time job as you work your way up to more senior and management positions related to your expertise, there’s nothing wrong with that. But many professionals believe this to be the only way to progress their career, which not only limits their options but could be holding them back from fulfilling their potential quickly. In the marketing profession in particular, part-time and contracted work offers an exceptional alternative to the traditional career model that could help you achieve your goals and find more satisfaction in your work.
To some people, part-time and contract work carry a negative connotation associated with unpaid internships or menial freelance work. In reality, there’s plenty of advanced, highly rewarding and fulfilling marketing work to be found on such a basis, if you’re qualified to do it and know where to look. If sitting at the same desk at the same company every day indefinitely waiting for a promotion doesn’t match the vision you have for your future, here are some reasons you might want to consider moving your career into marketing staffing.
Greater Potential for Personal and Professional Flexibility
Most full time jobs, even in the ever-changing field of marketing, fall into a fairly rigid and repetitive work pattern. However, contract marketing staffing work can have considerably more flexibility, allowing more avenues to pursue your long-term career goals.
This path provides more opportunities to try new things, move from industry to industry, and add new skills and competencies along the way. With a carefully thought out plan, an ambitious marketer can strategically choose staffing jobs that will methodically move them close and closer to their ultimate destination.
New Experiences and Challenges
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to constantly try new things, push your limits and gain a variety of experiences, contract work can be an excellent way to keep things fresh. Instead of working for the same company on the same kind of projects for years, you’ll have the opportunity to get an insider’s view of different organizations as you move from contract to contract. You’ll encounter new people, overcome novel challenges, and be presented with a unique need at every position that you take.
If you’re not sure which direction you want to take your career, this is a prime opportunity to experiment or take a chance on something a little out of the box. You can learn what kind of work and organizations you prefer. And if you find yourself in a role that’s just not right for you, you can push through knowing that there’s an end in sight when the contract ends.
Better Growth Potential for Career and Compensation
In a traditional marketing agency or department, you’re typically at the mercy of the organizations’ structure and management policies when it comes to opportunities for raises and promotions. If there’s simply no budget for the kind of compensation you think you’re worth, and no room in the org chart for advancement, then you’re probably out of luck regardless of how well qualified you are.
On the other hand, contract staffing professionals are only limited by their ability to drive demonstrable results, market their personal brand, and find the right opportunities. Instead of waiting in line for a higher salary or fancy new title, you’re empowered to seek work at the level you deem worth your time and can be selective about which jobs you take on.
A good marketer can typically expect to make considerably more money on a per-hour basis than they would working a comparable job full time. Of course, since your client isn’t your employer, they’re not obligated to provide you with benefits like healthcare insurance or a retirement plan, which must be taken into an account. You can compensate by working through an established marketing staffing firm. Agencies of a certain size are required by law to gain access to some of those benefits..
The Risks and Challenges
As attractive as contract staffing and marketing consulting work might be, it’s not the best career path for everyone.
If you work as an independent contractor, you’ll become entirely responsible for your own insurance, often including things like workman’s comp, liability insurance, health insurance and more. You’ll have to manag any investment and retirement plans you want to participate in, potentially pay additional taxes, and many other things that are frequently taken care of by a full time employer. Partnering with a marketing staffing firm will provide some of the support that’s missing, but if you’re the kind of person who likes or relies on employee benefits, then moving on to the much more independent life of a staffing professional might not be for you.
The other major challenge with moving to contract work for your marketing career is the uncertainty of finding consistent work. Talented marketers are in high demand right now, and those with the right skills and a proven track record of success rarely struggle to find things to keep themselves busy. But you’ll still have to work considerably harder to build a strong network and learn to be constantly on the lookout for the next job to take on when your current contract expires. Again, partnering with a reputable marketing staffing agency is one way to mitigate this challenge and get better access to more reliable work.