We’ve all been there. It’s the night before the interview and you’re preparing your answers. You know that you’ve got to tackle the all important IT consulting rate question but you freeze. You’re a deer in the headlights thinking: “If I ask too much, maybe they won’t hire me. But I also don’t want to work for nothing. What do I do?” While there’s no magical number we can give you (Sorry!) there are two things you can do to help determine your market value.
Don’t be these guys.
1. Research the market of your specific skill set
Are you a lead Java developer? A software architect? Different technical skill sets will be trending differently. Research them. LinkedIn is a useful tool; it gives you year-over-year (YOY) popularity. If there is a high YOY popularity, (a trend towards a demand for a certain position), you’re in luck. With such a high demand for, say a Java developer, you’ll be better able to negotiate a higher rate. If there is a low demand, a lower rate is a better bet as every other Java developer is fighting to get this same position.
2. Listen to your recruiter
The best recruiters realize that their success is dependent upon their consultants’ success. It’s a symbiosis that can’t be denied and, as a result, your recruiter will be looking out for you. So listen to them. They will know what the market bears for your field and where you fit into it. They will give you a fair analysis of your market value and may, in some cases, fight to make sure you get it.
There is no magic answer to figuring out your IT consulting rate. It depends on your specific skill set and how it’s currently trending in the market. However, researching the market and talking to your recruiter will ensure that you are asking for a fair IT consulting rate.