Why IT Contractors Need to Be Strategic When It Comes to Defence Jobs
A careful strategy can reap dividends when it comes to any contractor who wishes to enter the potentially lucrative defence field. It pays to be street smart here, and book smart too.
As a contractor, do you want to go through the “hassle” of being checked for clearance before you can start work on your next job? In short, is security clearance a good idea for you?
As one might expect when it comes to anything to do with government organisations, there are various levels of complexity related to security clearance. At the minimum you will be expected to undergo a Basic Check, with additional Counterterrorism Checks or Security Checks expected to be in place as projects become more sensitive.
In truth, it’s a little difficult to know how to proceed. On the one hand contractor rates don’t appear to be much higher than similar types of work attained in the private sector, but on the other hand the type of work in the defence industry is likely to be around for a long time and could lead to further opportunities should you perform well.
Professional Representation Network has studied this market over time and recommends that contractors who are new to this area consider taking a contract that requires an “entry-level” basic check, because this type of clearance generally doesn’t take too long to put in place. Trying to enter a job that has a high level of clearance can sometimes result in having to wait for several months before being allowed access. It’s unlikely that your new employer would stomach this type of wait. Trying to enter the market here therefore could backfire considerably without extensive prior preparations.
Imagine a scenario however where you have already secured some work that you performed well, which was achieved based on a “basic check.” Then, you would be a known quantity as you have been able to pass a certain level of security check as it is. This is much more likely to turn the head of a would-be recruiter and is the path that you should usually consider, going forward.
Contractors should talk with a professional representative to determine the type of clearance required for any roles that they’re interested in and the type of patience that’s likely to be displayed by the recruiter. A careful strategy can reap dividends when it comes to any contractor who wishes to enter the potentially lucrative defence field. It pays to be street smart here, and book smart too.
The Professional Representation Network is a complete contracting provider, providing a variety of services to contractors from varying industries around the world. They identify opportunities, negotiate contracts and provide support to contractors at every stage of the relationship. Relying on 40 years of experience in consulting and representation and access to an established network, Professional Representation Network brings passion to help develop a contractor’s professional life.
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