Many times people looking to get into contracting do not have a true understanding of what the Health IT market place has to offer in terms of money and required travel. It is very important to have a realistic understanding of these two criteria in order to remain working consistently. What I see often is someone waiting to leave their full time job for a contract that will meet the terms they dictate. On the surface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s exactly what you should do.
What you want to make sure of is this… the money you are looking for and the amount of travel you are comfortable with can be met in 80% of the contracts that are available for your skill set.
So let me give you an example. Let’s say that for your skill set 80% of the contracts available will pay $80 /hour W2 and will require you to travel three weeks per month and are an average length of six months.
You are happy in a full-time position within a hospital but will leave if you can get a six-month contract that pays $90 / hour W2 where you only have to travel every other week.
Now the first problem is, if you share your requirements with a recruiter who is new to this industry, s/he will tell you it is possible to get the terms you are looking for. The reality is that, “anything is possible” and, when this recruiter gets an assignment that meets your criteria, s/he will give you a call and you may take it.
You may be saying, “What’s wrong with that?”…. “How is this a problem?” Well, at the time of accepting this contract, it is not.
The problem you will have is six months down the road when you are looking for your next contract and you haven’t worked for 5 months because it may take that long to find a contract with the same criteria of the first.
I am not saying that there won’t be times when you can hold out for a little bit better terms than normal. But what I am saying is that before you leave your hospital job to get into contracting, be sure you are comfortable with the terms the market has to offer that will keep you working on a consistent basis. Or at least keep you working often enough to make sure you are going to meet your yearly financial needs.