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How to become a successful IT Consultant

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The world of IT is changing. Where technologies were once disparate and standalone, a shift has occurred. Beginning with the advent of the Internet, a collection of networks that saw its inception in 1990, technologies have become connected at an exponential rate.

Today, we see software packages such as SAP’s S/4HANA, which span networks across entire countries. The level of connectivity in business today is truly staggering. With it, however, we see a hugely increased demand for IT specialists – staff whose sole purpose is to ease the implementation transition - improving the structure and efficiency of installations.

With increased adoption of networked systems comes an increase in demand for specialists with capacity to manage this shift. IT specialists can now command salaries far higher than the industry average as a direct result. For newly qualified Consultants, this wage sits at around €32,000. For IT Consultants, however, the rate can be far higher.

By working on a project basis, IT Consultants are capable of securing between €500 to €1,000 per day – rising comparably with the experience and capability of said specialist. The reason for this is simple. Many IT projects do not require full-time employee to complete. Instead, businesses will source a number of Consultants to complete the task, with both parties going their separate ways on completion. So, the natural question that must be asked is how can IT professionals make the shift towards consultancy?

For new independent Consultants, gaining skills with a wide range of packages is the foundation for success. SAP’s ERP systems, for example, are the backbone of a huge number of businesses across the globe. As the industry shifts at such a rapid pace, any specialist that neglects their own continuous professional development will soon find themselves irrelevant. It is a stark fact in IT that old systems become obsolete every day… with them follow those with outdated skillsets.

Once skills have been developed, the next logical step is to source and secure clients. In the early stages of your career as a Consultant, word of mouth and your own reputation is the cornerstone of success in this area. For each project that is completed to specification, you gain another testimonial for your portfolio. Over the course of months and years, this portfolio will grow to the point where work needs to be turned away.

Reliability, therefore, is one of the most attractive traits a Consultant can possess, and is the key to securing return business. Businesses are naturally averse to vetting and testing new Consultants each time they have a project to be completed. They will effortlessly gravitate towards known quantities. In short, people they have worked with before, and who have completed tasks to an admirable standard.

One of the most significant benefits of becoming a Consultant versus an employee, and one of the most effective ways to maximise your success in this realm, is one of tax management. Securing the services of an accountant is essential for success in this industry. Much the same as how large corporations approach IT Consultants for their specific skillsets, these same Consultants must confer with financial specialists to ensure payment for projects goes further. From ‘office space’ in your spare bedroom, to car payments and supplies, standard employees are almost completely unaware of the sheer range of tax deductible expenses. 

Success as an IT Consultant is dependent on a number of particularly diverse areas. From the most basic foundations of your new career to the specific areas of skillsets and tax, each element combines to form something greater than the sum of its parts. Consulting is one of the most effective ways to maximise your value as an IT specialist – what are you waiting for?

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