How to Get Started as an IT Freelancer admin November 5, 2015 Business A dream held by many in the working world is to break free from the traditional working structure and instead work as a freelancer or contractor. While this may seem like wishful thinking, building your career as a successful IT freelancer/contractor doesn’t have to be a fantasy – it could be your new reality. In-demand skills In today’s world, the influence of technology has seeped into nearly every facet of life, and those with knowledge in IT have a wide range of skills that could put them in demand from industries worldwide. Some of the skillsets are always sought after, and those with an aptitude for development or consulting can count themselves among those whose knowledge makes them a valuable commodity. Other in-demand titles include IT architect and programmer. There are many potential IT specialisations that are desirable to companies worldwide. If you have knowledge in IT, particularly one of the aforementioned fields, you have already completed the first and one of the most difficult steps to becoming a successful IT freelancer. Building your business The majority of freelancers in the business world choose to register with an agency. Working with an agency offers many pros with relatively few cons, which explains why so many tend to favour working with an umbrella company. Many contract roles, when a need for one is determined, will be sought after first from candidates who are registered with an agency. This means that there is a large number of contracting jobs that will never be advertised and instead offered only to a freelancer who is working with an umbrella company. Companies such as Crystal Umbrella organise contractors so that their work is as hassle-free and legal as possible, especially in the realm of tax collection, which can be difficult to work through on your own. They also give everyone involved peace of mind and benefits such as ensuring that the contractor receives payment in a timely manner and offering professional insurance to mitigate risks. Building a reputation for quality is one of the key factors to success in the world of freelancing and contracting. Having a current and appealing CV is important, especially when registering with agencies that will use it to market your skills, but it is also a good idea to compile a portfolio. Creating a portfolio of your work as you complete projects will give prospective clients an idea of the work that you are capable of doing. Using social networking sites such as LinkedIn will provide you with a space to advertise your talents and previous work as well as provide a method for interested parties to learn about you and contact you with potential projects. A good attitude is a winning complement to impressive work: flexibility and positivity are traits that will do more than make your own job easier – they can foster goodwill and leave a client happy to praise you to anyone who asks. The idea of becoming an IT freelancer or contract worker doesn’t have to be relegated to the realm of fantasy. If you have skills, especially in in-demand fields such as IT consulting or development, the possibility of becoming a successful IT freelancer exists for you.