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Moving on - another "advice please" thread!

 
#1 Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 08:37

presidentbartlet

So having sat through yet another painful laddering where the right guy ended up in the wrong position thanks to internal nonsense followed by yet another pointless client architectural board that required yet another massive battle to get my project through I was thinking there's got to be something better than this...

Sure enough, the weekly glassdoor job ad popped through with an opportunity for senior programme manager at a small startup (must be around 30 staff) literally 10 minutes from my front door at around the same salary I'm on now. Going through the motions with the recruiter but concerned about a couple of things, especially the impact on my long term aims.

Ultimately, having seen so many frankly useless PM contractors in my day to day life I'd like to give that game a go - pay down my mortgage a bit and then put myself out to pasture.

In the short term though, something that would let me spend more time with my family (which my current role and travel isn't!) and actually deliver rather than deal with BS all day is quite attractive.

Also, the industry area is different to the one I'm in now (I've been involved in retail banking for the past 5 year) and isn't one I'm especially keen on (no, it's not porn).

Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially around me "getting back in the game" later on - I'd like to think that working for a totally different scale of organisation would broaden my experience.

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#2 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 11:01

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to presidentbartlet (#1)

Small companies are great... go for it.

I'm always disappointed by big companies, and in particular, people who can't see beyond a brand. They think that just because somebody worked for the Big 4 or a household name company, then they must be "good". Literally, they cannot see beyond the brand... forget the fact that the person may have been rubbish, they get all their kudos from the brand. So, for us thinking people who are more discerning in our choices, small companies have even more to offer. I'd say go for it!

And don't worry about your long term aims. Take care of the short-term and the long-term will take care of itself. In the 1950's, sure, people had to think ahead. In this day and age, most people don't know what they'll be doing next month, let alone in 10 years time.

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#3 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 11:03

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

p.s. once you've ditched the unholy commute, the heart attack inducing annual appraisals (including such concepts as "laddering" and random grading), the unrealistic targets (particularly those such as utilisation, which you may have little if any control over), the 10pm finishes and missed family time on balmy summer evenings, and other internal politics, you'll never look back...

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#4 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 11:29

presidentbartlet to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

p.s. once you've ditched the unholy commute, the heart attack inducing annual appraisals (including such concepts as "laddering" and random grading), the unrealistic targets (particularly those such as utilisation, which you may have little if any control over), the 10pm finishes and missed family time on balmy summer evenings, and other internal politics, you'll never look back...

Those were my thoughts, is it worth working on a software product that I'm not particularly keen on though? Suppose I managed to get passionate about state pensions a few years ago so anything is possible!

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#5 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 11:51

Mr Cool to presidentbartlet (#4)

It depends on your longer term aims - which you don't spell out....

e.g.

MC Partner? - stay with big firms

Start you own firm? - stay with big firms

Join a client - either, though a blue chip client will like big firm names

Enjoy life? - harder to say....

Need to know what the end-game is for you?

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#6 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 11:59

presidentbartlet to Mr Cool (#5)

It depends on your longer term aims - which you don't spell out....

e.g.

MC Partner? - stay with big firms

Start you own firm? - stay with big firms

Join a client - either, though a blue chip client will like big firm names

Enjoy life? - harder to say....

Need to know what the end-game is for you?

Ah sorry, thought I had. Medium term, contracting for bank IT programme management - make my fortune, pay down the mortgage, etc. I know I could get £650 a day now if I wanted to.

Long term* - enjoy life working something 9-5 at one of the software companies/banks based near me as a portfolio manager or something similar - earning less than contracting but not needing the money as much anymore

*Subject to change, I'm only 31....

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#7 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 12:52

Mr Cool to presidentbartlet (#6)

Ah - you probably did!

In that case, honest answer - go contracting now.

Taking a local job may seem really attractive, but I reckon a lot of the initial benefits will wear off quite quickly - particularly if you are not reckoning on being there forever. Sooner or later you will need to head back into commuteville, so the local job is really just a short term break from that world. It really is up to you to decide how much you need that?

In terms of contracting - it will be a lot easier to get a plum contract coming out of ACN than it will be in two years having been at a firm not so well known. In addition, the retail banking IT PM market is very good right now. RBS and Co-op both need to spend a half a billion or more (each) on their basic infrastructure. Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC are all trying to grow key revenue areas, while dealing with multiple historical regulatory challenges...etc. All of these are driving large contract expenditures.

My first contract was at £650 a day. In my first year I had 30K available to pay down my mortgage, over and above the monthly payments.

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#8 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 12:58

Mr Cool to Mr Cool (#7)

Also - do 5-10 years contracting at 650 - 800 a day and when you are ready, a client will snap you up when you want to move back to perm for a 9-5 life.

At that point you'll be earning 50% more than they will pay you perm, so they'll see it as a bargain.

Or....you can stay contracting and just work 6-9 months a year....

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#9 RE: Moving on - another "advice please" thread!
10/12/2013 13:11

presidentbartlet to Mr Cool (#8)

Also - do 5-10 years contracting at 650 - 800 a day and when you are ready, a client will snap you up when you want to move back to perm for a 9-5 life.

At that point you'll be earning 50% more than they will pay you perm, so they'll see it as a bargain.

Or....you can stay contracting and just work 6-9 months a year....

Thanks for that - sounds like my medium-long term plans are about right then, it's just what to do in the short term.

To be honest, the temporary break is as much for my wife as it is for me - if I was a single man I'd be in a flash pad in Canary Wharf contracting for one of the big banks now without question.

She knows that medium term contracting is the best thing for the family but with the kids not yet in school and her 2nd maternity leave ending it's all getting quite difficult/expensive to juggle everything around!

Something local for the next 4 years or so would get us over that hump - would also give me a chance to potentially share in the growth of the small company if it does well which could be another route...

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