To Contract or Perm: That is the Question

Moving from a perm role to contract work can be a little scary and the same can be said for moving from contract to perm work. Each comes with its own set of nuances and when making a decision between the two, most find it beneficial to jot down a list of pros and cons.

There is no “right” or “better” choice. Choosing between contract and perm work is personal and to help you get a jump start on the decision-making process, we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons generally associated with each kind of work.



Many find fulfillment in contract work because of the associated freedoms that come with it. The choice to work a 6 month stint or a year-long commitment is often enjoyed by those who want flexibility in their work schedule. With that flexibility comes the opportunity to move around and experience a wealth of different technologies in various industries. Varied experiences can often enhance a candidate’s marketability, which is extremely valuable when moving from contract to contract every 9-12 months. While contractual work may sound extremely attractive to some, it does not go without saying that working on a contract-to-contract basis has drawbacks.


Working on short-term projects can often mean relocating every 9-12 months. Contract work definitely requires a certain level of personal planning on the candidates behalf in regards to timing and financials. The flexibility to work 6 month or 1 year long projects means that at some point a decision will have to be made about lining up your next job. Or, perhaps, you want to take a few months off. Either way, building a strong relationship with a recruiter will ease some of the stress often associated with contractual work.


While many find the flexibility of contract work enjoyable, others find the stability and security of perm work to be a better fit. A familiar environment with strong leadership can open doors for promotional opportunities and is a great way to build a solid reputation within a company or industry. This line of work will almost always offer traditional benefits that may not be found within a contractual agreement.


The attraction of  security and stability in a perm role can have its drawbacks. Staying with one company has the potential to limit the number of technologies you work with and can also limit your experience in various industries. As with any kind of work, it is important to continually maintain a sharpened skill set. Taking classes and networking can be a great way to combat stagnation in a perm role.


Decisions like these are never easy, so if you still find yourself on the fence, talking through the pros and cons with a trusted recruiter might help dispel any concerns you have. The good news is the IT industry growing and there are plenty of perm and contract positions ready to be filled. To perm or to contract–the choice is yours!

Need help deciding? Feel free to give us a call at (615) 242-1014. We’d love to chat with you about your next career move!


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