Hints & tips for IT contractors

Hints & Tips for IT Contractors in Ireland:
By Harvey Nash

IT contracting in Ireland is becoming increasingly popular, with employers seeking the best of the best when it comes to the skills and technical qualifications that are ‘in demand’.  Spending on IT infrastructure has also risen in companies based in Ireland, giving more momentum to the expansion of the contracting market.  Here are some valuable pieces of advice for contractors from our IT Contract recruitment specialists:


·          Ask yourself do you have the drive and determination needed to turn the ideal of contracting, or working for yourself, into a reality.  Some people are more suited to contracting than others – so if you’re a skilled organiser, can live with the possibility of irregular income and thrive on pursuing opportunities, then contracting is definitely for you.


·          Being registered as a limited company can be really beneficial – and not just because you’d have more control over how you’re paid, but essentially you’d be your own boss, something that can inspire great confidence in yourself.


·          If you have formed a limited company, it’s advisable to open two bank accounts; a current account for day to day transactions and a deposit or high interest account for paying VAT and tax bills.


·          Keep all your paperwork up to date and properly filed.  That way there’ll be no nasty surprises from the taxman (it has been known to happen!)


·          When going after contracts, remember that each interview is essentially a sales pitch – you are selling your skills and experience.  If you are going it alone familiarise yourself with the companies that accept contractors directly – however, as most companies now outsource their IT staffing requirements to agencies, it is advisable to associate yourself with a reputable IT recruitment agency.


·          If you are working with an agency be sure to submit all your info (timesheets, approvals, invoices, etc) in good time, to make sure you’re paid on time and correctly each month.


·          Always upskill and attend refresher courses as often as you can.  Keep an eye on the market (for example with regular IT salary & contract rates surveys) for what skills are in demand.  Also, be honest about your skills with potential employers.


·          Try to be as readily available and flexible as you can when it comes to interviews, as this can help with a speedier result.


·          It may sound obvious, but always research a company, and not just the job, before you go to interview with them.  The advantage to this is that it can help you decide whether you see yourself ‘fitting in’ there.  While you may be contracting, and therefore can stand aside from company politics, you are still going to be working there for an amount of time (possibly in a lengthy contract) and you would want to be able to interact positively with the rest of the staff.


·          If you do find yourself on a site with difficult conditions, be it the job or the environment, the best advice we can give is to raise the issue with your manager and see if the situation can be resolved.  It’s worth noting that we have seen very few contractors leave a position before completion, thus showing the importance of matching the right person to each contract role.


Last but not least, we’d advise you to have confidence in your own technical abilities and experience; as a contractor you’re marketing yourself!


 David Burke, Harvey Nash, www.harveynash.ie, Unit 2, 51 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ph: + 353 1 6741400


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