While there are numerous benefits to contract work, the nature of the work can be challenging; job uncertainty, pressure and the feeling of isolation being the most common. Workplace stress and anxiety can impact contract workers, just as much as it can permanent employees, however the difference is that contract workers don’t always have a built-in support network or clear list of contacts to reach out to. Consequently, Public Sector People have collated some key steps to help alleviate stress for contract workers and ensure they’re functioning at their best whenever they take on a new contract with an organisation:
Contract work can feel isolating, as you’re often joining in on assignments or projects with an established team who are already familiar with an organisation’s policies and procedures. However, the best way to ‘bridge’ the divide between yourself and your new teammates - especially if they’re permanent employees – is making a conscious effort to invest in relationships. Over the last year with so many offices working remotely, it’s become easier for contractors to go under-the-radar as they see out their contract, but making the effort to connect with colleagues will not only instil a sense of belonging and happiness, but help expand your professional network. Research from Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage, found that social connection is one of the greatest predictors of happiness and reduced stress. In one of the largest studies on happiness ever conducted, Anchor found that the people that survived stress the best, are the people that actually increase their social investments in the middle of stress, which is the opposite of what the majority of people do.
Meanwhile, the long- term benefits of building strong relationships will help expand your professional network; if you’re looking for work further down the track you’ll have a greater number of people to reach out to or alternately may have people you’ve worked with previously able to refer you for an available job. Being able to demonstrate your ability to get along with people and cooperate in team environments will also position you favourably amongst managers and key decision makers within a department or organisation, which could help you become the contractor of choice for that organisation in future.
So, as a contractor how do you invest or build relationships with colleagues, especially when so many team members work remotely? HR managers suggest firstly, making the time to introduce yourself properly to your team- setting up short meetings in person or over zoom to introduce yourself and get a sense of what your teammates do and how they like to operate. For connections to feel legitimate rather than ‘forced’ HR professionals also recommend individuals thinking about how they can genuinely add value to the relationship or connection? Do you have expertise in a particular subject that might be of use to someone? Do you have a beneficial connection that might be useful to pass on to a colleague? Sharing articles others in your team might find interesting or connecting contacts with information or people that can help with their business needs, are both easy examples to help foster those initial connections. Finally, accepting any invitations from colleagues for lunch, coffee or social interactions outside of work are great ways to build your relationships. Taking the time to find out about teammates interests outside of work, the things going on in their life etc. demonstrate a level of effort and care that people value and will reciprocate.
While contract work comes with great flexibility and the opportunity to try your hand at different roles and experiences, the flipside of the coin is the level of uncertainty that comes with the job. Because contracts are short- term and often dependent on the completion of projects – especially within the public sector- contractors are always on the move and don’t have the same level of job security as their permanent counterparts. This irregularity can be a source of stress, especially when you’ve got family and financial obligations to look after. Which was intensified last year when the outbreak of covid impacted the job market; suddenly contractors finishing up with organisations or coming to the end of their project were faced with greater competition and organisations who no longer had the capacity to take contractors on.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of external factors that contractors can’t control in regards to job security and longevity – it is the nature of the job. However, there are a few things contractors can do to help prepare themselves and minimise the time between roles, which in turn can minimise related job stress and help deal with the uncertainty. The first is to have an open dialogue with your employer, especially when you’re coming closer to the end of your project or contract. If you’ve enjoyed your time at the organisation, don’t be afraid to ask about future possibilities or their thoughts on having that contract extended. Gaining clarity on the organisation’s capacity and their future goals and priorities can help you plan ahead. If you know in advance that your contract won’t be extended, you can give yourself more time to look for opportunities and lock in your next contract, which can minimise stress levels. It’s also important that those in contract work have a constant eye on the job market, so they’re aware of any interesting opportunities that pop up. It’s also worth reaching out to recruiters within your industry or specialise in contract roles, so that you’ll be top of mind for any opportunity that might arise. Recruiters will also do a lot of the initial leg work with organisations for you, which will save you time and again, help minimise stress.
Finally, taking the time to invest in your ongoing development and learning can be a proactive way to manage uncertainty or if you have a bit of down time between contracts. Being up-to-date with the latest market trends and technology increases your employability, however contractors don’t necessarily get the chance to utilise company-funded training and education like permanent employees do, so the responsibility falls on the individual. Setting time aside to take courses in-between contracts, obtain relevant certifications and build your knowledge and skill-level will help you stand out against competitors and become qualified for a greater range of positions, which ultimately helps increase your chances of having a healthy and long-term career in contracting.
