Contracting and Consulting

How to find work, keep clients happy, run your business and keep your skills up to date.

Consultants: Pay Attention to These 3 Sectors

Jobs Ahead
Technology consultants look to be in a good position for 2014 as more companies re-focus on internal IT operations after several years of economy-driven hunkering down. A survey of those responsible for hiring consultants, conducted by Source Information Services, found nearly all of them plan technology improvements this year, and most will use consultants to help. Half will spend more on technology consultants than they did during 2013 and of those, half plan an increase of more than 10 percent.… continue…

These Are the Most Important Traits of Successful Consultants

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Whether by choice or necessity, more IT professionals are working as consultants. In 2013, management and technical consulting services accounted for more than 48 percent of all newly created IT jobs, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, what does it take to be a successful consultant? Among other things, the right attitude to move from project to project, and an understanding of the challenges contract employees face. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Many consultants complain that they’re handed assignments that aren’t… continue…

How to Become an Independent Contractor

Contract Negotiation
Frustrated with the longer time it can take them to find new jobs, many older workers are thinking about setting themselves up as independent consultants. However, they don’t all realize that involves more than technical smarts: A lack of business and marketing acumen will doom even the most experienced technology experts. Consulting can be lucrative and many companies are quicker to hire for shorter, specific projects. However, it may not be a panacea, observes Carl Angotti, board member of Santa… continue…

Here’s Where Tech Contractors Will Be Hired in the Next 18 Months

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Contractors focusing on app development will be in the greatest demand over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a survey by technology resource provider Mondo. These contract apps developers will be riding a broader wave of increased hiring among technology contractors overall: Forty eight percent of the IT decision-makers surveyed plan to hire more contractors than full-time workers during the period. Additionally, 32 percent say they’ll increase their annual IT contractor budgets. Economic Improvements Despite the government shutdown… continue…

More Tech Professionals Pushed Into Contracting

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Employment isn’t what it used to be, and for many tech workers it may never be again. As America slowly emerges from recession, employment growth isn’t following. Increasingly, workers find themselves with piecemeal employment, no benefits and what appears to be no way back into a full-time job. “Will we all be freelancers soon?” asked a recent headline in U.S. News & World Report. The accompanying story reported how: 6 in 10 companies have plans to hire more freelancers in… continue…

Do They Really Know What They Need? – Part 2

Businessman-Thinking
Last week, we looked at why it’s not necessarily good news when a client comes to you with all aspects of a project blocked out. The key to your success is to look hard and confirm what the client’s proposing is, in fact, the real solution to their problem. If it’s not, we need to figure out what that truly is. In this post, I want to discuss four steps that can morph the project from a wish list into… continue…

Do They Really Know What They Need?

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Sometimes clients are confident creatures, certain of what they want and need and ready to explain it to us – the hired consultants – as soon as we walk through the door. While that sounds great, it’s generally not. Why? Because what they want and their proposed solution may not always line up. One client brought me in to help get a couple of failing projects back on track. I came in and managed the project schedule, the outside clients,… continue…

When Another Consultant is Called In

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If you’re a consultant then you’ll probably get this scenario. You know how the competition can be fierce for high school or college students trying to be at the top of their class? You want top billing so you have to remain confident, never show fear and never look weak or ask for any help whatsoever. Sound familiar? You must be oozing confidence…. In consulting, there really isn’t much difference if you happen to have company – meaning other consultants… continue…

Stay Away From These Types of Consulting Clients

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If you’re an independent consultant looking for your next big gig, you may not be looking for warning signs of relationships that can be, well, trouble. But those signs are often there, flashing brightly right in front of you. By learning from our own mistakes, we can recognize them. Yes, you may need the work. You may, in fact, be desperate for the revenue. But avoiding certain problematic clients by learning how to quickly identify them can save you a… continue…

Take Advantage of Those Consulting Gaps – Part 2

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I’ve been writing about what we can constructively do with the scary gaps in our consulting assignments, otherwise known as “bench time.” In part one, I looked at two of my five suggestions: Attend a Conference: You’ll learn about new technology and may be able to network and gain new clients in the process. Publish Expert Content Articles: Write about your areas of expertise. It’ll expand your horizons, get your name out to more potential customers and generally raise your… continue…