As a technical professional in today’s economy, you may be surprised to learn you have the upper hand when it comes to the developing gig economy. After all, you are accustomed to thinking in terms of working on projects, likely for a fixed amount of time, working toward a fixed goal. This mindset is not typical among nontechnical professionals.
But as more and more people enter the workforce with tech degrees, how do you set yourself apart to earn the best gigs? You want to be the first choice for jobs with just the right level of challenge and a great rate of pay.
The economy is changing. You can fight it or make it work for you. The best approach is to consider yourself self-employed. That makes every position you accept not a job, but an agreement. As an employee, you can be fired or laid off, even without cause.
When you work on a contract basis as part of the gig economy you can have multiple irons in the fire. You can work for several employers on a variety of projects. When one project is done, you can choose another. If an employer abruptly cancels a project, no worries, you have others you’re working on.
2. Remember, you have the power to shape your career.
Employers have something you want – a job or a project opportunity, and you have something the employer wants – technical skills and experience. The gig economy gives you the opportunity to renegotiate that agreement as often as you like. With the opportunities available, you are not stuck in a role that no longer serves you or your career goals.
3. Keep your skills on the cutting edge.
As a full-time employee, you may only need to market yourself every few years if you choose to change jobs, but as a technical contractor who takes part in the gig economy, you need to market yourself on an ongoing basis. You must stay sharp in both your technical skills and soft skills.
4. Stay ahead of your industry.
Be aware the of the newest developments in coding languages and other industry innovations that are critical to your career. You need to invest in yourself if you want to be in demand. In a contract position, you may not have access to the professional development opportunities you would have as a full-time employee.
5. Develop your marketing skills.
You may not consider marketing to be important as technical professional, but you need to be aware of how to market yourself on an ongoing basis. It’s not enough to just have technical skills. You must also be able to communicate your abilities to employers effectively. Building a presence online and having examples of your past work and achievements ready to “sell” yourself as a candidate to potential employers is a must in the gig economy.
If you would like additional advice on presenting yourself well to employers, or help finding the right job for your skills and experience, contact the IT staffing professionals at nTech Workforce. Just as you are the expert in your technical professional, we are the experts in connecting people with the right jobs.