It’s that age old debate again: which is better, contract or permanent? If you’ve been having this argument with your colleagues, family, or just yourself (we’ve all been there), you might be wondering whether you’ve got the skills and disposition to become a Salesforce contractor.
As we’ve previously covered, the demand for Salesforce talent is growing. With the need for digital acceleration since the pandemic and the rise of remote working, many organisations are turning to cloud-based solutions. Salesforce are the world leader in CRM software, thus with the growth of the business there’s an increased demand for Salesforce professionals. If you’re already in the workforce and you’re looking to make a change from perm to temp, or if you’re looking for more ammunition to get yourself certified and enter the Salesforce talent market, you’ll be saturated with opportunities.
What does it take to become a successful Salesforce contractor, and will it be right for you? We’ve looked at some of the key considerations to help you make the right decision.
Know your capabilities and worth
You need to be aware of the Salesforce contractor market and your worth within it. Be clear about your skills, certifications and capabilities. Know the modules and applications that you can work with and be honest about this.
You’ll likely be brought in to work on time-specific projects, so think about how you can upskill yourself. Do you think some project management skills would help get you your next role? Are you up to date with your Salesforce certifications or do you need to revisit this?
The possibilities are endless, and no matter which Salesforce career pathway you’ve decided to take, you’ll be in demand. Remember to stick to what excites and interests you – you’ll find yourself more motivated and inspired, which are key factors in successful contracting.
Bathroom mirror pep-talks
You won’t need to worry so much about being micro-managed or putting together that presentation for your yearly review as a contractor. However, that lack of regular assessment and appraisal means you’ll need to be your own biggest fan. You’ll need to stay motivated and organised, so there might be a few stern talkings-to in the mirror, but the increased autonomy in contract roles can be a very appealing prospect.
A blessing or a curse? In reality, the adaptability you need to be a successful contractor is probably a bit of both.
On the plus side, the flexibility that contracting offers you is wonderful. Things move a lot quicker in the temporary job role market, so a contract position that is right for you is likely just around the corner. The risk of stagnating in a dead-end job is non-existent as well, as you’ll likely be there for a matter of months, not years. You get to experience new industries, organisations, and people on a regular basis. This will offer you a more interesting and fluid work life and the opportunity to diversify your skill set and broaden your knowledge.
On the other hand, this can also be a down-side of contracting. You will need to be able to adapt to different industries, cultures, and teams quickly and continue to work effectively within these. Even though you’ll likely have multiple opportunities available to you, you will have to exercise some flexibility with the terms of your employment; the perfect role isn’t going to exist every time. You may be able to work fully remotely for one contract but be expected to accept hybrid working during the next. Compromising on what you’re able to while still exercising your right to accept a role that offers you what you want and need will stand you in good stead with your Salesforce network.
Build your reputation
When you become part of a specific ecosystem, it can start to feel like a very small world. Although the Salesforce ecosystem is not the smallest compared to other technology ecosystems, you’ll still need to make sure you leave a good impression. To keep a steady workflow, build relationships and connections and create a strong network to make sure you get the right referrals. People talk, and word-of-mouth is very powerful. Keeping in touch with your specialist Recruitment Consultant is key and will give you important insights into the Salesforce market and ecosystem, not to mention keeping you in-the-know with upcoming opportunities.
You’ll also need to be brave with your decisions. Positions tend to need to be filled urgently, so if you’re making the move from perm to contract, a long notice period won’t do you any favours. You might have to take a leap of faith and get your notice in if it’s longer than a month so that you’re readily available when that contract role comes along.
Contract roles don’t come with the security of a permanent role. They can be terminated with very little notice, and sometimes the timing just isn’t right. You need to make sure you’ve got savings to fall back on in case you find yourself with a gap between roles. You might not get the perks and benefits of a permanent role either, such as paid leave or health insurance, so make sure these are not a priority for you.
The Nitty Gritty
Can you handle the complex administrative aspects of becoming a contractor? There are a lot of things you’ll need to think about and organise. There are different ways for you to be paid, such as through an umbrella company, under PAYE through an agency or by registering yourself as a Limited company. Understanding your options and which would be best for you can be confusing and time-consuming.
If you’re in the UK, do you understand what being inside or outside the scope of IR35 means for you? Another consideration that will affect how you get paid.
You’ll need to regularly review contracts of employment and understand the ins and outs in order to correctly protect your employment rights.
There are also timesheets to think about and making sure you know how to complete them correctly, or you won’t get paid.
Talking of getting paid, what about your hourly/day rate? You need to know what you are worth in the current market and make sure you’re receiving the remuneration you deserve.
It’s worth seeking help from professionals; advice from an accountant or solicitor may be necessary. Most importantly, speak to a Recruitment Consultant who is aux fait with contract roles, like myself, they’ll be an invaluable source of knowledge for you, and can help give you solutions to these time-consuming considerations.