By Adam Alvarez, Recruiting Manager - ERT
Are you excited to move from direct hire to contract opportunities? How prepared are you for the transition? While the direction of your career is your own decision, you need to ensure that you have taken into account all of the parameters that allow you to make the right call. Entering the IT consulting world requires you to take actions that demonstrate your robust technology career background in order to justify your value as a technology consultant. Take a look at some of the factors that are going to create the right circumstances to move smoothly from direct hire to contract positions.
Define Your Forte
Organizations want to work with an IT consultant because they have specific needs that require special skills to address them. If the positions you held before moving from direct hire to contract afforded you experience in mobile development or web applications development, then it is not wise to apply for a network engineering position. In other words, instead of being a jack of all trades, develop a specialty and become an expert in it in order to sufficiently demonstrate that you are going to fulfill your role with the company.
Longevity Over Volume
When you make the transition from direct hire to contract, a great vantage point is the ability to demonstrate longevity with the jobs you held in the past. A resume that shows labor unsteadiness and job volatility tends to indicate an inability to adjust and commit to objectives. Your full time technology career needs to be populated with opportunities you held over a sustained period of time. As a consultant, you are brought in to solve problems and it is important that you complete each contract to the agreed term. When your resume shows position longevity, a hiring manager is more confident that you are going to be a cultural fit as well.
Always In Good Shape
It goes without saying that in order to be successful in IT consulting you not only need to follow your industry’s trends, but you also have to be current with all of the changes that take place. Very often, when a professional holds a position for a long period of time they allow their technology skills to stagnate. When they decide to move from direct hire to contract, they have to catch up with new technologies and techniques. Even when they do catch up with the skills, they find that they lack the expertise a consultant needs to thrive. Keep your technology skills sharp in order to make smooth shifts in your technology career.
Open Up Your Network
Another mistake that professionals make is keeping their network of contacts closed. Although working for a company for a long period for time strengthens your confidence and offers job security, it doesn’t mean that you should build walls around you that prevent you from expanding your network. Join local and national user groups within your industry, attend networking events, connect with people who share the same interests with you and be active on social media. Don’t burn bridges at previous organizations when you go for a new opportunity. Keep in mind that your network is certainly going to play a crucial factor in being successful in IT consulting.
Consult with the Insiders
All of the propositions above are essential in your expedition to move from direct hire to contract positions, but what is really going to facilitate your shift is reaching out to reputable staffing firms and working with them. Qualified technology recruiters are going to help you define your strengths, identify weaknesses, and guide you on how to address them. Recruiters help to introduce you to a previously unseen world of opportunities and they are there for you whenever you need them. Having dedicated allies in IT consulting who know their space and have strong relationships with key field players is a great boost for your technology career.
Key Takeaways to From Direct Hire To Contract:
- Specialize in a certain area before entering the consulting space
- While in direct hire positions, make sure that you are not being a job hopper
- Keep your technology skills current and sharp
- Expand your network of contacts, regardless of your employment status
- Reach out to IT staffing firms that know your space and know how to assist you
Softworld is a multifaceted staffing and consulting firm who is a recognized leader in the industry. With offices across the country we have the experience and infrastructure to support clients on a national level. Softworld has developed expertise across five distinct staffing and consulting practices over the past 20 years that include Technology Services, Life Sciences, Engineering, Government, and Banking.