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.
- Contracting can improve your marketability. As a contractor, the power lies in your hands. You have the freedom to pick and choose the assignments you want to work on. This helps you stay current and/or learn the new skills, languages, competencies that you need to round out your resume.
- Contracting opens doors. It is true – in any industry – that it is not what you know but who you know, when looking for a full-time job. Many companies offer contract employees full-time positions at the end of their assignments. Essentially, the contract job can be a foot in the door, exponentially improving your chances of being hired on full-time.
- Contracting can earn you more money. Again, the power rests with you. You have the ability to – wait for it – negotiate your own pay rate. In many cases, the hourly rate is significantly higher than any permanent job’s salary.
- You will be unemployed for months at a time. Most IT contract jobs last 6 to 12 months; many can last 1 to 3 years. In some cases, it is easier for a company to keep a contractor vs. a full-time employee. But if you are concerned about having a series of short-term engagements with gaps of inactivity, ask your staffing firm to looking for longer-term assignments.
Sounds good? Well, let’s get started. Visit your local Snelling office, where we have extensive knowledge of the hidden IT job market. We can guide you through the contracting experience, and help you find the jobs that are a best-fit for you skills and lifestyle needs. So log onto our website and register today. Don’t overlook the opportunities that IT contract holds. We cannot wait to hear from you!