What to Expect When You’re Contracting with MindSpringby MindSpring Michael on June 30, 2020 in Job Seeker, MindSpring Michael
Michael again. How are things going lately? I don’t know about you, but I’m glad summer is officially here. There’s been a lot happening the last few weeks and sometimes all the news can feel overwhelming. One thing that’s helping me is getting out on my bike more. I’m taking a hiatus from gaming and I’ve been enjoying the miles of trails that run the Chicago lakeshore. It’s been awesome to get some fresh air and exercise. I even upgraded my bike gear and got a cool speedometer that tracks my rides. The tech nerd in me was really pumped about all the data I could collect and analyze.
On the job front, things have been going much better for me. Thanks to Tom and the MindSpring team, I was well prepared for my interview with the local startup they connected me with. After the interview and a follow-up conversation, they offered me the contract job! Once again, Tom and the team were a big help in guiding me through the process. They made sure I felt comfortable accepting the offer and walked me through the next steps, so I knew what to expect. My first day is next Monday. I’ll still be working from home for now, but after being furloughed these past few months, I’m really looking forward to getting back to work.
Before connecting with MindSpring, I didn’t know much about contract work and it turns out the little I did know was mostly untrue. Tom told me that a lot of people don’t really understand what it means to be a contractor. I did a little research on my own and realized there are lots of myths out there about it, so I figured I’d help set the record straight. Here are some of the common contract myths I found and what MindSpring does differently.
Myth #1: Contract employees don’t get benefits.
This is a big one and something I was really concerned about when I first started talking with MindSpring. My previous job had given me great benefits and that was part of the reason I was thinking about waiting out the furlough. As much as I wanted to get some income, benefits are also important to me. Luckily, with MindSpring, I didn’t have to choose. In fact, contract employees enjoy the same benefits as the MindSpring employees. That means medical, dental, and vision insurance, including an HRA option! Best of all, MindSpring pays half of my premium. If I had known contract work came with a complete benefits package, I might have considered making the switch a lot sooner.
Myth #2: Contractors don’t get paid time off.
I had always assumed that working as a contractor meant no time off. If you weren’t working, you weren’t getting paid. Turns out, that’s not actually the case. In fact, as a contract worker, you accumulate paid time off like any other employee. In Illinois, that means up to 40 hours of sick time that can be used to take care of yourself or family members when they’re ill (something that is especially important in our new COVID reality). MindSpring also works with you to accommodate special requests for time off in case of emergencies or other important events. I felt a lot better accepting my new contract job knowing that, if something did happen, I’d be able to get the paid time off I needed.
Myth #3: As a contract worker, I’m just a temporary employee. No one really cares how I’m doing.
I can’t speak for other staffing firms, but this isn’t the case at MindSpring. From the beginning, I felt like part of the team. They understood that decisions about my job and career were a big deal and they’ve been there to help at every step of the way. At MindSpring, I have a dedicated expert I can always turn to. I talked to my old colleague Mindy about this. She was always telling me how much she loved her recruiter Susie, but she also knew that the whole MindSpring team had her back. Now that I’m working with MindSpring, I understand what Mindy meant. Tom has been available to answer all my questions and, even though we can’t meet in-person right now, he’s been checking in with me regularly. I know he and the MindSpring team will be there to support me when I start my new contract role.
Myth #4: Contract work won’t help you advance your career because the jobs are only temporary.
I touched on this in my last post, but I wanted to return to the point because it’s an important one. Like a lot of people, I didn’t realize how many benefits there were to contract work before I got connected with MindSpring. Tom was the one who pointed out that these roles are a great way to gain new skills that can help you advance your career or prepare for future leadership positions. Through this process, I’ve also discovered just how many awesome companies are hiring for contract jobs. As a contractor, I now have the chance to work for cool companies where I might not otherwise have found opportunities. Best of all, contract jobs can sometimes turn into full-time, direct hire positions, and even if they don’t, I get to build my network and gain new contacts and job references. That’s a lot of different ways to advance my tech career.
Myth #5: Contract work is unreliable.
I get it. I had the same thought before talking to MindSpring. Contract work just didn’t seem like a safe, stable option. What I didn’t know is that Illinois is an at-will employment state. That means an employer can let workers go at any time for any reason (as long as it’s not an illegal one), so technically no job is really secure. More importantly though, if there’s one thing COVID has taught me, it’s that things can change quickly and dramatically no matter who you are or where you work. In fact, I’m feeling more secure with my new contract job because I know MindSpring will be in constant communication with my employer. They’ll know how the work is going, and when my contract is nearing its end, Tom will be there to lead the search for my next position. After all the chaos of the last few months, it feels good to know that MindSpring is watching out for me.
Are you ready to start contracting with MindSpring? Check out their open jobs and apply now! And don’t forget to check back for updates on my new contract job.