Considering moving from permanent to contract?

​​If you are considering moving from permanent to contract work, there are a number of things you need to consider. The move will affect various parts of your life and you should give them all serious thought before you make your final decision…

CV issues

When you go from having a permanent position to undertaking various contracted roles, your CV will look a lot busier. While you might be able to build a whole host of different skills in these roles, you will also have shown that you do not stay in one position for a long time. If it is clear that these roles were contracted, it may not look so bad - but some employers may see the frequent job changes as an inability to commit to one position, so try to consider each role fully before committing to it. If it will add true value to your future career and portfolio, then go for it. If not, have another think. Take a look at our guide on contractor CVs for more information.


Moving from job to job will have an impact on your lifestyle as a whole. Whereas with a permanent position you might have set hours and days that you work, a contracted position can mean that you do different hours depending on the job. You could spend a few months doing Monday to Friday, nine till five and then the next few months working nights or weekends.

The unpredictability of it can take its toll on your personal life so you need to be aware of this, especially if you have plans in the future. If you’re planning a holiday for example, you’ll need to be careful about when it is so that it doesn’t interfere with your work. Some contracted positions will have various restrictions on holiday allowance and when you can take it so bear this in mind.

Time in between contracts

Notice periods for contract roles are often far shorter than those for permanent roles. This means that it's probably preferable to secure your next job while still in the current one as there is a chance that you may spend some time unemployed in between roles. This can put increased financial strain on you/your family and you'll need to consider how long it would realistically take for you to secure your next project.

If you know you’ll experience gaps in-between employment, you need to consider your financial circumstances for different reasons. While you might earn more during your contracted work, you may also need to save more so that you can have something to tide you over for when you are between roles.

Time of year

The time of year you look to switch to contract work is an important factor as during certain parts of the year there are far fewer opportunities out there. Typically, July, August, November and December are the least fruitful months for contract roles with more projects available during January, March, April and September.

There are a number of things to consider when making the move from permanent work to contract and you should give them careful thought. Once you have weighed up all the options, you will be in a better position to make that move and will be prepared for all the eventualities. Above all else, making the move from permanent to contract requires you to take a leap of faith, all be it a well informed one.

Still not sure about becoming a contractor? Our guide to whether contract work is right for you should answer some more of your questions.

Return to our contractor information page.

Find out more about switching to contract by contacting our team.

Take a look at our current contracts vacancies.