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Perm vs Contract

#1 Perm vs Contract
17/05/2017 00:08



Been a perm for 10 years now in ACN in ATA UK. Have specialised in a niche skill and currently at Manager level. Have no interest in becoming a SM as I want to stay hands on. Have been contemplating on contracting as I want to increase my income but somewhat comfortable in current work situation and really confused if I should stay at ACN, move to another consultancy or go contracting... The fear of not being able to find a contract role and constant searching is keeping me away. Any advice?

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#2 RE: Perm vs Contract
17/05/2017 08:41

Anonosaurous to tommys (#1)

Biggest reason I've never gone contracting is concern over how I might progress out of it and upwards. If you have no such desire then you've removed a large obstacle from my point of view.

Other considerations

- do you back yourself to land and deliver on contracts? Felt clients would generally hire you?

- is there enough work in your niche area?

- are there adjacent areas where you might be able to find work if needed?

But seems to me you're prime placed for contracting. Make some money, avoid the bullshit and take advantage of some flexibility for a while.

Worst case you could always go and get your manager role back at ACN or somewhere else?

Just a perspective from someone who's never done it...

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#3 RE: Perm vs Contract
17/05/2017 23:22

Anon MCs to tommys (#1)

Hi Tommy,

Coolio is our resident contractor who can help you best, on my side I did:

- Major UK Bank grad scheme

- Up through the ranks

- Management Consulting

- Contracting

- Back in a different Major UK (investment arm) bank as a permie

Should you go contracting? Only you can answer that, you will no doubt know lots of contractors and you will be getting lots of conflicting advice:

- "Do it! You will earn bucket loads more!"

- "Careful, the government is now going after contractors..."

- "You can spend months between contracts with nothing, using up the war chest and each year be earning same as a permie"

- "You only pay 0.000001% tax! Its a money making machine!"

- "You are treated like a piece of disposable expensive meat"

Truth is, every contract is different from the last. Some contracts you are treated just like the employees around you, its a great environment. While in others its toxic, they hate you for earning "far more" while doing what they think is the same work (don't bother trying to explain no pay for holidays etc). Tax is indeed higher now and you have a number of costs re insurance, accountant etc.

My advice? Honestly? Stay with your successful career rather than contracting.

You have a good career with Accenture, the contracting market at the moment is extremely competitive with lots of people being laid off trying their luck in contracting. Do not trust recruiters, trust your closest friends and your feel for what is going on in your market.

Do I regret contracting? Absolutely not! It was hugely rewarding both from an income but also career perspective. Ironically I would not be here in my great role today if it wasn't for my contracting years.

But times change... I think trying to redo what I did then would be near impossible... that's life, a door opens and you take it, sometimes it closes after a while.

That's just my perspective, nothing stopping you from giving up a good career to try your hand at it, just make sure you have c6 months of living savings to cope being out of contract (this is a risk).

I had no bench time during my contracting tenure coupled with a high day rate (hence why it was so useful for the years I did it), but I think I got out at the right time for the right role with the right big bank... I'm not sure how easy it would be to do the same again

Best of luck, but please do talk to the people you know first.

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#4 RE: Perm vs Contract
19/05/2017 11:10

marsday to tommys (#1)

Tommys there isnt even cause for a question here. You say you want to remain hands on, which is fine. But you can't live in Managerville forever, not without getting cheaper and cheaper year on year. As your peers pass you to SM and upwards, you'll look like the laggard, regardless of whether it's for legitimate reasons.

Go contracting.

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#5 RE: Perm vs Contract
24/05/2017 17:09

Mr Cool to tommys (#1)

Go on Jobserve.

Type your niche skill into the key word box

Hit search

Record number of contracts on offer, day rate and location

Repeat daily for three months

Calculate demand for you and how far you'd have to travel to stay in work.

The golden age of contracting is coming to an end. Government has tax equalisation squarely in its sights. Banks are offshoring more and more junior and mid level work to offshore contractors.

Even on shore, rates are squeezed.

Fortunately this makes life at the senior end even better! Banks need people like me to hold together the incompetent, rapid turnover, £100 a day bozos! Hurray!

Makes life a bit dull though...

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#6 RE: Perm vs Contract
26/05/2017 20:53

Anon MCs to Mr Cool (#5)

No way. OMG.

Its Coolio! I saw Mars responded and now you! It feels like the ol’ gang is back, just need Bushy or Cams to reply and we’ll be done.

Yes I agree with you Coolio, contracting golden days are coming to an end. At your level I agree that the market is still there, but my gut feel told me “all good things come to an end”, I have a great offer on the table from a bank I am enjoying – go for it and don’t worry about £££ difference, the benefits package (numerical and psychological) more than make up for it.

I have to say Coolio, I feel like I did the right thing. Although I have a feeling that you are a contractor lifer, I can’t see you wanting to move back into permiedom. I was a newbie inmate, you are a hardened convict with “contractor4ever” tattooed across one arm.

Have a good weekend all

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#7 RE: Perm vs Contract
30/05/2017 18:51

tommys to Anon MCs (#6)

thank you all for your valuable input, much appreciated. I will ponder over this in more detail before pulling the trigger.

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