6 reasons you should try IT Contracting
6 reasons you should try IT Contracting
Author: Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand
Rapid technological advances are a sign of the times, but they’ve left many employers scrambling to deliver IT and business transformation even faster than ever before. It’s therefore no wonder that IT contractors are now viewed by employers as an ideal flexible resource to help them deliver projects and add technical skills in areas where a team is falling short.
And it’s not a one way street. It’s fair to say that IT contracting is mutually beneficial to both the employer and the contractor. There are reasons why IT professionals are taking advantage and jumping on the contracting bandwagon. We spoke to IT contractors in Australia and New Zealand to find out what these reasons are, and this is what we found:
1. Increased earning potential
First and foremost, most contractors told us that the top benefit of contracting is the increased earning potential it offers. In fact 75 per cent said the higher day rates are the number one reason they are contractors rather than permanent employees.
The employer is paying for your flexibility, plus the temporary nature of the role. Demand for contractors is high and the market is strong, so you are highly likely to find your next gig once one is over. Many contract roles will also pay overtime, and could be more tax efficient depending on your country.
Coming in at number two is the flexibility contracting offers. One respondent summed contracting up as “a license to practice anywhere”. Within a contracting role, you are more likely to be granted remote access and offered flexible working hours. This is perfect if you have children, other commitments, or you simply want more time to pursue your hobbies and interests. Overall, IT contracting is great for achieving a better work-life balance.
3. Ability to take control of your career
Next is the ability to take control of your own career, since as a contractor you pick and choose what assignments you take on, where and when.
This means that you can decide to select only the assignments which appeal to you. A colleague of mine spoke to a contractor who said “What first attracted me to contracting was the independence it offered, I am able to choose the projects I want to do and the clients I want to work for”. This sense of choice and control can only have a positive impact on your workplace wellbeing and engagement.
4. A quick career boost
The ability to develop your experience and skills also ranked highly. In fact 74 per cent said they choose their assignments based on the quality of the project or work.
When you take on a project, you have a set time to achieve your goals. Therefore contractors often hit the ground running, rapidly up-skilling themselves within the role; with the objective of achieving this quick win in a few short months and adding another gold star to their CV.
5. Freedom from office politics
Feedback also showed a preference to avoid the politics of climbing the corporate ladder. This includes some things like sweating over performance appraisals, to grafting extra hours in the hope your boss will notice and promote you at some point. With IT contracting, you are there to do your job to the best of your ability, and leave once the job is complete. Therefore you can focus purely on the task in hand, rather than a long term game-plan for moving upwards within an organisation.
Better still, if you don’t get on with someone, including your contract manager, you only have to bear it for the remainder of your contract.
On the other hand, along your way, you will also meet great people, develop strong professional relationships, and make some valuable business connections. In these instances, be smart, make sure you leave on good terms and keep in contact after your contract is up. At the very least, you need this contact to give you a good reference, at the most – they may well provide a steady flow of contracting roles in the near future.
Weigh up your options and, perhaps take a look at this blog, asking yourself the questions posed by my colleague. There are certainly many factors to consider, from whether you want to effectively be your own boss, to how much you are willing to keep on top of financial admin such as tax returns. However, in my experience, for most, the benefits of IT contracting are too good to pass up, with many IT professionals taking this leap of faith and never looking back.
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