Good Work, Precarity and Contracts (Episode 11) | Sarah explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of research-adjacent job contracts
“I think the sweet spot is often around about three to five years, because three to five years gives you enough time to get really stuck in and show what you can do. And after three to five years most people are actually ready to move on to something else anyway.”
The good, the bad, and the ugly of research-adjacent contracts
This week’s Research Adjacent podcast is another solo episode. Host Sarah McLusky explores some common issues around contracts in the research-adjacent sector. Although it might sound like a dry topic, it’s something that keeps coming up in podcast interviews (and conversations with friends and colleagues too!).
In particular, this episode tries to reframe some of these conversations to help you navigate the job market more confidently. It explores why fixed-term contracts are not the enemy, and why ‘good work’ isn’t just about job security. It also considers why, depending on where you are in your career, there are times when short contracts can be a huge opportunity. And, counter-intuitively, why long fixed-term contracts can actually be more secure than open-ended contracts.
Understanding how to make different contracts work for you
In this episode Sarah covers
- What characterises ‘good work’
- Jargon busting – the difference between fixed term, open-ended and fractional contracts
- Why open-ended isn’t always better
- Toxic practice to watch out for
- When short contracts might be the right thing for you
- Making the most of a fixed term contract
If you need more support navigating your research-adjacent career, Sarah offers 1-to-1 coaching and mentoring – find out more here.
Find out more
- Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Read the report which defines the concept of ‘good work’ – Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On
- Or read this interesting article on why ‘non-linear’ careers are the future
How was it for you…?
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