How to Land a Well-Paid Contract Job in Tech
So, would you like to become a contractor?
More employers offer contract jobs to save on benefits and other expenses involved in a full-time hire. What do you need to know to land a well-paid contract job? We spoke to our team to get some advice.
Find your own feedback
In a traditional full-time job, there are (hopefully) structured ways of giving feedback, annual reviews and ways for supervisors and peers to give each other feedback to get better.
Include glowing references from the businesses or companies who loved your performance!
As your own boss, there are several freelance editors and clients who often don’t give feedback in as predictable ways, or don’t have time to work with freelancers outside of individual assignments. However, learning and feedback are still paramount to improving your craft and continuing to get consistent work, so it’s important to take that initiative.
You’re your own boss, but also your own middleman
To succeed as a contractor, you are essentially running your own business. That means you need to stay on top of your administrative duties, file your own taxes, and ensure you have a steady flow of work coming in. Be proactive to stay on top of it all.
Highlight the fact that working with different companies has made you flexible and highly adaptable to constant changes. This skill is always a plus for recruiters!
Do you expect a full-time job to result from the contract?
Before accepting a contract gig, ask yourself what your hopes are for the experience. Many people enjoy long-term contract work, while others hope that the contract role will lead to a full-time position. Know which you are and set your expectations. Furthermore, ask the recruiting agency whether the role has the potential for a full-time hire at the end of the contract. Don’t hesitate to get key questions answered so that you can make a fully informed decision.
Make sure you ask questions
Some organizations may create a contract opportunity to see how the role might fit into the larger scope of the team. Sometimes the opportunity might be contracted as they are replacing a maternity leave. Whatever the reason, it’s important to ask the recruiter what the future of the role looks like.
How long will the contract last? It might be difficult for some to accomplish much in under 3 months. A 3-6 month contract is likely a better fit for someone exclusively in the gig economy, seeking out short contracts. For other contractors, a 1-year contract is enough time to demonstrate their skills.
What is the compensation package? Here’s where you ask about starting salary range. It’s always wise to do a little market research. Check out GetLinks Salary Report to weight yourself up to others in the industry. Know your worth: find out where you’d get paid most and what skills can get you there.
Are there any benefits? Most people assume that contractors don’t get the benefits that full-time employees get to enjoy. Contractors are in high demand in the tech industry, therefore most employers are willing to go an extra mile when it comes to salary and benefits.
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