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The Professional IT Contractor

In Canada an incorporated independent contractor can benefit from variety in her jobs, has some measure of control over the jobs she takes, benefits from some tax breaks not afforded to an employee and has the ability to earn more than an employee.

As in every situation where there are benefits, there are also costs. To the contractor the costs include some risk that a job will not be available when the current job ends, the risk that they might be let go at a moments notice, the costs associated with finding their own benefits and training. There are also the costs associated with running a corporation, legal and accounting fees being the primary costs.

To the independent contractor reputation, like any business is paramount. Establishing a reputation as someone who is technically excellent is obvious, but also having a reputation as a good business is just as important. The contractor needs to accept that as a business they make commitments to a job, that they have an obligation to their client and like any business they have to keep in mind the long term ramifications of their decisions. Chasing the short term increase in dollars at the cost of a reputation is very costly for any business.

One of the common mistakes that new contractors make is to think that they can have all of the benefits of the contractor world, without accepting the responsibility of being a business owner. A contractor is not an employee and should never think like an employee, they must always think like a business person building a long term business through their excellent reputation.

At Eagle we are lucky that such a high proportion of the contractors we work with understand this notion, and we work hard to educate others of their professional obligations.