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Become a help desk self-contractor?

By t_elsmore ·
I have spent the past 2 years working for 2 different large companies' help desks. Both contracts were 1 year contract-to-hire positions, but I haven't been hired on directly yet. I have worked through TekSystems and Robert Half Technology, and want to cut out the middle man. Is this possible?

In my own mind, it seems to be. The hard part would be advertising myself to companies, and/or finding places that need a help desk agent. There seems to be plenty of help desk jobs around that are filled with long-term contract positions, but how do I find out about them? It seems only full-time positions are posted on job find websites, and contractor positions are all posted by contracting companies, without revealing the actual client/company hiring.

Anyone have advice on this? I'm basically looking to get a job somewhere for a long-term (6-24 month) contract, but be able to make the hourly pay myself, instead of giving half to my contracting company (Robert Half).

~I am currently making about $20/hour, yet the company pays over $40/hour for me. Anyone who has done this type of contracting knows that negotiation for more pay from my contracting firm really doesn't happen much, and I have already pushed an extra buck and hour out of them.

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Yes and no

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to Become a help desk self-c ...

The problem you'll probably encounter is that you'll find it hard, if not impossible, to break into the scale of firm that routinely uses a Tek or RH to fill their vacancies.

If something goes wrong with someone from either of those firms, they can be immediately replaced. If you are acting as your own agent, and something doesn't quite fit, the firm will end up having to go right back to RH or Tek (this is the way the HR folks will view it). On top of that, someone may have a contact at either of those firms that they have worked with and trust, making it harder for an 'unknown' to get the foot in the door.

If there is a market for it in your area, you may do well targeting the SMBs for contract services. They are often times too small to require a full-time tech, but too large to go without technology support of some sort. If you could line up commitments to visit a SMB once or twice a week/month, and secured enough clients, you'd soon find yourself fully booked, and making decent money.

You could do this until you latch on full-time with an employer (if that is something you want to do).

Best of luck!

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Go It Alone

by arstringfellow In reply to Become a help desk self-c ...

I say go it alone. When you're using a middle man like that, they have to make a profit off of you somehow. There are tons of freelance and contracting opportunities out there, you just have to start networking and getting exposure. You will make far more money working for yourself on your own terms than using a contractor company. You could be billing that entire $40 an hour for yourself! Get some business cards printed, send some info off to the companies that you've already worked with and let them know that you're available. You could also work with an umbrella corporation, like MBO Partners, http://www.mbopartners, that would handle your invoicing for you and act as an employer of record so you wouldn't have to worry about setting up a business entity or anything like that. You still have complete control over your own projects and still find your own projects, but there are also a variety of networking opportunities there.

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