Although being a contractor gives you more flexibility, a contract is usually made up of set hours and key deliverables you need to achieve within those hours- especially for contractors in construction and project management roles. Consequently, leaving work ‘on time’ isn’t always possible. Busy periods, tight deadlines or expectations set by your fellow team members or managers can apply pressure, making you feel the need to work longer hours and feel overwhelmed- especially if certain tasks are taking longer than anticipated or the team experience any setbacks which means deadlines aren’t being met. To avoid feeling like you’re drowning in work, HR experts recommend the following steps:
If you’re finding that working overtime has become the norm rather than the exception, it’s important to remember that as a contractor you are in charge of your own hours. If the workload is becoming too overwhelming and impacts your ability to work effectively, you can reach out to your manager or supervisor about your concerns. Perhaps the workload is overwhelming due to the deadlines that were initially set not being realistic, or perhaps the resources dedicated to the task initially weren’t enough. Projects rarely go exactly to plan and there will always be some adjustments to be made which managers are aware of. If there are issues or problems that you’re experiencing, your team and supervisors will appreciate you flagging these ahead of time, rather than a week before the project is due or worse, failing to deliver the final result. Ultimately your managers want you to succeed in delivering the final project, so If you are struggling with the workload, they’ll want to work with you to resolve any issues and minimise stress moving forward.
For managing day-to-day workloads, the global job site Indeed recommends many suggest trying to limit the number of meetings you have a day or blocking time out of your diary, which you can then dedicate to working on whatever priority you need to, uninterrupted.
Contractors have become a considerable portion of the public sector’s workforce - AusTender reported that contracts for temporary workers in 2020 totalled $1.36 billion which was an increase of around $500 million on the previous year. Last year also marked the sector’s lowest proportion of ongoing employees, representing 87.5% of the workforce. While there aren’t as many formal support programs or benefits available to contract workers as permanent employees, it’s important for contractors to reach out if they’re feeling stressed, overworked or isolated. You can always reach out to your organisation’s HR department to see what wellness programs, social activities or general support is available to you.
Otherwise, outside of the organisation you can reach out to mental health and support organisations such as Beyond Blue and R U OK? Furthermore, some recruitment organisations offer formal programs or assistance for candidates they place in a new role. At Public Sector People, we’ve created a formal after-care program for our candidates in which our consultants will regularly keep in touch with both the candidate and client, identify any potential issues and act as a facilitator for both parties, to ensure candidates can feel properly settled and secure in their new role.
To find out more about Public Sector People’s aftercare program or the current contract opportunities our consultants have available, you can reach us at:
Phone: (03) 8535 3111
Public Sector People are currently inviting applications for the Coordinator of Governance to work with a Council based on the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay, about 40 kilometres south east of the CBD. As the Coordinator of Governance you are responsible for providing expert advise and support to Councillors & relevant staff. Role supervises two direct reports & we are are seeking someone with proven extensive experience in Governance and Council would be preferred. Key Requirements: Extensive relevant experience in local government in a similar position Sound knowledge and experience in the legislation applicable to Governance Services functions Proven management skills with the ability to provide leadership and motivation to a team Understanding of and/or experience in maintaining and monitoring systems High level of verbal and written communication skills to enable effective communication Ability to interpret and communicate complex legislative requirements and information Well-developed organisational skills to manage competing pressures to meet tight deadlines and achieving unit and departmental objectives A commitment to providing high quality customer service For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format using the apply
Public Sector People (PSP) are currently looking to speak to a Digital Content Producer who would be interested in a 3-month rolling contract within a Local Government organisation. Immediate start Inner Melbourne location (work from home available) Part of a GREAT forward thinking team under their customer experience department. $43 - $46 an hour + super BAU and Project based role Currently recruiting candidates who have a passion for content! Someone who is a highly skilled content marketing individual with a passion for building websites and social media! This role plays a huge part within the Digital team and assisting with the ‘What’s On’ platform to inform the community of what is happening and planned to happen within the area. The 2 roles available are split into two, one is to work on the BAU functions and one is to work solely on project work within the team. The team have an extremely exciting journey ahead and this role will contribute to making their vision happen and assist in modernising their platform. Key Responsibilities: Coordinate a content calendar for multiple social media platforms and accounts. Manage sensitive/ political content and moderation of comment threads. Use data engagement data and reporting tools to draw insights and report on post performance and suggest methods for improving the channels performance. Create social media content and work closely with the design team to meet business objectives. Manage the marketing inbox and respond to relevant inquiries, using your expertise knowledge to liaise with stakeholders. Build relationships with internal stakeholders across multiple business units to discuss events and content ideas. Requirements Include: The following qualifications and/or experience are required for the position: A relevant degree or diploma with relevant work experience. Experience managing sensitive content and having a strong understanding of latest trends in social media and best practice methodology. Photography and video skills highly desirable. A passion for Social Media and content. Strong level of initiative and able to work autonomously. Outstanding verbal and written communication skills with a strong attention to detail. Ability to write highly engaging, actionable content tailored for the channel and purpose. If you are interested, please apply now!! This role won’t be around for long! For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other positions within Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on 03 8535 3111.
