Types of employment in B.C.

There are many scenarios for working and earning in B.C. The global economy, evolving technology and company workforce restructuring are shifting work opportunities in some sectors from full-time to part-time and/or to contingent staffing (outsourcing).

Due to these forces, many of today's workers don't work for organizations on a permanent basis. They may be independent contractors, contract company workers, on-call workers, temporary workers who are hired directly or through an agency, "solopreneurs" and others. Many people will move between the stability of regular full-time work and the flexibility of other work scenarios over their working lives.

As you're exploring and making decisions about your career direction, consider the evolving trends and work landscape in the occupations and industries that interest you. And when you're looking for work, consider expanding your focus beyond the job you want to get to the kind of work you want to do.

Here are some of the ways you can work in B.C.:

Full-time work

Usual workweek of 30 hours or more at a main/only job
Advantages: security, predictable income, benefits, sense of belonging
Potential disadvantages: limited flexibility and control
 

Part-time work

Usual workweek of fewer than 30 hours at a main/only job
Advantages: security, predictable income, sense of belonging; may offer some benefits, work-life balance
Potential disadvantages: limited flexibility and control, part-time schedules may change week to week, challenge to coordinate two or more part-time jobs, limited or no benefits


Multi-tracking

Two or more work roles, e.g., two part-time jobs, job plus own business
Advantages: pursue a variety of interests, increased security from multiple income sources, increased flexibility
Potential disadvantages: pressure on leisure time, time-management challenges


Job sharing

Two or more people share the responsibilities of one job
Advantages: same as part-time work (with addition of split benefits), job partner’s support and collaboration
Potential disadvantages: communication and coordination challenges due to limited time overlap
 

Contract work

Set length of time working for a specific employer
Advantages: variety of work from one contract to next, sense of independence, flexibility
Potential disadvantages: gaps between contracts, unpredictable income, no benefits
 

Temporary work

Work in non-permanent positions through an employment agency
Advantages: opportunity to meet people, variety of work environments, ongoing learning, opportunities to move into permanent positions
Potential disadvantages: few benefits, set wage with little or no negotiation, insufficient time for sense of belonging
 

Casual or on-call work

Work only when needed, often on short notice
Advantages: remain in workforce, keep skills current, may lead to more regular work
Potential disadvantages: unpredictable income, problems scheduling other commitments and responsibilities, insufficient time to finish projects or for sense of belonging
 

Seasonal work

Steady, possibly long hours for some but not all months of the year, e.g., landscaping, tree planting
Advantages: study or travel during the rest of the year
Potential disadvantages: financial challenge due to periods of unemployment and weather impacts on work
 

Flex time

Many variations, the most common being a compressed workweek of longer hours for an extra day off, and standard day length with different start and end times
Advantages: flexibility for other responsibilities, appointments and other activities; match schedule to “biological clock”
Disadvantages: may require long shifts and, in some cases, rotating days off
 

Telecommuting

Work somewhere other than at employer’s place of business; use computer, phone, mobile applications
Advantages: independence to set own schedule, cuts commute to work, decreased interruptions
Potential disadvantages: may have home-based distractions, less sense of belonging