Community Manager
Community Manager

Exploring Contract Work - USAA Member Community


Whether you call it freelancer, contract worker, or free agent, contract work might be right for you. Sometimes referred to as alternative work arrangements, the overall work scenario involves work that’s somewhat temporary or somehow supports a direct-hire full time work force. Even with this type of work arrangement, you can find some unique advantages.


Here are three benefits to consider when exploring a contract position:


Work in Multiple Fields


Let’s say for instance you want to gain experience in several areas at one time. You could find work in more than one place and learn about a few different types of work. A Temp Agency might facilitate your ability to work in various places while learning new skills in each position.


For example, if your goal involves learning accounting, call center operations, and sales, you could gain valuable experience in each area by working in positions that supports these functions.


It might take some time, patience, and planning, but you could add experiences to your resume as you work toward your overall goal of securing full-time employment. Each contract position building upon your skill set.


Enjoy Flexibility in Your Schedule


Let’s say you have a certain need or goal that requires you to have flexible hours. Since you’re not necessarily punching a clock from 9-to-5, finding free agent work can help you secure this type of position.


For example, a contract work job such as Substitute Teacher provides work on your schedule and typically ends each work day at around 4pm. You’d have plenty of time to get things done since you can pick and choose which days to accept work.


This would come in handy for people who are pursuing an advanced degree, but need to keep some money coming into their household budget. Alternative work arrangements also work well for those who wish to spend more time with family.


Build Your Business Around Your Work


I know several people who choose contract work (or some form of it) as it helps them build their business. Contract work seems to complement their overall goals and aspirations. Five types of people and professions come to mind:


Coaches – Several Coaches I know serve as contract coaches for a high school sports team. In addition to this part-time contract work, they also coach for a club sports team. They also offer private lessons to individual aspiring players by giving one-on-one lessons on skills development. During the off-season, these coaches can be found heading out of town to conduct sports camps and serve as instructors. Some even take on part-time jobs in unrelated fields so they can earn some extra money and, in some cases, earn benefits from an employer.


Musicians – Another option is to teach music part-time at schools under various contracts. Some musicians are on contract to perform for entertainment events that pass through their city. Others maintain a set of music students and teach private lessons on a weekly basis. Still others play in bands or record music in a studio. Each of these forms of income presents a variation on the theme of contract work.


Teachers – Some teachers teach full-time, but no matter the terms of the main source of income, they have some sort of contract work in play. Tutoring is one of the alternative work arrangements for some teachers. Some teachers kick their entrepreneurial ambitions in high gear and develope methods, books, and techniques around teaching. You also might find a teacher that takes on a part-time job to increase the funds available to support their students.


Independent Sales People – Salespeople can be full-time employees, but there are certain sales careers that involve contract work. Contract sales forces often precede full-time sales forces in some industries. Anyone who sells some sort of multi-level marketing (MLM) product or service is considered a contract worker. Many choose to represent several types of products and select from a “buffet” of items to sell.


Medical Professions – PRN is a Latin term “pro re nata” which means as needed. Many in the medical professions work under these arrangements. A Nurse, for example, might be PRN for an Intensive Care Unit at a hospital. These Nurses usually travel to various hospitals and support the full-time medical staff as needed. Doctors sometimes “pull a shift” at a hospital during the weekend. Still others may travel all over the country providing medical care for short-term stints in underserved areas.


Typically these alternative work arrangements involve limited benefits, if any benefits at all. You’ll have to look into the specifics of what any particular free agent work provides.


But, you can expect to be your own boss to some degree since you can pick and choose when you work. You can say “no” if you have other plans or the work does not appeal to you. In some respects, you might realize a new found freedom to create a business that enables you to do work you thoroughly enjoy, in places you want to work, around people you wish to work for and with.


The important thing is you do have unique options. When it comes to alternative work arrangements, you can “work” toward work that’s right for you and your career goals.


Have something to add to this story? Share your advice in the comments below.




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