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#1 contracting
11/04/2011 01:36


Hi All,

what is the long term prospects of contracting. I am new to contracting currently fetching £500 a day in project management space. What is the maximum a contractor can aim for in project and programme management space with sound skills in delivery management. How I should up my game and earn between £650-£750 a day. I have 15 years overall experience including 4 Years with BIG4 on manager level.

Can contracting me long term option, what are the tips for getting contracts without any significant gaps, how I should keep my self extending on my current assignment? What should and shouldn't I do to ensure clients keep calling me! how much role recruitment consultant plays in getting me my next contract versus I finding on my own versus repeat contracts from same/previous clients.

Any help would be much appreciated. I am seriously thinking of making contracting for 5-10 years and then setting up my own consulting practice.

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#2 RE: contracting
11/04/2011 10:56

Mr Cool to anon (#1)

Long term prospects for the contracting industry = Good - employers want felxible working models and contracting is just one of the ways to get that (as is part-timing/consultants/etc). Many large firms now routinely assume that x% of their staff resource will be interim/contractor as it gives them flexibility in term sof volumes and skills at relatively low cost.

Maximum that can be earned in PM/Pr M? = Otside of charity work (not being facetious) PM's should not be earning less than 350 a day (£400 in the South East/London) and probably £450 in banking where rates are a little higher due to the work style/pressure/content knowledge/etc. Senior PM should be earning 500-650. Programme Manager rates are between 600 - 850. Programme Director through to proper Interim Head of Change will see rates of between 700 and 1200. Rates above that are truly exceptional. The vast majority of PM/Pr Mgrs will be on between 500 and 750.

How to up you game = Very difficult. Clients hire you for what you have doen before - not to develop you - so developing and improving you rate can be a challenge, particulalry for first timers. In essence there are a few options. 1) Training that puts you into a differnt area (e.g. solvency 2) where rates are a little higher due to shortage of knowledge, 2) moving between clients and pushing up 25 quid at a time, 3) stayign put and pushign for "promotion" as you client gets to know how capable you are, 4) ride the wave of the market - i.e,. no actual change on your part, just make hay when the sun shines.

The fact is that most contractors DO NOT PROGRESS. It is the number one challenge. Many end up having to give up a contract PM role to go permie, just to become a programme manager, then step back into contracting. If you are a contract PM on £500 a day, I would give you odds of 5000-1 of ever progressing to Interim Head of Change/Delivery at 1200 a day without first going back into perm employment and becoming a perm "Head of/Director".

Reducing gaps = single best way is to stay put (but that can make rate increases ore difficult - you choice). Other strategy is to be flexible on rate. If a 550 gig ends, do you take a 500 one straight away, or wait two montsh for another 550 one?

Keep clients calling? = Deliver, and don't be an ar$e whiel your doing it.

Recruitment agents = Can't do it without them. You'll do well to get 30% of your work with agents. The bad news is that while there are some really good agents, its all a bit of a nonsense. The only good agent is the one with the job that fits you, at the very time you are available. Same goes for candidates to be fair. Great CV is no use if your contracted out for the next 3 months! The agent will search elsewhere.

Repeat clients = Deliver as above.

Set up your own consultancy firm after 10 years? = Probably not. Hardly anyone ever does. Firstly the two activities rwquire completely differnt skills. Secondly most people after 10 years contractign are 100% focussed on immediate income and find it impossible to invest in anything that is not themselves. Nearest most peope come is to take a few junior contractors under their wing as associates and cream a little extra margin off them for a short period - but that's not a consultancy firm.

Finally - to do well in contracting, you must stick to it. You cannot apply for perm jobs when the market is slow, and there is normally very little overlap of individual agents that do both perm/contract. A CV that shows perm/contract/perm/contract is a weak one forboth perm and contract agents - particulalry if the jobs are for short periods in both cases.

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#3 RE: contracting
11/04/2011 11:01

Mr Cool to Mr Cool (#2)

Did of course mean ...

You'll do well to get 30% of your work WITHOUT agents (i.e direct to client)


Once again - fantastic typing from MR Cool Secretarial Service LTd. Wish I could post with my fountain pen.

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#4 RE: contracting
11/04/2011 21:13

Op to Mr Cool (#2)

Fab response mr cool, you are just great!

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#5 RE: contracting
12/04/2011 09:53

best man to Op (#4)

Another quality content response. I'd forgive any typos for more responses like this.

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