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Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period

#1 Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period
01/06/2010 21:29


I'm at a big 4 firm and am contemplating a move into contracting (as a BA) and have started taking tentative steps in identifying potential roles.

I have a 13 week notice period with my current employer so clearly it'll be very challenging to find contracting roles which could accomodate such a long lead time.

I'm hesitant to resign without having a contracting job lined but with the long lead time it seems like a catch 22 situation at the moment.

Any advise would be helpful.

Specifically on whether attempting to source a contract role and request early release of my existing contract is an advisable course of action (i.e. do big 4 firms have a history of playing hard-ball or are they likely to be accomodating)


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#2 RE: Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period
02/06/2010 16:35

Mr Cool to JD (#1)

I’ve been independent/contracting/freelance for som eyears now. Typical turn around in contracts is anything from “start tomorrow” to a max of about two to three weeks. As a general BA you will be competing against equally capable people who are ready to start. Most consultants who go into contracting do so after being made redundant or in good times when it is easy to take the plunge and hope for the best.

The question of notice period is entirely dependent on circumstances. If you’re a bit rubbish and on the bench, then I’m sure your firm will let you go the same day. If you’re currently billable and difficult to replace (or your release would mean you not being replaced by another billable colleague), then I can imagine them holding you to your notice period.

A warning - have you actually been to any interviews yet? Clients (and especially agencies) are very suspicious of permie employees who come to contract interviews. Comes across as a permie that’s heard contracting pays well, rather then someone committed to providing independent consulting services. Agencies hate it because theirs is a very high drop out rate from offer to acceptance.

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#3 RE: Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period
03/06/2010 21:09

JustaThought to Mr Cool (#2)

as an addition to the previous reply: Are you a good BA? How confident are you that your skill set / industry sectors would get you a job? Review your current CV - if it landed on your desk would you hire yourself for a role in your current organisation at an equivalent level to what you're doing (or even more)?

If you still can't answer the above questions...test the market. send your CV to a few roles (1-3) you'd definitely do and guage / note all feedbacks etc... With 13 weeks won't have any contract role wait for you for that length of time for a BA position so you may have to consider doing what is listed above in the 1st paragraph, serve your notice and take the plunge. (ps there are loads of BA roles (my firm hired 5 at different levels in 1 week)// similarly there are quite a few BA's around...just be aware of the risk)

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#4 RE: Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period
04/06/2010 11:11

Mr Cool to JustaThought (#3)

General update.

A very reliable agent (has provided me with multiple years of work) told me yesterday that they have a number of consultancy firm clients that are struggling to find good contractors that they would be happy to allow to work under their brand. I trust this info - there was no reason to lie or exagerate.

This agency only deals with the senior end of the market.

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#5 RE: Transitioning to Contracting - Notice Period
06/06/2010 16:16

peter the anon to Mr Cool (#4)

Mr Cool,

Which agency?

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