As 2015 reached its close, tech professionals still felt optimistic about the economy, or at least their own chances of landing a new position: According to just-released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly 500,000 professionals in the Professional and Business Services category (which includes a range of tech jobs) decided to leave their current employers in November.
That’s a significant increase from November 2014, when 433,000 professionals in that category quit their jobs, but down from October 2015, when 519,000 quit.
Many analysts treat voluntary quits as a measure of economic health, assuming that employees will only leave their current positions if they feel the economy is strong enough for them to land a new (and better) one in short order. In support of that thesis, a high level of voluntary quits over the past twelve months has dovetailed neatly with low unemployment within the tech sector.
But given the rise in freelancing positions, it’s also likely that tech pros are quitting their current positions not for another full-time job, but a contracting or freelancing opportunity. If you’re considering the freelance life, here are three quick tips to remember:
Build Your Brand
Bulk up your social-media profiles to reflect your availability and expertise; depending on your skills, contribute to appropriate forums (for example, if you’re a software developer, you should volunteer work on communities such as GitHub and Stack Overflow). And make sure you have a Website, preferably one without cute kitten photos or gifs.
A freelancer’s competitive differentiator is the ability to provide personalized service. Engage and anticipate client needs.
There are lots of freelance tech pros out there; find out what makes you different, and emphasize that skill-set in conversations with potential clients.