Ways to work

Permanent and temporary working

In today’s society there is an increasing trend of people opting out of the traditional full-time working schedule and choosing flexible working patterns instead. Most employers are open to the idea of flexible working even if they don’t currently offer it as an option to employees.

So what are the options available, what do they mean and how do you know which one is right for you?


Permanent employment is a full-time, salaried position with a contract to work the minimum amount of 36 hours each week.

The vast majority of workers are on a permanent contract and it’s as much for the protection of the employer as it is for the employee. Without permanent employees companies would be at risk of their workforce leaving at the drop of a hat.


  • Financial security. You know that you have a certain amount of money paid to you every month which allows you to budget effectively
  • Career opportunities are more accessible and you will have set goals to achieve within your role
  • You will generally have a greater sense of job satisfaction as you become integrated into your team and make long term friendships with colleagues


  • Work-life balance. Friends, family and other commitments may be affected by working long hours for an employer
  • Many people become frustrated by a lack of change and the same commute, the same four walls and the same colleagues every day can be a grind
  • Notice periods tie you to an employer for a certain amount of time even if you want to leave, which can put other employers off if it’s a long time period
  • There are upsides and downsides to all working patterns. But it’s up to you to understand what your priorities are, how much money you need to satisfy you and what offers you the best balance in your lifestyle.


Part-time means that you work less than the normal schedule either by working fewer days or fewer hours.


  • Fewer hours spent at work gives you more time to spend with your family and friends, especially if you have children or elderly relatives
  • If considering a career change, working part-time in various roles allows you to dip you toe in the water to see which path is right for you
  • You have the opportunity to study or undertake vocational training whilst earning money at the same time


  • Usually you will receive a lower income. Can you afford to reduce your earnings and still live comfortably?
  • Part-time workers generally have less responsibilities, influence and power than full-time workers
  • It’s very difficult to go from a permanent role to a part time position within the same company and you’ll need to convince your employer that you can still produce effective work within a shorter time period.

On the flip-side, if you’re having trouble finding a permanent position, taking a part time position could give you the opportunity to move into a full-time role if you can prove you’re indispensable to the business.


This could mean working for as little as one day or for as long as a few years for an employer. The real difference is that you have a definite end date for your employment period.

In times of economic uncertainty companies often increase the number of people they employ on a temporary basis rather than putting them on permanent contracts.


  • If you are only employed for a short period of time, you will escape the office politics that are a common feature in many organisations
  • It’s an ideal way to earn some extra cash for a short period of time, such as the run up to the holidays
  • Perfect option for newly qualified graduates or parents looking to return to work after raising a family
  • You can test out different roles without committing to the long-term


  • Irregular work. The number of hours you work one week may be different the next which will hit your pocket
  • Temporary workers have very few rights and this can leave you in a difficult situation when it comes to sick leave and holiday pay
  • To get into a temporary role it’s important to prove you can cover whatever need the employer has without a bedding in period that permanent employees have the luxury of. For highly skilled roles you’re advised to build a portfolio of past successes to prove your worth.

By Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Courtesy of monster.co.uk