A long-term full-time job can be both beneficial and detrimental to you. It can give you a sense of safety and opportunities to advance in an organisation, but it can also stop growth, prevent you from learning new skills or experiencing new trades in the workforce; one of the reasons why people are changing jobs more than ever before.
In a Forbes article written by contributor Liz Ryan, she goes into detail explaining the various ways full-time employment can hurt a person. According to her, workers with steady careers "aren’t confronted with the realities of the labor market in the same way we’ll be if we are out in it, looking for work more often." Ryan says that having the same job under your belt for 20+ years is very rare in the new millennium. Most employers now actually expect you to have had multiple jobs.
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Let’s start by examining the advantages:
1. Vacation, Holiday and Sick Pay
If you are a full-time employee, then you should receive more vacation, holiday and sick days than part-timers as paid time off is usually calculated based on the number of total hours employed. This way you can plan your holidays or take some time off when you’re sick without feeling guilty.
2. Job Advancement is Easier
No one can guarantee that you will be offered a promotion. But, you have more chances of qualifying for any advancement opportunities than part-time or temp workers. One of the positives of being a permanent employee is that the company views you as a long term investment.
Offering you a promotion will benefit them since you already have a good relationship with your coworkers, you know all the company policies and understand your clients’ needs. And, if you don’t get offered a promotion you will at least have a secure job as long as you meet your performance standards and your position isn’t terminated.
3. Companies Offer Insurance Benefits
Most people would say that one of the best advantages of a 9-5 job are company-subsidised or company-paid insurance benefits. These insurance policies include things such as health, life, disability or even accidental death with many companies offering family coverage as well. Even though this usually comes after the probation period (3-6 months) it’s nevertheless a massive cost that you don’t have to pay for.
4. You Have a Fixed Schedule
You will have a fixed schedule with specific working hours. This means that you will be able to plan the rest of your day accordingly without having to change them all the time. No one will call you to change your schedule at the last minute or make you work a crazy amount of hours or any working hours that you wouldn’t agree with first. Some people would call this monotonous, but if you want some stability in your professional life, full-time employment can offer you this.
5. A Fixed Salary
Your employer will provide you with a fixed salary on a weekly or monthly basis. All you have to do is do what is expected of you and meet your daily or weekly quotas, be a good employee and at the end of the month you will get paid a specific amount of money. This way you can plan and pay all your expenses, put money aside for other long-term plans and feel safe that no matter what you will have money in your pocket for at least one more month.
Now let's take a look at the five disadvantages:
1. You Become Stagnant
Sticking with one employer can make you completely stagnant. You become comfortable with the pay, the amount of work given, and the workplace environment. You’re just happy to have a job. You don’t even consider thinking about any other careers.
At the same time, you may become robotic in the same routine. A long-term boss may give you the same daily demands making it an easy schedule to follow. But, you might find yourself constantly fulfilling the needs of your employer and that’s it. This can hold you back from realising talents and gifts you never knew you had.
2. Realising Your True Potential is Hard
While we’re on the subject of unknown talent, a 9-5 job can make you feel like you’re working inside a box. Like Ryan mentions, "We have a job description. We stay inside that frame. We don’t ask questions about other people’s duties. We don’t get altitude and look beyond our own cubicle."
Believing whatever your employer says to you, blinds you to other passions you may have. Your curiosity to know what else is available to you in the outside world is taken away from you. All that is common to you is the job you are doing. Your true potential will never be realised.
3. Buying and Selling Services Become Blurred
When you work under someone, you are obviously selling a service that the employer is buying from you. Without any hesitation, you fulfil tasks and assignments that are given to you. These projects, more than likely, have no worth to you as a professional person, but it does for your boss.
The disadvantage of being a full-time employee is that the swapping of services becomes blurred for you. There is no clear reason as to why you completed certain tasks other than you were told to - or else it could have jeopardised your career. If you were asked at a job interview why a certain project was important to you, you can’t just say, "Because it was important to my boss." Your job can at times inhibit you from pursuing and accomplishing projects that have personal value.
4. Your Résumé is Boring and Lacks Various Experiences
Having the same job for many years can negatively affect your resume. As mentioned before, companies sometimes look for an array of experiences when considering a potential candidate. Since you’ve been working for the same employer for X amount of years, your resume becomes dull and dry; it doesn’t show any versatility in skills and services.
A boring resume may get you overlooked by competition that has varied experience in their career history. The key to having a top-tier resume and cover letter is opening yourself up to other occupations, whether they end up being similar or completely off-center from your profession of choice.
5. Job-Hunting Becomes Difficult
Full-time work can make it hard for you to get back in the groove of job hunting. If you haven’t looked for a job for a long time, then you may not know where to begin. As mentioned before, becoming too content with where you are could lead to disaster; especially if you find yourself laid off or fired from your job.
Also, your employer may be a person who tries to hold you hostage. They may give you bonuses or rewards as a way to keep you satisfied with the job. If you’re anxious to see what else is out there, then don’t let your current job keep you from expanding your horizons.
Full-time employment is not for everyone. Depending on your needs and current situation, it may harm you or benefit you in many ways. Since there are several possible advantages and disadvantages, you need to “weigh” which are the most important for you.
Is there anything that we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…
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This article was originally posted in January 2015.