How much technical skill do you need?

One of the fears aspiring 1099s have is that their skills can't possibly justify their rates.

It's true you do need some technical skills. If you get hired as a programmer and can't code or a communications pro and can't write, your 1099 career will be pretty short.

But most people know if they truly don't know how to do something.

The more common scenario is that someone does a pretty good job at work using their technical skill or knowledge and then all of a sudden starts worrying about whether they're good enough when a 1099 opportunity pops up.

This is just fear and it's not based on reality.

If you have been using your skill at work successfully and get occasional priase for your work, then you are good to go.

If you're considering a project where you're not sure (and really not sure, not just scared) whether you have the technical chops, ask the program manager directly. He might refer you to someone on the team who you can talk to. You can decide then if it's something you can learn pretty quickly or if it's truly not a good fit.

I occasionally get a call from recruiters for data engineer positions. While I can write a bit of SQL and Python, sometimes the jobs are far more technical than I am. (Note: If anyone can explain what Apache Airflow is please e-mail me.)

So I decline.

When making an assessment of whether you're "good enough," make sure you base your assessment on reality, not that scared voice in your head.


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