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Old 07-19-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,043 posts, read 2,549,146 times
Reputation: 678

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I've been working full time jobs and like the idea of doing contract work instead. You aren't stuck at one place every day for the rest of your life. If you don't like the people you work with then at least the contract will run out eventually. You get to work on a variety of projects. I guess the downside is that after 6 or so months you're looking for another contract again. I'm in the computer programming field and was wondering if anyone here has gone down this path and what it ended up being like for you? How hard would it be to find contract work if I have 4 years of experience in the field?
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:01 AM
 
10 posts, read 25,837 times
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This is a question that I hear many in the circles I run with[IT field as well] asking. The thing to remember about this is that all those unemployed IT workers who are not finding work are thinking the same thing. They are all looking to do their own thing so you will have plenty of company. Not saying you won't make it, but consider niches like Business Analyst or Reporting Analyst or some other skills that equate in making you stand out.

FWIW, I have done this exclusively for nearly that last 2 years (well since Sept '09). I was lucky in that I had a couple built in contacts, AND REAL LUCKY as my wife's company needed IT help during a move to an ERP/MRP package so I spent nearly a year doing just her company.

The problem doing that is while I focused solely on that, I let my looking for other jobs go by the wayside. Doing contract work, the key is to keep the gigs coming. So you must actively be working one gig while looking for the next if you want to keep working without gaps and dry spells. This is where I find myself now and find myself considering employment with an actual employer, IF I can even do that in a small town without much IT needs or on the road full time away from home

You also need to consider your rates you will charge, what you can get by on to cover not only the times when you are working but the times when you are actively searching for the next gig. Then there is filing for estimated quarterly taxes, social security, your own benefits like insurance. Its considerable work, but it does truly have its advantages! Most will agree, you are your very own best boss. Good luck!

Here are a couple links to get you started, its likely you have already been doing plenty of research but just in case you have not come across these

How to Set a Contract Rate | Monster

How to calculate your hourly rate as an IT contractor
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,043 posts, read 2,549,146 times
Reputation: 678
Thanks for your input. Yeah it sounds like you would constantly be job hunting in that sort of position. Don't they have contract agencies that can work with you and look for jobs for you while you work for the current gig? What's a good place like that I could rely on?
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