In Pictures: 15 tips for surviving - and thriving - as an IT contractor

Pundits are calling 2014 the year of the IT contractor. Here are 15 tips for setting up shop and making it stick.

Money isn't -- quite -- everything It's easy to judge contract jobs solely by their payout, but Cirri advises taking a broader approach. Weigh whether the job will offer the chance to build your resume, sharpen your expertise or expand your network. Ask: What learning opportunities will it offer? What new contacts will the work provide? What new technologies will I learn? And weigh those answers against your financial goals to make the best choice on jobs.

It's fair to consider work-life balance issues, too, such as whether the position requires rigid work hours in a stressful environment. "I recommend going where you'll get the most out of it," Cirri says.

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