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.

Best skills are specific and in demand Successful contractors offer companies quick access to specific skills. That's what makes them so valuable, says Thomas Cirri, a regional director of recruiting at Mondo. So pick a specialty, but choose with care. While you don't want to offer skills no one needs, you do want a niche that truly interests you.

Back in 2007, Jon Raasch, a freelance web developer in Portland, Ore., saw a growing demand for PHP and JavaScript and started specializing in those areas. But it wasn't just the job potential that drew Raasch to web development -- he really liked the work. "You have to be a lot more of a self-starter to do freelance," he observes. "I love what I do, so I'm motivated."

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