Monday, February 3, 2014

Contract Work, Temporary Work, and Freelancing - Different Kinds of Temporary Employment

If you are searching for work, it is likely that you will, at some point, consider some form of temporary work. It is, therefore, important to know the different kinds of temporary employment.

Contract Jobs

Contract jobs are positions that meet some specific purpose and usually for a specific time. For example, a company may need additional computer people to install and test a new software program. When the new installation is complete, the need is fulfilled and the job ends.

In general, contract workers have some specific skill the company needs so contract jobs generally pay fairly well and may even pay somewhat better than comparable full time positions. On the downside, contract workers are not eligible for company benefits. You have to cover your own costs including health insurance.

Finding contract jobs is not a problem. In fact, many of the positions offered are contract jobs and many companies indicate that they are using contract positions both to meet temporary needs and to "try out" potential employees to determine if they are a good match.

At least some of the contract jobs you locate are offered by staffing companies. Some staffing companies specialize in some area such as accounting or computer services. If you take a position through a staffing company, you actually work for them and they pay your salary. If you work through an agency, you may be eligible for health insurance and a 401K through the agency at group rates.

Some contractors are independent. In general, it takes a good bit of experience and a marketable skill to be an independent contractor. In addition, you are responsible for your own taxes as well as health insurance and retirement.

Temporary Jobs

The difference between contract jobs and temporary jobs is probably rather arbitrary, but, in general, temporary jobs require lower level skills. For example, a bank may hire several contract workers to process mortgage loans during an unusually busy season and hire a large number of temporary workers to scan mortgage documents into the computer system.

Temporary workers are generally screened by an agency and accepted by the company. Contract workers are often, but not always, individually interviewed by the company and several applicants may be considered for a position.

Finally, temporary work can be for as little as a few days or as long as several months. For example, a person with secretarial skills may be hired to replace a secretary who is on vacation for a week two or one who is on maternity leave for a few months.

Finding temporary jobs is fairly easy. You need to apply at two or three staffing agencies. You will be interviewed by the agency and screened for any skills they consider necessary. Remember, this is a job interview so make an appointment, show up on time and properly dressed, and bring your resume and any references you have.

If you are applying for temporary work, your schedule should be very flexible. You may be called for a job on short notice.

Freelance Jobs

Freelance work is only discussed here because it is often lumped in the contract work. The main difference between contract work and freelance is that the freelance worker is always independent and usually an independent business person.

That means that a freelancer provides their own workspace and all the necessary tools. In addition, they probably work for several clients at a time.

For example, a freelance writer may provide web content for one client, a printed newsletter for another, and ad copy for a third.

Freelancers are more commonly, but not always, associated with the arts. They are writers, graphic designers, web designers, etc. People who do things such as interior design may work in much the same way as freelancers but are not usually called freelancers.

Finding freelance jobs can be easy depending on your skills and background. While many freelancers work online and get jobs online, word-of-mouth is equally important. Freelancers, in addition to the basic skill they are selling, also need to learn marketing skills, time management, customer service, basic bookkeeping, and other basic business management skills.

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