How Contract Work Boosts Fresh Graduates’ Careers

by Nikki in Articles

DatePosted on July 22, 2022 at 01:35 PM
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How Contracting Boosts Fresh Graduates’ Careers

It might be difficult for some fresh graduates to find a job with little to no prior work experience. This article provides some guidance and tips to graduates and future graduates on one of the most effective ways to launch a successful career.

Have you ever faced interviewers asking for work experience to back up your capabilities? Most young candidates go through this job application process just to find themselves being turned down for "insufficient experience". This article explains why fresh graduates should consider contract roles to advance their careers.

What is the trend among fresh grads in the job market? 

According to SCMP, fewer than a thousand fresh graduates secured trainee positions this year, reaching the lowest number in the last three years. Moreover, the jobs market suffered from the pandemic and political upheaval in the city of Hong Kong, making it fall behind the pre-pandemic norm.

Based on the Hong Kong Unemployment Rate, the state of the labour market stabilised with the policy-makers implementing social distancing restrictions, followed by a decrease in COVID-19 cases this year. As the industries start to recover and advertise more jobs, the competition for management trainees, paralegals, and other entry-level jobs challenges employees to stay active.

What is a contract role? 

A contract role is a non-permanent job that fulfills business needs during seasonal peak times. A contractor is a person who completes an appointment for a specific period.

What are the benefits of contracting?

Let’s find out together:

1. It helps build your CV/resume

Helping to fill a gap in your CV

While completing a bachelor’s degree, fresh graduates rush to polish their CVs and compete with other graduates in the same field. Some students may well end up with little career prospects when they fall short of securing a graduate position. This is often because they will have had little exposure in the jobs market prior to graduating. The longer you are without a job after graduating, the longer the gap until your first permanent role arrives. In many cases, that first permanent role may be far from your ideal goal.  

Having a gap in your CV often has less appeal to the HR or graduate recruitment team of your dream company. Work experience is essential, and contract roles not only help graduates to discover their passion by trying out different jobs they also fill the gaps in your career history.

2. Flexibility

Contract roles offer more flexibility and independence.

The flexibility of time is another advantage of taking on contract roles. Unlike full-time employees, contractors often have a two week notice period, which is shorter than the usual one or two months' notice period for permanent roles. This enables a contractor to cut short their assignment if they don't enjoy their role or environment, or if the role simply does not match their expectations.

In many instances, you don't have to attend all meetings to contribute to your work. It is common for contractors to work flexible hours that suit their lifestyles. With the rise of the #WFH trend, contract jobs often allow working remotely. Fewer 'in-person' interactions mean there is less chance of getting entangled in office politics — that gives you more freedom and independence, and more time to focus on building up your experience, which are essential components for a good foundation to your career.

3. Prioritise learning and experience

Learning and experience over salary.

Graduates applying for contract roles might have second thoughts for a few reasons: salary and job security. Contract work is not a time-wasting endeavour because it helps you gain valuable experience and mentoring opportunities. Fresh graduates can develop a great network of professionals of at all levels of seniority and positions.

Even a month in a company can fuel your personal growth and grant you the opportunity to learn from more experienced colleagues. The skills acquired at a company can be demonstrated in your resume to help you land your next job more efficiently.

4. Potential permanent roles

Employers can offer full-time positions to contractors.

Sometimes contract roles can lead to permanent full-time employment. The employer might keep contractors in the team if they show promising results and satisfy the job requirements.

For a fresh graduate, it should be worth considering contract roles while applying to jobs. Give it a shot if you are open to exploring different careers and roles. And if you are hesitating and wondering about the job application process, read our blog and articles where you may find answers to your questions. Feel free to contact our team of consultants for professional advice.



About the Author


Nikki is Star Anise's resident writer and curator of content on all things careers, coaching and recruitment related at the Star Anise Knowledge Hub. 

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