Whether you’re a new or seasoned IT contractor, here are RoleConnect’s Top Tips.
1. Go Direct– It makes sense. You control your career and choose where you want to work and for what employers. It’s obviously very attractive if you can double your income without actually working a second more. (See earnings increase opposite.) But there’s more to it than that. Getting hired directly is a much more transparent and fairer process. As one of our contractors hired directly via the RoleConnect beta puts it ‘It’s much more straightforward. I was contacted by Project Manager and offered the job, no messing. There was no haggling, and I had a clearer understanding of the project as I was dealing with the person I report to’.
2. Keep Informed – What are the most in demand IT skills for contractors to have at the moment? Have you got them? You’re now in control of your career and that also means training and re skilling. We publish the top skills in demand, our RoleConnect Index on a regular basis, so keep an eye out here and on twitter. Our current top five most wanted IT contract skills are Java, .Net & C#, Tech Support, PHP & Symphony and Network Engineers.
3. Build a Team – If you’ve worked with some great contractors on interesting projects in the past and you’ve worked well together before, why not market yourselves as a dream team of IT contractors? Belfast based Infrastructure expert Ian Moran says ‘It’s all about building dynamic teams to take on a piece of work an individual could not tender for. Once the work is done the team can be dismantled – agile expertise if you will. I always welcome working with a team and have done so many times in the past – it is THE way to get a group of experts together to take on a piece of work. Also for many reasons employers feel happier tendering to a group rather than an individual’. Employers love successful teams. As past performance is a guide to future success, they prefer to rebuild teams with a
track record of working well together. If you’re approved to join RoleConnect.com, you have the option to name other contractors you’ve collaborated with successfully in the past.
4. Market your Skills- Keep in contact previous colleagues and industry contacts, they will know your value better than anyone else. If they don’t have an immediate need for your services, they might know other people that do. It’s up to you to maintain and build your personal brand. Be active on social media and show that you’re the expert in your field by engaging with others. You might be surprised by what offers might come your way.
5. Be Aware of the Work Environment - One thing for new, and seasoned, contractors to be constantly aware of is the very different relationship you have with your workplace – your boss is now your client not your employer. Dublin based Software Engineer Andrew Locatelli-Woodcock specialises in C# and has been contracting for many years. He explains ‘You probably won’t get invited to company parties, nights out etc. It is a clear-cut, clean arrangement, a more immediate relationship: do this and get paid that and whilst it is true that you are easier to fire, you are also easier to hire. There generally isn’t the pressure to work longer, harder to prove your commitment and loyalty to the company in hope of a raise or a promotion. Personally I have found that I have in general been treated better as a contractor than I have been as an employee’.
We would love to hear from other contractors, if you have any tips and comments to add.