Outsource yourself

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Managing Technology, Oct 2009

Getting involved

There are three different approaches one can take to realizing outsourced opportunities. They each have specific benefits and risk levels. The great thing about the outsourcing path is that you can control your involvement. In my opinion, getting involved with outsourcing is the best way to enter a new industry, if that is your desire. It allows you to gain recognition, experience and most importantly, contacts in a particular field.

The first and least risky approach is to find a vendor who has job requisitions for specific projects. Many of these positions are marketed and managed by specialized recruitment companies. In some cases, they will hire you as a temporary employee (contractor) to work on their clients' project, typically at the clients' specified location. Pretty much like a real job, but they have a limited assignment timeframe, typically a year or two. Some of these include certain expenses and sometimes offer benefit packages and vacation.

The second approach is to work with a recruiter as a subcontractor. In this arrangement, you could be subcontracting for the recruitment firm, but working with the client directly. Recruiters call this arrangement a “C to C” or company to company. Generally you will need to form a legal entity (corporation, LLC, etc.) maintain required insurances and provide the equipment needed to perform the task you are contracted for. This arrangement typically only covers your services, but some contracts allow you to include other employees (yours) if necessary. The advantage of taking this route is that these recruiters are typically large companies with established relationships that open opportunities you would otherwise not have.

The final option is to subcontract directly for a client. In my experience, you will likely be working with a prime contractor who was brought into a company for the purpose of completing a specific job(s). These projects can last several years. Again you would need to form a legal company and obtain all the necessary insurances, etc.

In general, this type of on-site outsourcing is becoming more prevalent. Largely these are project-based assignments, but we are seeing more of a trend toward outsourcing entire operations. For example, Sprint recently entered into an outsourcing contract with Ericsson to manage its cell network operations nationally. Many local, state and federal government agencies are taking the same approach to handling specific projects or certain portions of their infrastructure.

As a starting point, search the Internet for contract positions. There are dozens of sites that market these opportunities, including Monster and Career Builder. Many sites are targeted at particular industries; find the ones that cater to technology sectors. Make sure you join as many of these site as possible and post a resume and specifically note you are looking for contract positions.

Hopefully this gave you some motivation to perhaps take your hobby to the next level.

McNamara is president of Applied Wireless, Cape Coral, FL.

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