Taking the leap from a permanent IT job to a contract role
You’ve done the calculations, you’ve read the benefits, you’ve weighed up the negatives, and you’ve decided that IT contracting is the next step in your career. Now, you want to know how to successfully take the jump from the standard 9 - 5 into an exciting and unknown world of IT contracting job opportunities, and at Evolution Recruitment Solutions we know how.
What are the benefits of IT contracting?
We know that you know the benefits of IT contracting over permanent employment, but those last-minute doubts are natural. So, before we jump into how to become a successful IT contractor, we’ll recap on why you want to become an IT contractor in the first place.
- Flexibility - deciding when you work and when you play.
- Variety - working on different projects, with different teams and at different companies.
- Higher pay - as a short-term resource, businesses are willing to pay more for your presence.
- Networking - you will meet and work with a variety of professionals in the IT world.
Plus, with opportunities, control and a wealth of experiences, IT contracting jobs are a lucrative alternative to permanent employment - but how do you switch successfully?
How to successfully move into IT contracting
At Evolution Recruitment Solutions, we have seen the number of IT contracting jobs increase substantially, but with more than 4.8 million self-employed individuals in the UK, we know that your success as an IT contractor depends on how you execute the move.
Having successfully placed thousands of IT contractors, we’ve gathered together our top tips in making a success of your IT contracting career.
Know your skills
Businesses recruiting for IT contractors in the UK are searching for a specific skillset for a particular project or period. Time is of the essence, and you’ll be expected to hit the ground running, not wasting time upskilling or training.
Be honest about where your specialisms and skills lie, including transferable qualities such as project management, team leadership and problem-solving. Then speak to a dedicated recruitment consultant about the demand for, and market strength of, these skills.
Maintain your skills
Without a formalised plan (and budget) for continuous professional development, you’ll need to dedicate time to keeping your skills relevant. Attend regular seminars, network with industry professionals, subscribe to industry-relevant publications and regularly speak to your recruitment consultant to ensure that your skills are always of a quality in demand.
Market your skills
Your CV might be regularly updated, or not have seen the light of day since your last interview. Either way, you’ll need to redesign your CV, LinkedIn profile and adapt your interview techniques for the contracting world. An increased focus on skills, achievements and problem solving is key, as is researching the client you’ll be interviewing for.
Companies look to IT contractors to fix a specific problem for their business. Heavily research any business that you interview for to show that you understand them and their problems, explain how you are the solution, and clarify how you’ll make an impact.
Know when to jump
Handing in and working your employment notice, then walking straight into an IT contracting position, isn’t easy - but it also isn’t impossible. Create a timeline and action plan of when you’ll hand in your notice, connect with a specialist IT recruitment agency and commence your job search. Be wary of any post-termination restrictions in your current contract and be open about when you can start a contracting position.
Are you going to operate as a limited company? Will you complete your own accounts or hire an accountant? Do you understand the implications of IR35? Equipment, insurance, pension, website, telephone number, health care, business account - these are all things you might take for granted in permanent employment but as a contractor, they are things you need to be on top of. Take the time out now to prepare for self-employment and everything that comes with it.
Set your worth
Calculate how much money you need to survive and want to play with. Following this, find a niche IT recruitment agency that has the facts, figures and experience to help you to understand current pay trends and set realistic day rates.
Develop a relationship with an IT recruitment agency
Being an IT contractor in the UK is incredibly rewarding and fun, but it is also not without its challenges. Starting the journey with a specialist IT recruitment consultancy makes the adventure easier.
Evolution Recruitment Solutions works with you from the beginning, helping to secure your first IT contracting position and developing a life-long relationship, so that you are always on the radar and ready to move from one contracting position into the next.
Contact us to discuss your jump into the contracting world with one of our consultants today.