Adam Johnston is managing director, Hong Kong, at Robert Half .
Is a move to non-contract work worth the risk?
I have spent the last few years supplementing my job as a marketing executive by running pop-up stores at weekends with two friends during seasonal periods. They have both decided to call it a day but I have acquired a taste for this sort of retail. I’d love to move into a similar field but I am reluctant to give up the stability of a steady wage. Are there ways of doing this without leading a precarious existence?
A permanent job does offer a lot of stability in terms of a steady wage. However, it sounds like you’re keen on the prospect of pursuing the sort of work you love, which comes with career and lifestyle flexibility. You’re not alone – many Hong Kong professionals are finding temporary and contract employment an increasingly attractive option in today’s labour market. Many professionals enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with non-permanent placements, knowing they are not tied to any single employer for the long term.
For working professionals looking to make a career or lifestyle change, contract or temporary work arrangements can provide an ideal source of income. Even better, there’s strong demand for contract and temporary workers in Hong Kong in numerous industries, such as technology, finance and financial services.
One of the benefits of both temporary and part-time jobs is the opportunity to learn new skills, which can make you a more marketable candidate if you choose to move into the permanent workforce.
Another benefit is the sheer variety of work you can do. Because many temporary assignments last for just a few weeks or months, interim workers are always exposed to new projects and employers, which can often span a range of industries. That makes this career option a great way to network with a wide range of professionals and use your experiences at different workplaces to determine the right career path for you.
In terms of a steady income, you might be surprised to learn that you can earn a competitive salary through temporary roles. Contract jobs also offer the opportunity to better balance work and personal priorities because you’re not tied to a traditional full-time schedule.
If you do decide to move back into the permanent workforce, the experience of working in temporary roles can add value to your resume, but you’ll need to demonstrate that value. As a jobseeker, it’s important to explain how the positions you’ve held have boosted your skill set and helped your career development.