Career · Underemployment

Temporary and part-time contracts: an alternative to a full time job after university?


It’s not a secret that I’ve been struggling to find full-time employment for well over 8 months.

In fact, this struggle has been one of the main sources of inspiration for my writing both on my blog and in my free time.  It has become an enormous part of my life, and until recently I saw it as my most important obstacle to overcome.

But after reading a Lifehack article on becoming an independent contractor, I realized something: Full time jobs are becoming a thing of the past.

And adapting to a more fluid job market is a necessity.

I know, this may seem to oppose everything that we’ve ever been taught. I’ve always been expecting to become something, to choose a 9 to 5 career, and to make a comfortable living. But this is yet another oversimplification of adult life.

We’re going to have to learn to adapt to a work world of contract positions. Companies are already turning to the more cost-effective method of putting together temporary teams to complete projects. And, like it or not, this trend towards temporary and part-time positions is here to stay.

So let’s use this knowledge to adapt our job search.

Here are three steps that I am taking to adapt to a more fluid job market:

1. Explore part-time, contract, or temporary positions. There are a lot of mixed opinions on this, but I believe that part-time job experience is a great way to get your foot in the door and kick-start your networking.  Even my part-time jobs as a research assistant and sales associate have helped me to develop new job skills and make new contacts!

2. Become known for consistent excellence. If we’re shifting towards temporary positions you’ll need to focus on getting a follow-up position once your contract expires. If you become known for sloppy, inconsistent work you’ll never maintain momentum in this changing job market. Be consistently excellent by bringing a positive outlook to you work, meeting deadlines, and submitting your best work.

3. Develop a wide range of skills. It may have paid to be an expert in one field 20 years ago, but with a shifting job market comes a greater need for flexible employees. Having skills that help you to stand out from other job seekers give you more possibilities for contract positions. For example, I am a biologist, but also a writer with experience blogging, using social media, writing biological manuscripts, and maintaining databases. My passion for writing has helped me to explore more opportunities than my degree alone.

Do you work a part-time or temporary job? Have you been standing on the fence wondering whether these jobs are truely worth-while after completing a university degree? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on temporary employment.



5 thoughts on “Temporary and part-time contracts: an alternative to a full time job after university?

  1. Your university degree is gold–no matter whether you can cash in immediately or not. I think you have found the new avenue to take for job prosperity–and you are smart to be taking that path. Good luck. I am a freelancer–and it is not an easy path–but there are really no easy paths.

  2. I work a part time job, soon to be 2 part time jobs. & I am a full time student. It’s he’ll, to honest, I’d give anything for one decently paid full time job. I almost feel sad that Im getting a degree, when in reality it may not help at all, I may always be working two jobs just to live the way I feel I should be living.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s