IT/product management contract, should I ask for rate increase at this point?
I'm an IT/product management contractor working for a large client through an agency (not employed at the agency, just got my contract through them). My initial contract was for 18 months (which is unusually long, yes) and I'm nearing the end of it. The client has confirmed that they'll be extending the contract for another 12 months due to good performance and I play a key role in a large project. Is this a good time to ask for a rate increase?
- Any rate discussions need to be handled by the agency (not myself directly with the manager) due to some policies. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not
- Not really looking for a huge increase since I doubt I'll get it anyways, just going by the standard rate increase most people get after X years for inflation purposes
- I feel like I'm being underpaid (after talking to some friends in same role in other companies). However I'm not sure how much the agency is taking from me. If they're taking a huge cut then that would explain it
- I'm not an industry veteran as I'm only a few years out of university. I'm probably the youngest person on the team with the least amount of years of experience, so that's where I feel I don't have much bargaining power
- My performance has been great and I have great rapport with most people. There are always areas of improvement but it's mostly things I'd have to improve to advance in my career
- I'm actively searching for other jobs, so far in a few interviews but no offers yet