As we know, IT contracting is booming in Ireland specifically, with the exponential increase in the number of contracting roles in the IT sector over the last few years.
Ireland’s thriving tech sector provides plenty of contract opportunities with no shortage of available positions. As the workforce continues to evolve and grow, we must continue to advance alongside it.
What is an IT Contractor?
An IT contractor is an information technology specialist who works with clients on a business-to-business ‘contract’ basis rather than becoming a traditional employee. IT contractors offer their skills on demand to help their clients and generally fill short-term gaps within projects.
Why become an IT Contractor?
In general, contracting can be a satisfying and rewarding career choice. Here are some of the main benefits of working as an IT contractor:
Rate of Pay
Contracting can enhance an individual’s earning potential. When you set your rate of pay for your specialised work as a contractor, you can earn significantly more than permanent employees. In particular, there is high demand for skilled professionals within the IT sector, which drives higher wages and increases job availability.
As an IT contractor, you can choose from different types of positions that best suits your personal and family needs. The possibility of working outside the traditional 9-to-5 day parameters might better fit your lifestyle and give you more time to focus on other ventures. You also decide when you want to work, therefore, do not depend on anyone else when looking for time off, etc. Not only that, but you have more freedom to decide where you work and what type of clients you take on.
Contracting is the perfect way to network. Working on temporary contracts is an excellent way to establish a good reputation in your field and build rapport with a network of valuable contacts.
Enhance your Skills
Working with various organisations on different projects can help contractors acquire new skills while allowing you to build a portfolio of marketable experience which you can use to market your skills in the future.
Now that you know the benefits of working as an IT contractor, let's take a closer look at the best ways to make the most of your potential.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to excel as an IT Independent Professional Contractor.
It can be easy to neglect to pick up new skills, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, upskilling is a vital part of contracting and should be something you regularly factor into your schedule. Falling behind on industry knowledge and valuable skills can quickly translate to a lack of employment, therefore, developing your technical and soft skills is crucial.
Expand your Network:
Contracting is a great way to network. When times are a bit quieter, don’t be afraid to reach out to your network and tell them you will be available and what kind of contract roles and projects interest you. As an IT contractor, you are more valuable than you know. Now more than ever, companies are looking for new talent to help with upcoming projects. Finding the right contract opportunity for you is all about knowing the right people. So, extend and maintain your professional network as much as possible.
Know your Limits:
As a contractor, you work as your own boss. You must know your limits on how many projects you can take on and how many hours you can work. We can all get carried away and add too many hours to our schedule. You may think this will do you favours, working as many hours as possible, but in the long run, this can lead to sloppy and late work, something you never want to return to your clients. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you know your own limits, set boundaries and plan accordingly.
Simply put, ensure to document everything you do while working with a client, not only for your own records but also for the client. Every contractor should have proper documentation of what they did and where they are now with their project. Meaning that, after you have left, your client and new people joining the project will be able to work with what you’ve done. It will also come in handy when assessing the hours accumulated for a task/project.
Expect the Unexpected:
When you accept a contract position, don’t take the expected time frame of the contract too literally. Often companies will underestimate the scope of the project or want to extend your contract because they like the work you’re doing and still need extra help. Therefore, it is important to expect the unexpected is the key to success as a technical contractor, especially when accepting new work while still working on projects. Make sure to give yourself enough lead time to fully complete a project before accepting the next.
Now that you know all the relevant information, it is time to put it to good use and secure your next contracting role in the IT sector.
At Icon Accounting, our service is designed from the ground up to deliver what contractors need. Since our set up in 2008, we have helped thousands of IT Contractors. With a team of advisors and a dedicated contractor support crew, we offer the help, expertise, knowledge, experience, and effective accountancy solutions you need to get started as an IT contractor.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01 8077106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.