How to Help Your Career: Become an IT Contractor
09/13/20 by HQ
The job market has experienced several shifts in recent years, as the new 'gig economy' challenges the traditional five day, 40-hour work-week.
A popular solution to come out of this shift is contracting, limited-time employment agreements, often ranging between three months to a year, depending on the depth and demand of the project. Per the specific contract agreement, you can work part-time from home, or a traditional 40-hour, 9am-5pm schedule in their office (or a healthy balance in between).
Now, let's bust a common myth: many job seekers new to contracting opportunities believe it is an unstable employment option with uncertain pay. In fact, you can potentially make more money, optimize your schedule and advance yourself professionally by becoming a career contractor.
Keep reading to discover if contracting is the right career move for you!
Increase Your Income
Yes, you read that right — contractors often make more money than full time employees. Working a contract position frees you from paying into the standard, and sometimes automatic, benefits packages that are included in full time roles, often lowering your net paycheck. As a contractor, you’ll get a direct dollar amount for the work you put in, giving you more autonomy over your earning potential. There are at least three ways that IT contractors can make more.
Expand Your Experience
Whether you're a Software Developer looking to design a revolutionary app, or a DevOps Engineer looking to build out your AWS experience, contracting gives you the freedom to sample different work styles and professional environments — then walk away on great terms at the end of a project.
By contributing to multiple companies instead of investing all your skills into one, you're able to quickly strengthen your resume and increase your odds of capturing unique and lucrative opportunities moving forward.
Several contract positions are contract to hire, meaning if you have a positive relationship with your contract employer and want to stay on board, you can be converted to a full-time employee.
Alternatively, if your contract ends and you’re ready to leave the company, you can do so on good terms. If you're working with a great tech recruiter, they can help ensure that you have the next role lined up before active contract is complete.
Nurture Your Network
Compared to a traditional, static role, you will be working with different teams and companies, producing a richer professional network. Especially in these work-from-home days, a contract role offers the opportunity to extend your network. As your skill set and professional network grow, you symbiotically create opportunities for contracting and consulting opportunities down the road.
Kick-start your network growth with Meetup or Linkedin groups like Tech in Motion, a free tech-networking event series, operating in 13 cities across North America. When in-person events re-emerge, you’ll be able to network face-to-face with other tech professionals, but in the meantime, you can learn from panelists, observe tech demos, and gain free career advice from experienced tech hiring consultants. Plus, you can always interact in the group chat and follow up to connect with the speakers.
As the traditional employment model shifts from a holistic full-time employment base, toward consultative, contract-based roles, technologists have a unique opportunity to increase their income, control their work schedule, and advance their careers with a diverse and dynamic background.
So, are you ready to get started?
**This blog post was first published in 2018 and has been updated to include current data and insights.