Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Making the Switch to Self-Employed: Taking Charge of Your Tech Career



A tech career represents an exciting opportunity, if you wish to go down that path. With IT becoming an integral part of our everyday lives, the career opportunities are plentiful, and one option for you to consider is a career as a self-employed IT contractor, working on different projects for different organizations.
 
The skills associated with IT have become particularly valuable in the present-day economy, with specialized skills such as coding and programming in high demand. Setting yourself up as a contractor gives you the flexibility to respond to periods of peak demand for your specialty of choice and to negotiate the terms of business in a way that a full or part-time employee of an organization cannot do.

Careers in IT stretch across many different sectors and incorporate a variety of skills. For example, you could choose to work as an IT consultant, advising organizations on their IT needs or working with them to integrate various IT systems into day-to-day operations. The growth in the gaming industry and online gaming in particular, thanks to developments in smartphone and similar technologies, has made this sector an attractive one for those interested in pursuing a tech career, with opportunities available for game developers and testers. The emergence of cloud computing and big data has led to a spike in demand for people with skills suited to these areas.

A critical step in determining the benefits of a career as a self-employed IT worker is to determine the extent to which your particular skills are in demand and whether a career as a contractor can be sustained over the long term. If you are presently employed, it does not make any sense to give up your job until you have researched the merits of going out on your own and have weighed up fully the costs of doing so.

An important element in any successful business is the ability to handle the administrative side – invoices in and out, compliance with regulations, taxes and so on. Fortunately, there is the availability of IT contractor services to smooth out the day-to-day running of a business, allowing contactors to focus their efforts on work done for clients. An umbrella company will act as the employer for a contractor, looking after the administrative side of things, including the issuing of invoices to clients, and offsetting allowable expenses against monies taken in. The umbrella company will also pay taxes and national insurance contributions. Overall, an umbrella company will take charge of those aspects of running a business that an IT contractor may not be familiar with or may lack the resources and time to look after properly.

If you think that a career as a self-employed IT contractor is for you, then by all means go for it, but remember that leaving your skills and experience to one side, a key element in any future success is persistence. Success as a self-employed contractor does not happen overnight and you will need a degree of patience before you can feel safe in knowing that you made the right choice.

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