How to become an IT contractor

Are you thinking about taking those next steps to a change in your career and becoming an IT contractor? You are in the right place and the following paragraphs will be very useful!

Making the move into contracting can be quite daunting, especially if you have never been self-employed before. There are certain risks, but there are also a number of fantastic advantages that can make the decision more than worthwhile.

In the following paragraphs we will cover:

  • What is an IT contractor?
  • What skills do you need to become an IT contractor?
  • Finding work as an IT Contractor
  • How Contractor Accountants Online can help

What is an IT contractor?

IT contractors are experts in their field, they undertake fixed-term contracts to help their clients it-contractorcomplete a specific project. Essentially, you are selling your skills and time and your contract should have some form of hourly or daily rate.

The main appeal of becoming a contractor is the increased freedom, you work for a client, not a boss. Consequently, you can choose which projects you wish to work on and gone are the days of submitting a holiday request to your boss only for it to be rejected.

What skills do you need to become an IT contractor?

The job of an IT contractor is a specialist one, so you can’t just quit your job tomorrow and decide to start contracting in the IT sector. IT contractors are coveted for their expert skills and technical knowledge, so you will need to have undertaken a certain amount of study and got a few years of experience under your belt before you think about contracting.

Strong interpersonal skills – There is a high chance that you will have to interact with a wide range of people when working as an IT contractor. The level of interaction will depend on the type of work you are carrying out, but it is always useful to be approachable and able to establish strong working relationships with your clients.

Be mindful of changes in the industry – IT is certainly an industry that doesn’t stand still. As a result, it is essential that you keep up with the latest changes and developments in technology to ensure that you are able to work with the most up to date pieces of equipment. A great way of doing this is to attend courses regularly and subscribe to key blogs.

Be flexible with your working environment – If you find yourself with a contract at a larger corporation with multiple office locations, there is a chance that you could be required to travel to different workplaces. Be sure to find this out before you undertake a contract and if traveling is required, you need to make sure that you are flexible with this requirement.

Finding work as an IT contractor

If you decide to start working as a contractor, you are going to need to be confident in your ability to find work. The chances are that you will be searching for work more frequently than permanent employees due to the temporary nature of your job.

Refine your contractor CV

The first thing you need to do is develop a strong contractor CV and constantly refine it for the different vacancies that you apply to.

A contractor CV is slightly different to ones you would have developed when you were looking for permanent work. They tend to be more factual and focus primarily on your skills, rather than how you are a good team player and are able to develop within a new company. Ultimately, the client just wants to know what expertise you can bring to the table.

Brush up on your interview techniques

If interviews aren’t your strong point, now is the time to change. As you’ll be looking for work more regularly than a permanent employee, you need to brush up on your interview techniques and become an expert at selling yourself and what skills you have that will enable you to make an immediate impact within a company.

As with your contractor CV, don’t spend much time talking about how you can grow in their company, focus on selling yourself as a problem solver and be sure to link in as many practical examples of your past experience as possible.

Make use of your current contacts

If you have any contacts that either work or know someone who works at a company that you would like to contact with, make sure you utilise them.

The perfect way of doing this is by logging onto LinkedIn and browsing through your current connections to see where they work. If you identify someone who works at a company that you know you could help, send them a message and ask them if they would give you the direct number to HR so that you could call them directly.

Furthermore, if you have a few dream companies in mind, have a look at their employees on LinkedIn and see if there is anyone who you have shared connections with. You could then ask your shared connection to introduce you and that provides you with another way to get your name thrown into the mix for any IT contract positions that come available.

How Contractor Accountants Online can help

Once you obtain that first contract, you’ll need an accountant to register your limited company and handle your tax and accountancy affairs. We are experts in contractor accountancy and have a team that has helped many contractors just like you.

We will get your company registered within 24 hours and for just £55 per month you will be able to benefit from our fixed fee service that covers all of your accountancy needs.

To find out more about our services and how we can help, call one of our friendly accountants on 020 7481 4743.

Now that you have a better idea about what you need to do to become an IT contractor, you might also find these pages useful: