Alternative Ways to get an IT Contract
We look here at some alternative ways to get contracts.
Those looking for a job or an IT contract all use pretty similar methods for getting work. They keep on eye on the job boards and they contact agencies, but these aren‘t the only ways to get work.
Alternative Ways 1. Bonus
Offer all the agents at a particular agency a bonus of £1,500 for getting you a job. You can‘t offer it to the agency as it would be against the law, but you can to individual agents. Some enterprising contractor has already done this and got a result
Alternative Ways 2. Free Offer
If you are at a company who are migrating to a new skill and they don‘t want you and your old skills, make an offer to them. Tell them that you‘ll pay for your own course and do work for a set time with them for free, or at lower rates e.g. for a month.
Make the argument that you have knowledge of their business and systems which a new contractor or consultant wouldn‘t have, and that few people have more than a few moths worth of this new skill anyway.
Tell them also that you will work for your old rate after the first month – which will make you cheaper than someone with the new skill. After six months of that, you can then go on and name your price elsewhere
Alternative Ways 3. Agency Bonanza
Go on a course for a new skill. Tell agencies that you‘ll let them have 50% of any rate that they get you if they get you a job with the skill
Alternative Ways 4. Permie Job
If you are an IT contractor, take a permanent job that has really excellent skills that you can pick up. Leave after six months of that to take a contract
Alternative Ways 5. Brochure
Create a brochure highlighting your skills and experience. Send it out to Project Managers at lots of different companies. This is what they do in other professions and trades, but it is not done much in our industry, I knew one very successful tree surgeon. I asked him how he got started.
He said he had a thousand leaflets and went round doors in likely areas putting them through the letter box. He got two people who offered him work – and it all began from there
Alternative Ways 6. Cold Call
Call up companies. Most contractors don‘t like to do it. They get downhearted after about four rejections. Make a list of several hundred companies that you are going to call. Promise yourself that you will call every one, even if they all reject you. Do a set number of them every day. Don‘t do them all at one fell swoop – otherwise you may develop alcohol problems
Alternative Ways 7. Lunch
If you still have some money left, call some companies offering to take them out to lunch to talk about potential future opportunities. There may be an opportunity now, but you don‘t want to be too aggressive about this.
At the meal ask not only about current or future opportunities with this manager, but ask him if he knows other managers who might have some opportunities coming up soon. Again this is something that all people that are selling something do, but it is rarely used in our profession.
You should make sure that you ask all your old bosses that are likely to re-employ you out for lunch. At the end of the meal ask them if you can call them in the future to see if there is anything going. Make sure that they have all your contact details
Alternative Ways 8. Reunion
Organise a reunion drink for all the people who you used to work with at a particular company. Have it at the pub that everyone used to go to anyway, near your old workplace. Invite the bosses as well.
As most people there are likely to have similar skills to you, ask them where they are now and who they are working for (nip in to the toilet often to jot details down). Ask them if there is likely to be anything going there.
Also ask your old bosses if there is anything exciting going on there at the moment or in the near future. If they say there is, give them your card and ask them to keep you in mind
One of these may work for you. Many of them work in other professions and trades. In fact they are fairly standard practice. So why does no one try them in IT?
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