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.

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

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