Contracting for IT Professionals – Guide for Consultants

The essential guide to contracting for new and experienced contractors alike, this book covers the basic knowledge needed to enter the contract market, including preparing yourself for job hunting, working out your asking rate, talking with agents and how to best utilize job websites. In essence, all the information that will help you acquire your first contract.
For established contractors, this edition covers the numerous payment options available for contracting, tips for negotiating rates with agents and recruiters, strategies for succeeding as a contractor in the workplace, and methods for maximising your income through the intelligent use of tax codes and deductible expenses. Comprehensive advice is given regarding insurance, managing what can often be an irregular stream of income and ensuring your continued value as a contractor through ongoing education and training.

Introduction
Overview: What does this book cover?
Terminology
Basic Contracting
What is the difference between employees and contractors?
What are the benefits?
What are the disadvantages?
Why are contractors paid so much more than permanent employees?
Who can become a successful contractor?
Example – Mark, a conservative family man
Example – John, a motivated over-achiever
Example – Jason, a young, self-taught IT professional
Getting Contracts
Entering the contract market for the first time
Researching the job market?
What is my availability?
What rate should I be asking for?
A general guide to calculating your rate
Types of rate
Rates for working in a foreign country
Preparing your CV?
References
When and how to talk about your rate?
Applying for contracts through job websites
Talking to agents directly about getting contract work
Useful strategies for experienced contractors seeking new contracts
Interviewing for contracts
Managing multiple offers
Spotting job ads for jobs that don’t exist
Understanding your contract
What happens when I am offered a contract
Contracts for work in foreign countries
Agents / Recruiters
Where do agents fit into all this?
How do they make their money?
What will your interaction with the agent be like?
Why your agent is not your friend
Negotiating with agents
Talking rates
Renegotiating your rate for an extension
Agent commission
Negotiating for first time contractors
Tricks of the trade that agents use on contractors
The Cold Call
The Candidate Miner
The Friendly Stab in the Back
The Friendly Stab in the Back – Version Two
The Social Engineer
The Snatch and Grab
The Diplomatic Probe
Screwing the Pooch
The Last Minute Negotiator
We’ll call you, don’t call us
The Elusive Spotter’s Fee
The Hard Times Speech
Working as a Contractor
What’s expected of you?
What will I need?
Laptops and desktops
Attire
Passport
Insurance
Working with permanent staff
Working with other contractors
Managing expectations
Key mistakes new contractors often make
Unintentional negativity
Framework building
Discussing financial matters with clients
Thinking their agent is on their side
Flaunting their new found wealth
Leaving a contract early, and the consequences
Surviving in a long-term contract arrangement
When and how to go about preparing for your next contract
Getting Paid – Where’s my Money
Why is it so complicated?
Why is insurance a part of this?
Option 1: Getting paid directly by your agent
Option 2: Getting paid through a payroll service
Option 3: Setting up your own company
More exotic financial structures
The importance of Invoices
What to do when the client has no money?
Education and Training
Why your skill set should be growing and changing over time
Keeping in touch with trends
Side projects
Conclusion
Appendix
Curriculum Vitae Example