Return to blog
The Ergo Guide To Becoming An IT Contractor
Date: Tuesday 11 April 2023
The Ergo Guide to Becoming an IT Contractor
Becoming an IT contractor offers ample opportunities for career growth, but it's important to consider if it's the right fit for you before embarking on your job search. Factors to consider include your career goals, lifestyle, personal and financial circumstances. Talking to someone who already contracts in the IT field could be helpful in determining if this path is attractive to you.
There are several benefits of being an IT contractor, including:
Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose which projects and organizations you work with, giving you the ability to work in a variety of sectors (e.g., government, technology, financial services, utilities, etc.). Additionally, you have the option of when and where you work, allowing for a better work-life balance.
Skills and experience: As a contractor, you will have the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects, which will expose you to a variety of companies, teams, technology, and environments, thereby broadening your skills and experience.
Career development and marketability: The more skills you acquire through various assignments, the more opportunities you will have to secure future contracts. A strong performance on assignments can also build a positive reputation in the market, increasing your chances of being hired for future contracts.
Financial reward: Contracts can offer higher earnings and tax benefits compared to permanent positions.
However, being an IT contractor may not be suitable for everyone, such as:
Lack of career advancement: If you're seeking management or senior-level positions, contracting may not provide the same level of promotion opportunities.
Limited mortgage options: Contracting may impact your ability to secure a mortgage, as compared to being a permanent employee.
Technical expertise: As a contractor, you'll need to be technically strong in the position you're applying for, as you'll be expected to hit the ground running from day one.
Benefits: Contracts may not include benefits such as pensions or health insurance, so it's important to set up your own financial and healthcare plans.
Advice and tips for applying for a contract role:
Make sure you have the right working visa if you're not an EU or UK citizen.
Talk to someone who already contracts to determine if it's a good fit for you.
Clearly state your notice period when applying for a contract, as the recruitment process can move quickly.
Determine if the contract is on-site, hybrid, or remote before proceeding with the application process.
Prepare for a contract interview just as you would for a permanent job interview, and understand the company and role.
If you accept a contract offer, set up your own registered company, either using an accountant or an umbrella company for a more hassle-free approach.
Make sure you have all necessary documentation, including bank details, VAT certificate, company incorporation certificate, and insurance certification.
Check the status of your IT equipment, such as whether you'll need to provide your own laptop.
By successfully completing your first contract role, you can pave the way for a lucrative and varied career in contracting.