Debunking the myths of Contract Work in Japan - Job-Seekers Edition

Contract document

In our Employers Edition, we shared that contract solutions are becoming a more attractive option for companies that require highly specialised skills. Although there are positive prospects in contracting, many Japanese workers are still hesitant to accept contract jobs. Even when a contract position has been offered to them, many job seekers would still prefer to wait for a permanent role.


Why is this so?

  • Permanent roles provide a sense of stability both financially and mentally
  • Contractors are paid less, and valued less
  • Difficulties in cultivating long-term skills

The pandemic, digitalisation, and automation have all intensified the trend towards new working models and made agility a central focus for businesses.

We will be debunking some of these myths that job-seekers possess when job-hunting. With an increasing number of contracting job opportunities available in the market, perhaps you should consider contract jobs and the gig economy as an alternative career option instead of waiting on a permanent role.


Myth 1: “Full-time employees are paid more than temporary or freelance workers.”

Perhaps the biggest concern for job seekers is the strong impression that non-regular employees and freelancers are underpaid. It is also true that there has been a disparity between full-time and part-time employees, not only in terms of wages but also in terms of overall treatment, including benefits.

However, with the new implementation of "equal pay for equal work" from April 2021, the scheme aims to tackle this issue and eliminate the disparity between regular and non-regular employees, regardless of the size of the company. As a result, the wage gap between regular and non-regular employees is expected to narrow in the future.

Furthermore, in the case of outsourcing work as a freelancer, the remuneration tends to be higher than the monthly income of regular full-time employees. This may be due to the social insurance premiums and other costs covered by the company for full-time employees.

Unlike full-time employees, freelancers have full control over your own work hours. If your company pays you at an hourly rate, you also have the chance to earn more than full-time employees.


Myth 2: “My income and role in the company is not stable.”

As mentioned earlier, the salary of freelancers varies greatly depending on the number of projects they receive. However, compared to full-time employees who are basically guaranteed the same monthly income regardless of whether it is a busy or quiet season, the amount of work you do in contract-based jobs is directly related to your income.

In addition, while your time at a particular company may only be for a short stint, your chances of returning to the same company in future as a full-time staff is possible too. At Global Enterprise Partners, we have affiliate recruitment brands that can help you find a permanent position with a company that you have worked for before, and much more easily. We can also assist you with permanent recruitment or those looking for a career change.


Myth 3: “It is difficult to develop long-term skills as a temp or freelancer.”

One of the advantages of being a full-time employee is that the company invests in developing your skills through training.

On the other hand, it should be noted that your development is also based on the company's growth strategy, and the skills you can acquire may not necessarily align with your personal aspirations.

For example, if you want to develop your project management or Python coding skills, but your company does not require those skills, you may not have the chance to pursue this under the company. As freelancers, you get the liberty to choose your own projects, and thus plan your own development by focusing on your preferred project. With materials and resources readily available on the internet today, individuals can easily acquire skills without spending a lot of money.


In conclusion…

The market for contract recruiting is expected to grow even further in the near future which means a higher demand for contract workers or freelancers. If you are a candidate who is interested in a more flexible working arrangement and one that potentially pays you higher, please feel free to contact us via the form below. We will be able to explain to you the benefits in greater detail and advise you on the career path you should take based on your goals. You may also choose to follow us on LinkedIn to get the latest updates about the contract market for ERP roles in Japan and the wider Asia Pacific. 

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