In the song, “Money,” Pink Floyd sang, “Get a good job, more pay, and you’re o.k.” While I wouldn’t normally cite Pink Floyd as a reliable source of wisdom, there’s certainly truth to these words. As the cost of living increases, getting a good job with more pay certainly makes life a little bit easier.
If you’re an IT consultant, congratulations; you already have the first part of the equation, a good job. But how do you get the second half, more pay? In today’s blog post, we’ll explore the five ways you can increase your IT consulting rate.
5 Ways to Increase Your IT Consulting Rate
1) Do Something No One Else Wants to Do
An old friend who pours concrete for a living told me, if you want to make money, you have to do something that either no one else could do or no one else wants to do.
So do something that no one else wants to. For example, many people don’t want to take shorter gigs that make them travel. If you take the three-month contracts and move around though, you’ll get a higher rate.
Companies realize the inconvenience of moving, especially temporarily, to a place that is hundreds of miles away from your home base. Because of the inconvenience, they know you’ll need a monetary incentive. Volia – a higher rate.
Be bold. Move. Take the short contracts. (If you have a good recruiter, they’ll make sure your next contract is lined up.) Doing so will ensure you increase your IT consulting rate
2) Specialize But Not Too Narrowly
Don’t forget that my old friend’s advice was two-fold: “do something no one else could.” Like doing something that no one else wants to, this advice directly applies to increasing your IT consulting rate.
In consulting, depth and not breadth will get you a bigger paycheck. If you specialize in a specific skill, you’re more likely to be considered an ‘expert.’ As a result, companies will think you’re worth more money.
This doesn’t mean you should paint yourself into a technical corner, however. You should focus on one thing but be sure to be equally good at its ancillary technologies.
3) Sharpen Your Personal Skills & Business Acumen
In a perfect world, your job success would be based on your performance alone. It’s not; a person’s personality is 50% of the equation. People will want to feel comfortable hanging out with you, talking with you, and learning from/with you. These interpersonal skills are key; they can make or break your career.
In addition to navigating IT Workplace Relationships, be confident in your experience. If you are confident, this will transfer to how people feel about your abilities.
This confidence, in addition to a killer personality, ensures that everyone wants to work with you. And when everyone wants to work with you, you get a higher rate.
4) Be Hungry
To increase your IT consulting rate, you need to have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to be as good as you can be.
By seeking out additional information about your specialty, you’ll learn more. As this blog post discussed, a greater specialty knowledge can increase your consulting rate. But, at the end of the day, don’t do research because you want a higher rate alone; do this because you love what you’re doing. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll strive for the best. And when you strive for the best, it is reflected in your work. Quality, driven work will increase your IT consulting rate.
5) Keep That Contract
While shorter contracts will increase your rate, make sure that you occasionally stay at a place for a year or two. If you have a series of 6 month stops for 5 years in a row, it will look like you can’t make friends or that you aren’t good technically.
Occasionally take extensions; it not only proves that your series of quick contracts is a choice but that you’re good at what you do. This clears up any confusion about your abilities and makes you more employable. A greater employability will always lead to a higher rate.
Wrapping It Up:
Take shorter contracts, travel, and specialize. Be hungry and sharpen your personal skills as well as your business acumen. In doing these things, you’ll increase your IT consulting rate. Just don’t tell anyone that it was Pink Floyd inspired. It’ll be our little secret.