So here’s a scenario for you. Imagine you’re just finishing college, and looking to start building a career in a field you’ve chosen following years of study, some experimentation through internships, volunteering, and/or part-time jobs. (and if this sounds like where you are in life and work right now, no imagination even required!)
When getting ready to make the leap into full-time employment in the field you’re so sure you’ll love - what could possibly stand in your way? Well, aside from the typical dose of self-doubt accompanied with a little healthy uncertainty, there is one job placement approach that can allay these concerns while also giving you unmatched real-life opportunity to try out your field - a ‘dipping the toe’ vs. cannonball entrée into professional life -- Contract to Hire position.
The first question on your mind when hearing this is likely to be, ‘What is a Contract to Hire position?’ followed closely by ‘Why Would it Work for Me?’ The answers to both, and many other related questions, follow:
- Flexibility, with the Chance to ‘Try Before You Buy.’ The nature of a Contract to Hire (CTH) placement affords you the opportunity to test-drive a company (and a field, for that matter) before you fully commit, allowing you the time to ensure the work, culture, and style jives for a good overall fit. Just as a temporary arrangement helps your employer to evaluate you, you are also able to gather a first-hand view of the inner workings of the company’s day-to-day operations, something you can’t get through the interview process.
- Networking Opportunities Galore! Not only will you have the chance to meet interesting people in your field and build your resume of skills, you’ll be able to expand your comfort-level and confidence and acquire relevant insights to make you an even more valuable asset.
- Psychological Perks? You Got it. In a difficult economy - or, really, anytime, a temporary job is leaps and bounds better than none at all. And often, especially when you are just starting out in your career, it is the experiences you amass and contacts and networks you build that help you rise to ever-greater rungs on the achievement ladder.
- Build Your Skill Set, Contacts, and Your Professional ‘Street Cred.’ Take advantage of your time as a CTH employee and use it as a chance to gain exposure, determine what type of culture and environment you are looking for, and further define your career path. Remember, temporary work isn’t always so temporary. Following the recent recession and slow-growth period after it, many temporary positions have expanded in timeframe, so you never know where your future may lie at a company as a temporary employee.
The biggest takeaway, really, is that a CTH position can be a win-win for both employers and candidates. Particularly for employees looking to grow their footprint and experience within a certain career field, a Contract to hire position can bring tremendous opportunities for flexibility, growth, and self-discovery that are essential ingredients to becoming an engaged, self-aware professional.