Nowadays, developers have many options when it comes to picking a job. Some would say it doesn’t even require much effort from their side to find one – social media is flooded with job offers for IT professionals. Moreover, if you have a few years of experience, you can be almost certain that recruiters will find you. But what to do if you don’t want to be hired permanently by a company and be stuck with it for several years? The answer is: join the gig economy and use IT contract jobs to your advantage.
Gig economy term refers to a situation in which an employee does not provide services in a full-time model, but functions on the labor market by accepting temporary jobs and implementing specific projects. Today the phenomenon of contract work concerns practically all sectors of the economy. The ease of finding a good IT contract job depends on your skills and the source where you are looking for such offers.
We will give you tips on where you can find an IT contract job as a developer so keep reading.
The top 5 most in-demand professions in the world are software engineers and developers, followed by electronics engineers, mechanical engineers, nurses, and doctors. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the IT industry to grow 22% by 2029. The IDC states that the global IT market should surpass $5.0 trillion in revenue for 2021. Despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the world’s economy, the IT industry is still positioned well.
Each year new start-ups are established. Also, companies that have already been on the market need constant development to keep up with the technology, so they improve products, software, and systems. To top it all off, the number of code languages in use is constantly growing. All of these factors cause that even if the number of developers is increasing, it’s still not enough for the market demand. However, it’s not the full picture.
Usually, the shortage plays out in two ways: the scarcity of in-demand skills and particular positions that are difficult to fill. The scarcity of in-demand skills correlates with the trendy, new tech languages and the latest emerging technologies. (...) For instance, companies find it hard for applicants with adequate skills to take on roles in emerging technologies like blockchain, cybersecurity, and AI. Such positions require specific languages and skills that demand both education and proper practice to refine. (Source: Forbes)
Having a permanent job as well as working only on the project base contract has its pros and cons. Developers who prefer being employed by one company for an indefinite period appreciate financial stabilization, additional benefits, the possibility of establishing better contact with people from the team, integration meetings, and no need to go through recruitment processes. However, in 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3.2% average monthly employee turnover for the technology industry. It shows that it has its negative sides too.
Whether working solely on projects is for you depends largely on your needs and expectations. A full-time IT contract job certainly has as many advantages as a full-time job. Some of them that might matter to you are:
Possibility to develop skills faster. IT Contractors are paid for their knowledge and skills. When a company decides on working with external specialists it often means there is a deficit of knowledge and skills in the organization. Changing IT contract jobs every year or a few months is a good thing as you will get to learn new tools, software, ways of project management, and deal with different problems and solutions.
Prevention of professional burnout. Maintaining similar tasks every day and using the same programming language or tech stack can lead to boredom and loss of motivation. While switching projects from time to time you have a chance to face new challenges and gain new experiences. Also, working in different types of jobs can help you find the one that fits your career passion.
Having a flexible schedule. Being hired as an IT Contractor means you can have a flexible work arrangement. In most cases, the company expects you to be available during specific time slots during the day for meetings but does not limit you to work from 9 am to 5 pm. You can fit your schedule in with your lifestyle aspirations and also dedicate this part of the day to work when you are the most productive.
Opportunity to earn more. Most developers agree that their work is highly profitable. Despite this, it happens that the same type of IT specialist will earn a different amount depending on the company they work for. Being a contractor means you get paid for every hour of work you do, at the market rate. It allows you to negotiate better contract terms. You don’t need to wait a year or so for the salary raise.
Working in many industries. Imagine you have always wanted to work in the automotive industry but you ended up working for e-commerce. It’s probably fine but you will be wondering how it would be somewhere else. When you are an IT Contractor you may get to test and experience the work in many industries and decide later on which one really suits you.
Before you start searching for an IT contract job you need to know there are two types of contracts. You can be hired on B2B by a company permanently and be obligated to work exclusively for it, then it resembles a full-time job – it usually takes place when you work for a software house. Or work on B2B but as a freelancer and remain free to decide for whom and how long you want to work. Always read the agreement before you sign anything.
Main sources where you can find IT contract jobs as a freelancer are:
1. Staffing Agencies
Staffing agencies are contracted on behalf of companies to do recruiting and talent acquisition for them. They gather specialists with specific skills from different regions of the world which makes them an attractive source of applicants for companies. Joining an IT Staffing Agency as a developer might not be as easy since they usually want specialists to go through their complex process of checking skills – however, most often you do it just once. The huge benefit is that they also screen companies they work with, so you don’t need to worry about starting work with an insolvent company and they match you with the one which is also right for you – your skills and interests.
Read more about the the Blue House IT Community and what makes it unique.
2. Talent Marketplace Platforms
Talent Marketplace Platforms also gather developers but on different terms – they give companies the power to choose specialists to work with. Companies can browse through the platform and use different filters to find the person who meets their expectations and has the specific skill set. Joining such a platform is usually easier because they have less complicated tests for you as a candidate and the process of matching is quicker than in the case of working with an IT Staffing Agency. On the other hand, cooperation with the Talent Marketplace Platform is less personal and they often don’t take into account your role preferences.
3. Job boards
Job boards offer you the greatest choice since you are the one who picks the offer which is the most interesting or profitable. A few of the most popular job boards are Indeed, WeWorkRemotely, Upwork, AngelList, StackOverflow. You can browse through long-term and short-term offers for IT specialists. The main disadvantage is that you need to invest time to look for offers and apply and then take part in recruitment processes in each company you choose. However, recruitment processes are usually shorter for IT Contractors than for regular employees. Another issue is that you need to screen a company by yourself if you don’t want to end up at the company that pays you with a delay or invests little in the project.
As a developer, you have many options, however, many depend on your experience level. Mid or senior developers can afford to pick of job offers. Most ads are aimed at people with 5+ years of experience. If you are a Junior Developer, a better choice will be to establish permanent cooperation with one company. At the very beginning of your career, you need support and supervision from team members.
Much also depends on your attitude to work. If the most important thing for you is salary then you won’t probably pay too much attention to company culture or if the company uses the tech stack you prefer. However, if you look for projects where you can also develop your skills and do tasks that make you satisfied with your work, consider starting cooperation with the IT Staffing Agency. At Blue House, our IT Experts’ motivation is the main force behind each project.
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