Continuing education is key
All technologists have to keep learning if they want to stay employed. But where many staffers get company-funded training and education, contractors do not. "As you launch into flying solo, you have to know that no one is ever going to pay you to learn something ever again. I've never had a client say, 'I'm going to send you to this course,'" says Deegan.
He builds education and training into his work life by taking on projects where he has to pick up new knowledge. For example, he recently helped a friend build a mobile app as a way of learning that skill. Other contractors say they schedule a set time to study or take courses in between paid contracts.