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.

Glowing references at a minute's notice Companies pay a premium for contractors because they can get them onboard right away. To keep up with that fast-paced hiring process, Kai Dupè keeps an up-to-date list of people who can vouch for him and his work. He calls them "Team Kai." These are former colleagues, bosses and recruiters who Dupè knows will respond quickly to requests and will highlight his best qualities.

"I can call, text or email them and they give me a recommendation at a moment's notice. They vouch for my work and my professionalism. One guy said he hired me based on one of those stellar recommendations alone," says Dupè, an independent software developer who also coaches and mentors.

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