How Does Your Brain Score? Take the Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment

 

Why Part-Time or Contract Work Is Worth It

Even if work full-time is the goal, don't discount short-term

benefits of part-time or contract work

While looking for full time work, part-time jobs can still give the experience needed to succeed. — Getty Images

A growing number of U.S. companies rely on contract or temporary workers to keep their businesses running smoothly. According to a 2016 annual job forecast from CareerBuilder, 47 percent of employers say they plan to add temporary or contract workers throughout the year. Among those, 58 percent plan to transition some of those workers into permanent roles at some point in the year.

Subscribe to the AARP Money Newsletter for more on work, retirement, and finances

A growing number of U.S. companies rely on contract or temporary workers to keep their businesses running smoothly. According to a 2016 annual job forecast from CareerBuilder, 47 percent of employers say they plan to add temporary or contract workers throughout the year. Among those, 58 percent plan to transition some of those workers into permanent roles at some point in the year.

"It's an easy way for employers to get great experienced staff and save money at the same time," says Art Koff, founder of RetiredBrains.com, a job-search site for older workers. That can be good news for many of you, and it's especially true if you're a retiree and need some extra money to boost your current retirement income.

Under those circumstances, part-time or contract jobs are often perfect. They can pay enough to bolster income from investments and Social Security, often without exceeding the limits that would require a reduction in Social Security payments. Even if your Social Security payment is reduced due to earnings, those benefits are not truly lost. At your full retirement age, your payment will be increased to account for the benefits withheld. For more about working while receiving Social Security, see AARP Social Security for Dummies or contact the Social Security Administration (ssa.gov).

For all types of job seekers, though, there are scores of reasons why part-time or contract work is worth it. Here are a few to ponder:

  • It gives you something to do. Don't discount this. Having a sense of purpose is a great thing for all kinds of reasons.
Kerry Hannon's new book is entitled Great Jobs for Everyone over 50+

Kerry Hannon's newest book details why part-time or contract work is worth your time. — Michael J.N. Bowles

  • It gets you in the door. It may lead to full-time work with an employer eventually. Don't miss the opportunity
  • It gets you decent pay. You can make your experience a plus. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, provided you have the chops and solve their problem or need quickly. It lets them bypass the hand-holding and learning-curve stage that a younger, less experienced but lower-paid worker might require
  • It builds your professional network. Nurture relationships with coworkers during your assignment. You never know where contacts may lead you, and whom they might be able to refer you to for future jobs
  • It lands you new and up-to-date references for future employers to contact about what you've been up to lately
  • It keeps your résumé alive. It's a bone to stave off the disgrace of those gaping holes of idleness in your résumé
  • It keeps your skills sharp. You know the mantra: Use it or lose it
  • Contract work, particularly, lets you get psyched about a work project without the pressure of long-term expectations. No job is forever, anyway. This one just might be shorter than most, and that can be tremendously freeing

You can't expect that part-time or contract positions will lead to a full-time or ongoing position. But if it is a job or a company that turns you on, you can subtly let it be known that you'd love an opportunity to be considered for a full-time position should things change. And, please, don't take it personally if it doesn't.

Even if it's just what it claims to be, a part-time or short-term job, you still win, in my experience. First, it might be just the flexible work schedule you're looking for. Second, if it's a permanent, full-time job you really want, it still has your back.

What I mean by that is when you're making money, the truth is you feel better about yourself. You feel valued, and that's cool. It builds confidence. That's far healthier than shooting out résumés and not getting a single response. And seriously, you never know what might come your way when you back away from the computer screen.

Kerry Hannon is a career transition expert and an award-winning author. Her latest book is Getting the Job You Want After 50 for DummiesShe has also written Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness and Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy…and Pays the Bills. Find more from Kerry at Kerryhannon.com.

AARP Discounts: Discover great deals and savings as an AARP member

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Next Article

Read This