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.

It's all about personal contacts Referrals are also crucial for getting contract work. When Deegan, the Bad Dog Consulting contractor, started freelancing in 2002, he reached out to peers to ask for advice and find mentors. And because so much of his work still comes through referrals, he says it's important to make networking a priority.

"Being an independent consultant, you have to invest in your relationships with people," Deegan says. You need to build time into your workweek to meet new contacts and stay current with existing ones. That means making time for lunches, sharing articles others might find interesting and connecting contacts with information or people that can help with their business needs.

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