No Safety net in disaster for IT Contractors
For many who are in full-time employment, this is your safety net to stay afloat during the Coronavirus epidemic, for those of us who choose IT contracting for the better day rates and the greater free time this is a stark reminder how vulnerable we are. Many IT contracts often finish at the end of the year, and the industry usually has dead months of recruitment, January and February tend to be very quiet months to pick up IT contracts. The most activity is seen between March, April and June, those of us that have been contracting for a while, know about allowing a couple of months safety net per year to be out of employment however with coronavirus that risk is great now.
We are all affected by Coronavirus
The Coronavirus couldn’t have hit the IT contracting market at a worse time, right when the market usually hires again, based on this many contractors could be out of work for much longer periods of time, potentially pushing hiring to the third and fourth quarter which will be a tight squeeze for many of us.
In IT contracting you have very little rights, watered-down contracts, always expendable and it is a precarious arrangement, not for the fainthearted. People may see the rates of pay and think it’s big money, however, this is a time for reflection by people considering this type of work, reflection for those in IT contracting also. As an IT contractor you need to consider yourself expendable, if unprepared for periods of time off work or you have anxiety over mortgage payments then its likely that contracting is not the best arrangement for you. IT contracting comes at a greater risk for the individual, for example, many IT contractors may have to go 6 months without any work in the industry due to the Coronavirus, this is quite a possible outcome we face.
Will this push IT Contractors and Project Managers into Full time employment?
I would hazard a guess and say many IT contractors will seek permanent roles post Coronavirus recovery, with having young families, mortgages and all types of bills monthly, times like this expose the level of risk we are faced as IT contractors, its high risk and it’s really not for everyone.
For people that are working full-time and maybe have angst against a contractor on high day rates… remember the pay is based on risk, availability and uncertainty, we are much more vulnerable, have fewer rights and endure periods where work isn’t all that available, instead respect the bottle to live life this way, you have to accept change, risk and all the hidden dangers that come with IT contracting.