Multiple Job Offers: What IT Consultants Should Consider When Selecting the Next Contract
If you are an IT consultant in the job market today, congratulations! The continued low unemployment rate in the technology market over the past few years has made finding an IT job less difficult than in many other professions. In fact, many IT consultants are hearing from IT recruiters on a more frequent basis than they’ve ever experienced before. Increased demand for IT talent leads to more calls from recruiters, which equals more interviews and undoubtedly results in more potential job offers.
But, what happens when an IT consultant is presented with multiple job offers at the same time? While this may seem like a great problem to have, navigating this situation can be overwhelming. You’ll probably be worried about questions such as: Which is the better company? Which rate is better? Which role will be the best for my career in the long run? It’s important that if you are faced with multiple job offers, you weigh all the variables of each position to determine the best choice for your career.
We’ve outlined a few things that an IT consultant, faced with choosing one contract over another, should consider before signing on the dotted line.
- Consider the IT Staffing Firm: If you have two job offers and it’s a close call about which is the best offer, consider the staffing firm the contracts are with. If you have contracted with one of the companies before and they have been a valued resource, it’s wise to work with them again. The more you work with a firm, the more opportunities you have to prove yourself. Proving yourself to a recruiter will make them remember you when other opportunities arise. If you have offers from two IT firms you’ve never worked with before, there are still ways you can decipher the best one for you. Pay attention to how responsive they’ve been, see if they helped prepare you for interviews and their overall supportiveness during your job search.
- Consider the Client: As mentioned above, working with IT staffing firms often gives you the opportunity to work with top-tier clients. When faced with multiple job offers, it’s just as important to consider the client and the work environment.During the client’s interview process, get some insight into the company’s culture, management style and different technologies they use to see if these factors align with your career objectives. For example, if you enjoy working collaboratively within a team atmosphere, it’s probably not in your best interest to work for a company whose employees generally work independently. Likewise, it is also important to understand the management style of your boss. If you know you thrive under a hands-off approach, you may want to reconsider taking a contract that is under a controlling manager. Finally, does this company use technology that’s exciting to you and will it help you build upon your current skillset? All of these factors and more will help you determine if this is the right client for you.
- Consider the Contract Length: This can be a tricky issue when accepting a contract. Keep in mind, many clients have 3 month contracts due to internal processes within their finance departments. It does not necessarily indicate the amount of future work. After all, what can really be accomplished on a 90 day IT contract? When talking to the client, discuss the project and the amount of work that needs to be done. Many IT consultants are extended far beyond a 3 month contract. Asking probing questions about the project should give you an idea of the amount of work and how long the project should roughly last.
- Consider the Rate: This should go without saying! You never want to take a rate that is under market value. Although you want to avoid asking for a rate that is way above your market value. It is important to know what you’re worth. However, be aware that the offer with the highest rate isn’t always the best contract; many times there are bigger factors at play.
- Consider Your Career: It’s important to give careful thought to your career goals and determine the best roles to accept that will get you there. Again, choosing one contract over another because of the rate might not be the role that’s the best for your career in the long-term. If you have aspirations of moving into management or gaining more experience in a certain technology, make sure you’re making the best choices to get you there.
The job market for an IT consultant is booming right now and multiple job offers are becoming a more common occurrence. If you find yourself in a position where you have to choose one over the other, follow our considerations above to help guide your choice.
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