CDI Corporation

Tips on How to be a Successful IT Contractor

cv_september_2015Being a contractor as opposed to a permanent employee allows you to be flexible, independent and have greater control over your career. This type of work arrangement can be extremely lucrative as well, in addition to enriching your resume. While contractors are used in nearly every industry, there is a growing demand for these workers in the information technology sector.

Explore these three tips to learn how to be a successful IT contractor:

Be a go-getter

Being a self-starter is a major part of maintaining a fulfilling career exclusively through contracted positions. While workers in permanent jobs can rely on their employers to continue assigning them to various tasks and projects, contractors need to stay in touch with their CDI recruiter and continually check out the career portal to find their next assignment before their current assignment ends. IT Contracting, an online news and resource site for contractors, explained that while it can take some time to get used to the process of renewing contracts and seeking out new contract opportunities, successful contractors are typically able to develop an effective rhythm for this procedure. After you have worked with a few organizations, the project-to-project transition will likely become more fluid, and frequently businesses will ask for you to return for future assignments once they are aware of your skill set and work ethic.

Respect existing company culture

As a contractor, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility in your work arrangements. Just because you are not permanently connected to your workplace, does not mean you should ignore existing company culture and norms. This rings especially true for IT professionals, many of whom possess skills that are in such high demand that they may develop a certain sense of superiority. Information Week magazine spoke to recruiters who advised contractors to be self-aware when they enter into new projects.

“A lot of times we’ll hear that some IT contractors come in and ego or arrogance will get in the way. As a temporary resource, one of your primary responsibilities should be helping the team dynamic,” one recruiter told the publication.

Successful contractors attempt to blend in with their workplaces, whether they are contracted to stay for three months or three years. By considering yourself to be like a gear in a larger machine, you will inevitably forge strong bonds with coworkers and walk away with referrals and recommendations.

Research the IT job market

Contractors that always have new projects in their pipelines are successful because they know the IT job market like the backs of their hands. Information Week explained that because the IT industry is always evolving, the most desired skills are always changing. If you make a concerted effort to follow business trends, you will be able to stay one step ahead of employer demand. Continually updating your skillset through CDI University, and partnering with your CDI recruiter who will proactively seek out new opportunities, will not only enable you to continue finding work, but you will also be able to secure the highest-paying contractor positions.