Public Sector People (PSP) are currently looking to speak to an experienced Media & Communications Officer to join a Regional Council in Victoria's north-east region on temporary, full time basis for an initial 6-8 week contract. ASAP contract for 6-8 week contract with potential to extend Band 6 | Hourly rate negotiable 38 hours week Regional Council in Victoria's North-East Fully remote working available Working with Council in a very busy & exciting time, as the successful candidate you will be responsible for the coordination of Council's proactive media relations this would include; sourcing stories, writing & distributing media releases and preparing timely responses to media enquires. Qualifications and demonstrated working experience in media, communication & digital services Proven experience in journalism, communications, public relations with particular emphasis on journalistic writing Political nous and ability to effectively manage Council’s public profile, including through any period of adverse media coverage Proven experience providing high level Media relations and Communications advice within political environment Experience with Open Cities advantageous Understanding of Local Government or political working environment advantageous For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other positions within Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111
Public Sector People are currently inviting applications for an Executive Assistant with a minimum of 3-5 years experience, to join our client, a council based in Melbourne's inner suburbs! As the successful candidate you will provide high level, confidential, efficient administrative support to the CEO and across the wider directorate. Key Requirements: Minimum 3-5 years experience in an Executive Support role Highly developed interpersonal skills in order to establish positive working relationships across a large organisation High standard of written communication, with proven experience dealing with management, executives, employees, councillors & other internal and external stakeholders Highly developed time management skills, ability to plan, manage and organise your workload Local Government experience desirable Get in touch ASAP for more information! For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other positions within Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111.
Benefits include: Contract to November 2022 with potential to extend Excellent transport links close to council ASAP start - apply today, start tomorrow! Flexible working on offer About the role: Public Sector People are currently inviting applications for the role of Governance Officer to join a inner metro Council in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs on a contract through until end of November 2022! The main objective of this role is to provide efficient, effective & confidential administration support to the Strategic Governance & leadership team by undergoing such tasks as; providing high level support to the EA & Team Leader, triaging of a busy email inbox, raising & allocating requests to various departments across the organisation, following up on those requests and running reports, whilst proactively managing diary and meeting schedule for multiple stakeholders. Requirements include: Proven skills in providing administrative and secretarial support in a confidential team based environment Ability to plan workload and manage competing work demands Demonstrated advanced experience in MS Office, especially in creating, formatting & editing complex Word and Excel documents Well-developed knowledge of the operations and protocols of Local, State and Federal Government Ability to liaise with the Directors, Managers, employees and Councillors to progress organisational matters. Knowledge and experience in Council's organisational structure For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other Administration roles in Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111.
Public Sector People (PSP) are currently looking to speak to experienced Corporate Planning & Performance professional to join a Council based in Melbourne's CBD on an initial 9 month contract commencing ASAP. ASAP contract for 9 months 38 hours week Council based in Melbourne's CBD Corporate Planning | Governance | Reporting Focus on Council's Annual Report Corporate Planning & Performance Working within a high performing, knowledgeable & collaborative team as the successful candidate you will be responsible for coordination of the production of Council's Annual Report, ensuring compliant to the requirements of the Local Government Act. Working closely with Strategic Communications in the coordination of corporate publication requirements for the Council Plan along with providing analysis, insights and reporting on portfolio performance to the division. Key Requirements: Knowledge and experience with Victorian Local Government Performance Reporting Framework Knowledge and experience of the Victorian Local Government Act Substantial Corporate planning and annual reporting experience Experience in use of Data Collection Ability to analyse and report on previous data Well-developed interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to build positive working relationships across a large organisation Intermediate Microsoft Office and database skills with the ability to create and adapt to a range of technology applications for reporting and data analysis For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other positions within Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111
Public Sector People (PSP) are currently looking to speak to confident Marketing & Communications leaders to join a Local Government in Melbourne's CBD on temporary, full time basis through until December 2022! ASAP contract through until December 2022 Marketing | Communications | Creative | Arts 38 hours week Council based in Melbourne's CBD 4 direct reports Marketing Manager Opportunity to work with Council in Melbourne's CBD, as the Marketing Manager you will be leading, managing and developing the Arts House Marketing & Communications team. As well as responsibility for marketing strategies for the Arts house and the schedule of programs, with focus on maximising awareness, engagement & attendance! Key Requirements: Proven track record of delivering successful marketing and communications strategies in preferably arts/Creative industry setting Demonstrated, outstanding interpersonal skills, including the capacity to communicate a compelling brand and identity to engage a diverse range of people, communities audiences and stakeholders Solid understanding of and experience working with diverse stakeholders such as creative teams, artists, external contractors, media partners and government agencies to achieve desired outcomes Strong project management skills with a proven ability to manage a range of projects simultaneously and to deliver agreed outcomes within established timeframes Outstanding people leadership skills developed through a demonstrated background in leading, developing and motivating diverse staff in a collaborative manner For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or other positions within Local Government, please contact Sarah Kettlewell on (03) 8535 3111
