Freelancing is often spoken of as the future of work. Many people turn to this way of life to gain more autonomy and freedom and be able to focus on the kind of work they enjoy the most. In the world of IT in particular; where the share of freelance workers keeps on growing, the career prospects are very promising. Freelancers are not limited by that many obligations and can develop professionally as they wish. How to advance your career as an IT freelancer?
When you are an employee in a company, your career development is often planned and monitored by the HR department or by management. When you are a freelancer, you have to put in place a professional development plan by yourself.
Here are a few tips on how to do that.
In the digital and technological fields, freelance workers generally have no difficulty finding new assignments, but finding the dream assignment is another story.
With equal experience, a tech or IT consultant such as a full-stack developer will have less difficulty finding interesting opportunities than a freelancer in the creative arts. The technology sector is a one particularly sought after by companies, with the best organisations competing to attract and retain the best talent out there.
Top freelancers performers in tech are in high demand, and that is an advantage for anyone who is qualified and passionate about their area of expertise.
The top freelance consultants are usually former junior freelancers who have evolved through countless assignments over the years. The choice of your missions, then, is key in the construction of a solid professional progression.
Expert profiles, those that are very specialized in a given technology, are very popular with companies. Think carefully and specialize in a skill or technology that is booming right now or will do so in a couple of years. Consultants specializing in cloud, cybersecurity and data science are very popular right now. For example, as companies wage a war for talent to fulfil their digital transformation goals.
By choosing a promising area of expertise and developing your skills over time, you can achieve a higher average daily rate (ADR). Keeo on re-skilling so that your rate can increase over time. It is about constantly re-evaluating the added value of your work for your clients.
Another option to progress in your career when you are an IT consultant is to become a manager. Project managers or team leaders tend to access managerial responsibilities. Which often validate their technical or business skills, and allow them to work on larger projects.
This type of evolution is often considered the golden road to progress when working in IT. Since it allows you to “climb the ladder” in a consistent way. But managerial roles are not suitable for all profiles and are not an end in themselves for many IT freelancers, who prefer to focus on their area of expertise.
To develop your career as an IT consultant, you obviously need to gain experience. But don’t neglect training! And that’s not only because technologies keep evolving at a rapid pace. But also because you need to devise a solid methodology to speed up your skill development.
But that’s not all. Companies are looking for experts with advanced technical skills, but it is also often interpersonal skills that make the difference. Soft skills, such as communication skills, leadership or creativity are more than ever essential to the success of companies’ digital transformation projects.
Many training courses exist to improve these behavioural skills, including online training. Take advantage of them.
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