You’ve sorted out your resume and your online presence, and you’re ready to apply like crazy. Great! The next step is to figure out what kind of employment you’d like! The following breakdowns give only a very wide overview, but they’re things to think about when you’re deciding what type of employment is right for you.
Full-time employment has long been touted as the end-all goal, but while it’s great for some, it can be too confining for others.
- Usually offers benefits like health insurance and paid time off
- Usually salaried
- Often offers consistent schedules (often 9-5, M-F)
- Often comes with clear career advancement
- Projects and work can be longer term
- NDAs and Non-Competes can complicate personal projects and side work
- Full-time hours may not leave enough time for creative projects and other work
- Full-time hours may not offer enough flexibility for caretakers
Contract and Contract-to-Hire
Contract work is exactly what it sounds like—work where you’re hired for a set amount of time (often from 3-12 months). Some companies also offer contract-to-hire, where they may bring people on full-time at the end of their contract if the team is given the resources to do so.
- Can give you a taste for the company and the work before committing to a full-time position (at the same company or a similar one)
- Can offer similar benefits to a full-time position
- Is a guaranteed amount of work for a set period of time, allowing you to count on the money and plan around the work
- May leave you looking for a new position if you are not hired after the contract ends
- May not offer the critical benefits you need
- You may not get to participate in the kinds of projects you’re interested in
- Your time is still promised for a certain period, which may not offer the flexibility or time off you need
Part-time work can be great because it offers the stability of a position with more flexibility than most full-time jobs, but some can offer both too much flexibility and too little at the same time.
- Offers hours at a standard rate (with the exception of jobs which rely on tips)
- Offers coworkers and socialization
- Offers some flexibility in hours, depending on the position
- Usually have opportunities for advancement
- Schedules can change week to week, and it can be hard to ask for the time off you need
- Many do not offer benefits
- May not offer the hours you need
Last but not least, freelance! Freelancing can be great if you’re self-driven and want to be your own boss, but it also means a lot of hustle to find work and clients, especially when starting out.
- Can set your own hours and rates
- Can do the work you’re interested in
- Gives you the flexibility to pivot
- Depending on the work, can be easy to work remote
- Work is not guaranteed, so there’s a need to constantly hustle for new work and new clients
- No benefits except ones you purchase privately
- No tax withholding (we’ll get into this later, but always save 50% of what you earn!)
- No built-in coworkers
- No concrete path for advancement
Again, this is a starter list—we’ll get deeper into some of these things (especially freelance!) as we go forward, but for now, look over these points (and let me know if I’ve missed something critical!) and decide which kind(s) of employment is right for you!