PSP is working with a large Local Government organisation. They are looking to engage an IR Business Partner on a 12 month contract role. Role: Provide end to end support on all operational Employee Relations and case management matters Provide a point of escalations for all Industrial Relations across the organisation Conduct formal investigations in response to workplace misconduct and/or grievances. Interpret and provide specialist advice in relation to the interpretation of industrial agreements and conditions. Lead specific Employment and Industrial relations projects Be a point of contact and representative for discussions, negotiations and hearings with Unions, State and Federal based Tribunals and Commissions and the Fair Work Ombudsman. Strong experience working in industrial and employee relations. For a confidential discussion or to register your interest in Human Resources roles, please contact Wallentina Simmons at PSP on 0412 102 322. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format to email@example.com
Public Sector People are inviting expressions of interest from Town Planning professionals seeking Local Government opportunities. As an approved supplier to councils within NSW, we are actively seeking industry experienced planning professionals to fulfill long and short term contract roles. We work with a number of leading public sector organisations in both metro Sydney and rural NSW and have positions at all levels. If you have already had public sector experience and are seeking your next contract opportunity, please register with us today! Requirements include: Tertiary qualifications, at degree level in Urban Planning or related discipline. Experience in the assessment and resolution of planning, heritage and urban design issues associated with development applications, preferably in local government. Strong communication skills and an ability to balance a broad range of stakeholder needs and customer expectations. Benefits include: Flexible working hours, secure the elusive work/life balance. Attractive hourly rates. Gain valuable experience within progressive councils. Work with a recruitment consultant who has been recruiting planners in Local Government for the last three years. For a confidential discussion or to register your interest in planning roles, please contact Wallentina Simmons at PSP on 0412 102 322. Alternatively, please e-mail your current resume in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Role: Public Sector People are currently recruiting for an experienced Project Manager to join our local council client on a 12 month contract. The successful candidate will have extensive project management experience across civil infrastructure from design through to construction. Position will be focused on large civil projects across road upgrades and widening projects. Key Responsibilities: Providing the delivery of high-quality civil infrastructure projects by effective and ongoing monitoring of the projects to ensure the projects are delivered as per the specifications, and desired quality, safety and environment standards are achieved, with in time and budget constraints that meets legislative requirements, grant conditions and customer expectations. Assisting in the achievement of “best value” investment in infrastructure assets by contributing to the development, implementation and maintenance of effective budget and project programmed and systems. The analysis, evaluation and planning of infrastructure project options and strategies. Achieving project and program delivery goals (encompassing quantity, quality, time, safety, environmental and cost) by actively coordinating and overseeing the planning, design, procurement, construction and hand over processes across the organization. Providing high quality civil infrastructure by monitoring the execution and completion of works to achieve required specifications, quality, safety and environmental standards, time and budget constraints, legislative requirements, grant conditions and customer expectations. Assisting in maximizing Council’s access to and use of grant funds for infrastructure projects by identifying sources and preparing sound grant submissions and applications. Developing strong relationships with relevant government agencies. Negotiate and manage complex multi-million-dollar contracts. Contributing to the development of “best practice” infrastructure solutions by considering political sensitivities, life cycle costs, safety, amenity, environment, access & user behavior, community expectations and other risk management issues. Key Skills: Tertiary qualifications in Civil Engineering or Construction Management, together with extensive experience in project management of design and construction of major civil infrastructure projects. Current Class C Driver's License If you meet the above criteria and are looking for your next contract opportunity please apply via the appropriate link with a CV attached. For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity please contact Paul Cullen on 0403 242 600
PSP are working with a large Government organisation who are looking to engage a Senior Town Planner. ROLE: Providing technical advice Assessment of Development Applications (DA's) Deliver high quality customer service to applicants, residents and other stakeholders in the City through the provision of expert advice on relevant processes, polices and regulations. Deliver evidence and appear as an expert witness on behalf of Council in the Land and Environment Court and Local Court in accordance with legislative requirements and regulations. Undertake the project management of development related applications from lodgement to determination and manage DA matters arising during construction, including co-ordination of input from other Units and Government authorities. Key Requirements: Degree qualifications in Town Planning Excellent written and verbal communication skills Knowledge of local government and environmental legislation Strong time management and problem solving skills For a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity or similar roles in Local Government, please contact Paul Cullen on 0403 242 600 | email@example.com.