Permanent vs Contract roles

Permanent vs Contract? Find out what fits

Contracting work has outgrown permanent positions enormously over the past five years within the Irish IT sector, gaining serious traction as the popular go-to role option. It’s a far stretch from the traditional permanency, yet so many people have thronged to the idea of this footloose and fancy-free work lifestyle. So, how exactly do you know if contracting will suit you and your lifestyle? Today, we’re exploring what exactly contracting means and we’ll analyse the pros and cons to both sides of the career coin.

Contract jobs


  1. Experience a variety of work environments across a multitude of industries. You won’t be tied down long-term to one company or organisation, you become less involved in the usual work politics, and thus work fatigue and burn-out dissipates.
  2. The variation of jobs organically leads to acquiring more skills through experiencing more personalities; hence (hopefully) developing more social communication skills. Networking opportunities are huge in contracting as you meet more clients. More contacts = more doors open.
  3. Expenses-wise, you could be eligible to deduct a portion that you wouldn’t usually qualify for in a permanent position. This happens because you will be essentially working for yourself, either through an umbrella company, or by going into business as a limited company.

Tip: If you take a contract that runs over 24 months, you will NOT be able to claim site-based business expenses.

  1. And did you know that you can potentially earn a lot more than your permanent contemporary? This is because you will cost the company less than a permanent person. Bonus points too if you hold a specific in-demand skill or certification; it’s common for overseas projects to pay serious money for the right candidate with the right skills.

Yet this isn’t always the case, and in fact you could be losing out in other ways…


  1. The dizzying range of benefits that are now freely offered across the tech sector will not apply to you, such as: pension schemes, private health care, car allowances, professional development funds.
  2. This goes for holiday and sick leave too. You are financially responsible for when you’re unable to work, and can be quite challenging, especially if you’re supporting a family.
  3. It’s your responsibility to submit your taxes correctly and timely. Ireland is lauded for its unfavourable stance of the ‘self-employed’ so to navigate the tax landscape, you may need to spend money on hiring an accountant to make sure you’re compliant.
  4. Unpredictable may be a word you will hear often. Hours can vary, never mind the time it takes for you to line up your next contract. Without the consistent flow of income coming in, the rainy days could be more often than you think.

Permanent jobs


  1. The reliable flow of money coming into your bank account monthly. It can’t be beaten!
  2. The company-paid benefits are sometimes the reason why people take their role. We’re seeing people receiving 10% company-contributed pensions within the tech sector with full health insurance on the rise. Stock options offered can be a total game changer for your retirement when left to mature accordingly.
  3. Feeling secure knowing that your position is permanent, especially during a time of weak demand. This also cuts out the time spent searching for contracts as often as every three months. Career leaps are more favourable to a person who has proven time and investment in the one long-term role.
  4. Becoming committed to your team and company brand can instil a greater sense of job satisfaction, and you can meet some long-lasting friends in your work arena.


  1. Your wings become tied when you lose the freedom to leave at the drop of a hat. People become institutionalised and lose confidence in their ability in any other role.
  2. Working longer hours is more common in a permanent role which will naturally upset your work-life balance.
  3. Frustration and decreased enthusiasm for the job has been sited when people stay in one job for longer. Lack of change and staring at the same four walls becomes a chore, rather than an opportunity to forward yourself.

Was this article helpful? If you would like to find out if you’re better suited for a permanent position or a contracting role, speak with one of our IT recruiters today at itContracting.

Career Advice