Time runs differently in the IT sector than it does anywhere else. Parents taking time off to care for a new baby or an elderly relative will return in a couple of months to find that the entire industry has taken a seismic shift in a new direction. New skill sets are now in demand, and years spent honing skills seem wasted. Companies release new products, get bought out by larger competitors, update products with newer versions and phase out product lines. New languages appear, reach critical mass and die off within a generation. Time moves that fast.
Therefore, if you took some time off, the world that you are trying to reenter may be very different from the one you left. Tech workers constantly have to weigh their options. Should you beef up skillsets? Jump to a new specialty? Learn a new language? Take no time off? In all those cases, decisions need to be regarding the financial impact – learning new skills, languages, etc. costs money and time. Working 24×7 means missing out on other great aspects of your life.
But there is another option…one that is often overlooked — contracting. It is a solid choice, and it can make the financial impact less daunting…if you can get past the stereotypes. A lot is said about contracting — contract engagements are not stable; they give you the “crap” jobs; they make you look shiftless; you are unemployed for months at a time.
However, that may have been your grandfather’s (or even your father’s) contract jobs, but that is not the case today. Thanks to the skills gap and a growing economy, companies are turning more to contractors to help fill in huge gaps.
So let’s debunk some of the myths, and show you why IT contracting can be a great way to ease your way back into the technology sector.