Numerous reliable sources have recently reported that by the year 2020 fully 50% of all jobs will be 'contract'.  If you haven't begun to think about what this may mean to you and your career, the time is now upon you to begin giving this some thought. Contract work covers a broad array of arrangements between a company and individuals performing work for them.  

Contract work based on managing and completing a specific project. In this type of assignment the organization and the individual mutually agree on a time period and delivery of the final result.  Fee arrangements are often presented as a 'project' rate, although a daily or weekly rate contract may also be arranged.  In rare instances, these contracts may also include a 'performance bonus' if the individual delivers an extraordinary result.

Interim/temporary work.  This type of assignment may be the result of a gap caused by an employee on leave or seconded to another assignment for a specific period of time. It can also be part of a company strategy to reduce fixed costs and be more agile in terms of applying resources on an as-needed basis.  Rates for temporary work vary widely and are frequently based on the compensation of the 'absent' employee or resource.

Consulting work.  Today, the definition of consulting is quite broad.  At its core, the notion of consulting still implies that an individual will bring a level of talent and expertise in a specific field or endeavor that the hiring organization values as incremental to its internal resources. Consulting fees vary dramatically based on the complexity of the challenge at hand, level of visibility and exposure within the organization, risk-reward tied to the engagement, and the reputation/stature of the consultant. The duration of consulting engagements also varies from situation to situation.

Not all workers are suited to contract work.  Some see these options as ways to bridge to their next full-time position while for others contract work provides a new fully satisfactory career strategy for life.  Benefits include variety of assignments, intellectual challenges, expanded skills and contacts, concrete achievements, and more. It can also be lucrative. In addition, for workers still hoping for a more long-term commitment, there may be a possibility of being hired as an employee by an organization that has first-hand experience with your successful contract assignment.

Challenges may include unpredictable cash flow, always being the 'new kid on the block', and absence of health care benefits.

Whether by design or by accident, contract work is here to stay.  For all of us it's worth exploring whether this is an option that could take us into the next stage of our careers. Today it's not necessary to go it alone... visit and click on Job Opportunities in the menu ribbon at the bottom of the entry page to learn about how they connect millions of individuals with thousands of companies, and explore the world of options supported by this global leader in the world of work. And check out these websites to see how individuals interested in contract work are being found by companies and organizations of all types. ; ;

Full time jobs are not gone, but they are definitely not the only game in town.  Your next job may look very different from your previous ones, and that might be just what you need to be ready for 2020.