'You are your own brand'
Tennis coach Andrew Mah, 60, has never worked on a full-time permanent basis.
His industry is dominated by term contract workers who work per sporting season or on six- to 12-month terms.
Mr Mah, who has 35 years of experience, says: "It is like running your own business. You need to market yourself because you are your own brand."
He coaches at CHIJ Secondary School and Ngee Ann Polytechnic on 12-month term contracts.
When contracts do not get renewed, he hits GeBiz, the Government's procurement portal, or job sites.
Mr Mah says: "I cannot take my job for granted. If I cannot perform to employer's expectations, there's always someone else to replace you.
"The competition is not just over what we bring to the table, but also over rates. I peg mine to the market rate but there could always be people who undercut."
He does not mind these "undercutters" as it gives newcomers a chance.
Employers know what they are paying for, he adds.
"Any one of us can choose to start a bidding war, but it might backfire. If I charge a premium, I will have to perform to justify my income," he says.
"You have to earn your keep, the employer gets what they want, so it is a win-win."
But he admits contract work has disadvantages - the lack of yearly bonuses and welfare entitlements.
Taking a leave of absence can be a problem as not all contract workers have leave benefits.
Mr Mah says: "If you decide to take a break for one day, you don't get paid for that day."
In June, the Ministry of Manpower and its tripartite partners released guidelines for employers to extend paid leave to contract staff, and employers are still catching on.
Mr Mah has also been unceremoniously dropped after a contract expired with little notice.
He recalls: "I was taken by surprise because I thought I had a good relationship with the employer.
"While contracts are not automatically renewed, there should be some notice so we can anticipate what may happen."