Why You Should Consider Contracting (Even If You Want a Full-Time Job)

By Megan Greene on July 23, 2015

First things first—what is contracting? Contracting is when a company hires you on a short-term (or contract) basis. Contracts vary in length—three days, six weeks, nine months, ongoing or temp to perm. In marketing and advertising, contract roles can range from designer to copywriter to project manager and more.

But perhaps the most important thing to know about contracting right now is that it provides tangible benefits and valuable opportunities to jobseekers—even if you’re ultimately looking for a full-time position.

Here’s why:

1) Great organizations and top brands are hiring for contract positions. Well-known, sought-after companies are looking for contractors now more than ever because it enables them to “try” talent before committing to a full-time hire.

2) A job can start as a contract and then convert to a full-time role. If a company needs design help but doesn’t have the budget for a full-time hire, they might open a contract position to get the help they need without being responsible for expenses like benefits, taxes, etc. And then once their budget is approved, the employer may convert the contractor to full-time, which is also referred to as going “temp to perm.”

3) You can break into a large company through a contract. If you want to work for the company everyone wants to work for, a contract is a great way to get your foot in the door. You and the employer can determine if it’s a good fit, and you can really demonstrate what you can do in the job you ultimately want.

4) You can build your skills and network quickly. Contracting allows you to learn and adapt to a variety of roles, industries, corporate cultures, personalities and more. You’ll acquire a lot of experience and many connections in a short period of time.

5) You can figure out where you excel. For junior and mid-level employees in particular, contracting provides the opportunity to try out different roles and gain multiple skills within an industry. Contracting allows you to figure out what you want to do for the long term and where your strengths lie.

6) Flexibility. Most contract roles come down to hours, so there may be flexibility when it comes to when you work.

7) Acceptable job-hopping. Moving from job to job in a short period of time is often viewed as a negative on a resume. However, that’s when you’ve had short- term stays in roles that were designed to be long term. Contracts, internships or any temp work designed to be short term enables you to move through a number of jobs quickly without the job-hopping stigma.

The job market is heating up. Companies are hiring for permanent and contract positions. But don’t immediately discount a contract opportunity. It might be the short-term solution that leads to a fulfilling long-term career.

Hiring Junior-Level Employees for the Long-Term

By Megan Greene on January 21, 2015

Most companies and candidates can attest that scooping ice cream for the summer is no longer enough on a recent grad or junior-level hire's resume. The market for candidates with 1-3 years of experience is more competitive than ever. Employer expectations are high and requirements like industry-specific internships, portfolios, knowledge of current software, and writing samples are now cost of entry.

So, as organizations' junior-level requirements evolve so should the overall perception of junior-level employees-- their talent, value and tenure. If you are an employer, ask yourself a few key questions before making your next entry-level hire. Read More...

How A Recruiter Should Work With You

By Megan Greene on July 15, 2014

Placing a great candidate in a great role is exciting for all parties involved—the candidate, the client and the recruiter. But in all of the excitement, a candidate should never feel rushed or pressured to make a decision. If you decide to work with a recruiter, you should feel like you're in a partnership and working with someone who is looking out for your best interests.

It's the recruiter's job to establish open and honest communication, and provide enough time and space for a candidate to think through and answer critical, but often glossed over, questions, such as:

1) Does this position truly match my skill set?

2) Is the company of interest to me?

3) Is the commute feasible/location convenient?

4) Is the salary or hourly rate in line with what I am looking for?

5) Have I asked all of the questions I have around the position/company/opportunity?

At a minimum, these are the questions that need to be answered (honestly) before accepting any position. And the right recruiter cannot only help you to answer them, but also bring insight and considerations to the table that may assist you in your decision.

What Professionalism Really Means

By Megan Greene on February 25, 2014

When I was looking for my first job out of college, the advice I received over and over again was "be professional." And, at the time, I thought "be professional" might have been code for "don't be yourself."

Now that I’m on the other side of things, I know that you can be yourself and still be professional. At Communications Collaborative, we are a tightknit, hardworking team, but we have fun. We have quirky senses of humor. However, I’ve also been at companies that are bigger and more formal.  I’ve realized that whether your company is small or large, informal or formal, there are universal professional attributes that will serve you well at any organization:

1) Respect: I put this at number one for a reason. Respecting and listening to the opinions of others, from the CEO to peers to interns, is the pinnacle of professionalism. Taking the time to understand different points of view, and identifying compromises when needed, are key to maintaining and growing a healthy, professional workplace. Read More...

Transitioning from College Into the Real World

By Megan Greene on October 22, 2013

It’s official. I’ve been out in the working world for over a year. And from bills and waking up early to juggling priorities and finding a place to live, I feel I have grown and changed immensely. 

Here are my top three pieces of advice for any grad embarking on their first year out of college:

1. Manage Your Money. Transitioning into the real world and learning how to manage a budget for rent, groceries, utilities, and “spending money” can be a real wake-up call. Keep track of your monthly income and where you spend your money, especially if you intend to start saving (and you should). Take advantage of phone apps that track monthly spending and then figure out a savings plan. If your company offers a 401k, do it. No, seriously, do it.

2. Wear Many Hats. Starting a new job, you’re going to be asked to do many things. It’s affectionately called “wearing many hats.” And when you’re fresh out of school, there will be some tasks that you’ll be asked to do that you don’t know how to do. Or, quite frankly, that you don’t particularly want to do. Cold calling, networking, excel spreadsheets— these might be on your “I don’t think I like/get this” list.

Here’s what’s happening. Your manager wants to see what you are capable of and how willing you are to take on new challenges. Don’t be intimidated. Keep your eyes on the prize. This is the most malleable stage of your professional career. Some new things you might hate, but others you will love. Take direction and push your limits everyday. You’re building a solid foundation for your professional success and figuring out where your strengths lie.

3. Own It. Your first year out of school, you will make a lot of mistakes. Own them, learn from them, and move on. And do your best not to make the same mistake twice. Owning mistakes makes you a better coworker, and just plain better. You will earn the respect and trust of colleagues if you can accept a mistake and demonstrate that you are smarter because of it.

So, good luck to anyone starting their first post-grad year! Take in every fun, crazy, challenging, exciting minute of it!

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