Managing the transition from permanent to contract

What’s it like moving from a permanent position to a contract role? We recently had the opportunity to find out.

Janmenjoy had spent the best part of six years working as a permanent employee with Origin Energy. In that time he worked across a number of full lifecycle projects and developed into an experienced SAP ISU/CRM Test Analyst.

Then he was presented with an opportunity too good to refuse, working with Ausnet Service. It was a contract role. So how did Janmenjoy make the big decision to leave his comfortable life as a permanent employee? All was revealed in this interview.

Speller:
How did you begin your career as a permanent employee?

Janmenjoy:
My life in the corporate sector began as an IT consultant about six years back. As I embarked upon my journey, I soon realised that my skills were my greatest asset and I had to enhance them if I wanted to prosper and move quickly up the career ladder.

Speller:
What was it like, working in a permanent position?

Janmenjoy:
The first couple of years were challenging, as I had to perform above and beyond to be rewarded during the so-called ‘appraisals’. But I utilised the free training and workshop sessions that a permanent job offers to develop the valuable skills and confidence needed to compete in the job market.

Speller: 
When did you start to think about leaving?

Janmenjoy:
When the monotony of the daily routine hit me. I missed the challenges and the dynamic life that I enjoyed during the initial phases of my career. I also missed my work-life balance. That was when I knew it was time to confront change.

Speller: 
Can you see yourself contracting long-term?

Janmenjoy:
Definitely. As long as I am young at heart, I do look forward to living a more balanced but dynamic life and embrace the challenges that come with contracting. A good remuneration package is of course cherry on top.

Speller:
Would you recommend contracting?

Janmenjoy:
Yes. If you’re a confident risk-taker with good adaptability skills and a backup plan to support you during an unemployment phase, I think it’s worth biting the bullet.

The pros of contracting
Janmenjoy has benefitted in many ways by becoming a contractor. He has achieved the work-life balance he craved; he enjoys the variety of new challenges each contract presents; he is learning new skills and broadening his industry knowledge; and he is making valuable connections that may further his career.

Contracting can also be more lucrative and it offers the flexibility to choose the role you want, when and where you want to work.

The flip side
Of course, as a contractor there is much less job security. You don’t often – if ever – get paid for being sick or taking a holiday, and the next contract may not always crop up when you want it. This all needs to be considered.

However, if you have the confidence and the desire to improve and test yourself, changing from a permanent position to a contract role can be incredibly rewarding. In fact, it might just be the breath of fresh air you need to revitalise your career.

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