Advice column: I’m unhappy in my current role but I’m fearful of accepting a temporary contract elsewhere

Dear Ash

I am really unhappy in my current role as there is low staff morale, high staff turnover and really long hours with little appreciation from management. I am, however, on a great salary and although the hours are long I do like the type of work I am doing. I have been looking for other opportunities in the market but have not been able to find a permanent role with a similar salary banding. However, I was recently offered a temporary contract position for 24 months in a large company and although the salary is similar I am fearful about the prospect of leaving a permanent role for a temporary contract. I am unhappy in my current role but I’m not sure whether to take the risk of taking up a temporary contract, especially as there are no guarantees that the contract would be extended after the 24 months, although it may be a possibility.

Ash replies:

In today’s workplace no job is for life and there are certainly no guarantees that your current role will last for another 24 months, especially as the company seems to be going through a seemingly volatile period with high staff turnover etc. 

However, with a permanent role you may still potentially have more enhanced rights than a temporary contractor, i.e. levels of sick pay, pension, benefits, redundancy etc, and you will need to weigh this up against your current level of unhappiness as well as factoring in your own particular financial circumstances. Only you will be able to determine whether you can actually afford to take the risk of taking up a temporary contract.

Of course, the temporary role may also add new skills to your CV which may make you more marketable in the long run.

I presume that you have attempted to take steps to try to improve your level of unhappiness in your current role and have decided that moving roles is the right option. I appreciate that you will not have taken the decision lightly and that the only current stumbling block is the lack of potential financial security associated with the current role on offer.

Personal happiness and contentment are important and cannot be underplayed, but you need to also ensure that your financial circumstances will not result in you worrying about finances if you do take the temporary post. The post itself does potentially offer you the opportunity of extension, although there are no guarantees, and therefore you need to weigh up your circumstances and decide if you can afford to take the leap of faith. Good luck whatever you decide.

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor:, or mail to Suite 6b, 1 Carmichael Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PH. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, head of admissions on 0131 476 8162 or by email:


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