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How to set yourself up as an IT contractor in Ireland

Posted: 4 Aug 2020

How to set yourself up as an IT contractor in Ireland

Contractors are being hired across a range of functions from e-commerce and cybersecurity to development.

In a recent article on this blog Eolas Recruitment Managing Director Vincent Flynn explained how employers are increasingly turning to IT contractors for help in adapting to the rapid changes that are happening in almost every sector of the economy at present.

Contract roles involve things like assisting with AWS cloud projects, configuring Dynamics CRM, implementing test scenarios, and developing, supporting and optimising various IT solutions. However, while there are plenty of contracting opportunities — particularly for Software Developers, DevOps Engineers, Project Managers and Customer Support Engineers— IT professionals often wonder if they are suited to working independently and, if so, how they should go about setting themselves up as an IT contractor.

How do you know if you are suited to becoming an IT contractor?

Previously on this blog, discussed the pros and cons of IT contracting. If you like to be managed or mentored or if you worry about job security then contracting is probably not for you. However, if you are self-reliant, confident, enjoy focusing on your work and like to get projects done, the chances are you will thrive as an independent contractor.

What skills do you need for IT contracting?

It goes without saying that you need good technical skills in the area you plan to focus on and it is important to keep your skills up to date.

You also need to be well-organised, good at analysing problems and coming up with solutions.

Depending on the contracts you get, you may be working alone or with other people. Either way, confidence and good communication skills— including written communication and presentation skills — are an advantage.

Contractors sometimes need to work long hours and there can be travel involved on some assignments which can be disruptive to home life so these are other factors to take into account when deciding if you want to become a contractor.

Advantages of being an IT contractor

If you have always wanted to work for yourself, contracting can be a great way to have a rewarding career in IT. The advantages include:

  • Freedom to move between companies and variety in the work that you do.
  • Flexibility to organise your schedule and control your time.
  • Ability to take a break between contracts
  • Good rates of pay particularly for skills that are in high demand.

If you are at an early stage in your career, contracting is also a good way to gain experience that can help you secure a permanent role.

How to set yourself up as an IT contractor

If you decide to set yourself up as an IT contractor, it’s important to get your business structure right from the outset. You will need to decide whether you want to set up a limited company or join an umbrella company which acts as an employer for contractors.

If you decide to set up a limited company, you will need to register the company, open a business bank account, organise insurance, and get your tax in order. Usually, it’s a good idea to engage an accountant to help with this.

Many IT contractors join umbrella companies rather than forming their own limited company. Eolas Recruitment can help you arrange this as we work with a number of specialist umbrella companies.

Update your CV

As well as organising your business structure, you also need to think about how you will present yourself to potential clients. It’s a good idea to maintain a portfolio of your work. You should also review and update your CV. For tips on CV preparation, check out our recent article, ‘Your Tech CV’.

How to find IT contracting roles

A good way to find contracting opportunities is to register with a specialist agency like Eolas Recruitment who can keep you informed about upcoming contracts that match your skills and experience. You can get a feel for current opportunities by checking out the latest contract listings on our website. Contracting is a great way to have a varied and interesting career in IT. If you are interested in becoming an IT contractor and would like more information, please get in touch.

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