Contracting and Consulting

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

Do IT Contractors Really Need to Carry Insurance?

Protecting Your Money
If you’re working as an independent contractor, do you need to carry professional liability insurance? For full-time workers, employers are typically responsible for indemnification against claims of intellectual property infringement or issues related to failed projects or dissatisfied customers. But for contractors and consultants, it’s a different story: They usually need to protect themselves through something called errors and omissions, or “E&O” insurance, which protects them from losses related to claims of negligence and other issues. It’s a cost of… continue…

Healthcare IT Consultants Happier Than Full-Timers

Health IT
Consultants involved in implementing healthcare IT solutions are generally happier with their work than their full-time counterparts, according to a survey by Atlanta-based staffing firm Healthcare IT Leaders. More than three quarters—77 percent—of the consultants said they were either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their jobs, the survey found. That compares to 64 percent of full-time healthcare IT employees. To put the numbers in context, other surveys have found that 72 percent of workers across all industries report similar… continue…

Consultants: Talk Specifics When Describing Past Projects

Explaining Details
Tip of the Day When consultants are asked by an interviewer to describe the types of projects they typically work on, they should make their answer as specific as possible. Don’t just talk about the technologies that were used; instead, go into whether you were brought in to kick off new projects, or if you usually work on improving existing ones. Click here to find consulting positions. Also, explain the purpose or goal of several recent projects, their current use,… continue…

5 Steps to Take Before You Start Contracting

Self Employment Tax Forms
Nowadays, when demand for so many technical skills is so high, the idea of contracting can seem like a good way to keep things interesting and make more money. But working for yourself comes with more than just flexibility and a certain amount of control over your own fate. You’ll have a business to attend to, also, which means keeping the books and making sure you’ve always got the work you need to pay the bills. We asked Jennifer Bensusen,… continue…

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

business people at a desk
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

Techonomics Logo Thumbnail
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…