Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 3528 Location: London, UK
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:31 pm Post subject: IT Contract work insights and advice (UK centric)
You want to go contracting instead of working for a company
What are your issues
As far as recruiting / headhunters firms, each one has its speciality. They are concerned with fulfilling their contract requirements
They usually will be sent your CV by you from a jobvert. Or if your Cv is on one of CV sites, they will grab it lookign for the skill sett hat they need filling
They will call you. (The first control point) and conduct an initerview to see if you meet the skills. This is where some people fail / succeed.
You have to be able to talk the talk confidently abut what you have done / can do.
If you have Service Desk experience - team leads - expect SD roles. Dont expect roles outside of what you have experience for.
Recruiter/HH are not risk takers. They dont want u to go to a role you can t do.
Then comes the interview with the customer (usually the person you are working for). You usually get the feedback later that day or next on whether they want you.
Then comes the negotiations / discussion that is key
How expensive a conslutant are u
The role usually will say either market rates or a range. The recruiter has a minimum / maximum rate for the conslutant. This impacts on the total £$ that they get.
Figure out what other similar roles are being asked for.
My advice: On the first role, take the lower of the range (or near the lower) as you have not the credentials for the higher in the range. Of course the daily or hourly rate will be higher than your salary when broken - figure 50% increase as a baseline
Take the role. Do the job. If they extend you. good. Other wise, start looking again in the last few weeks by putting your CV back
Experience / Education / Certification
They are looking for experience over certification for contract work.
The certifications to get for IT work are as follows
Process / standards / 'IT Management'
ITIL - v2 Managers. Practitioners, Foundation
ITIL -v3 'Expert' (you have to have Manager's first), practitioners, foundation
CoBIT -go to ISACA dot org. The online course is in dollars and you can do it on line. Useful regardless whether your company is US centric.
ISO20000 - itSMF has a certifcation scheme - 3 day course / £1000 including hotel. A Standard few conpanys can meet
ISO 27001 -Security Management - nuff said
CMMI - expensive - SEI dot org
Six Sigma - expensive
Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, etc etc
The only one that requirs hands on and knowledge is the CCIE for Cisco. The rest can be taken using the exam cram / multiple guess - which cheapens the certification
Working as a contractor
The more experience you have for the role that the recrutiers needs filling the better the chance of you getting the role.
Contract jobs have not been impacted by the credit crunch. In my opinion, the credit crunch actaully means they need us conslutants more as we are less expensive than permanent staff.
The money that is paid to us is an corporate expense (not payroll) if you have any accounting background. The company does not have to pay us pension or other corp benefits. We do ourselves as our own 'boss'
Then comes the hard part
Do you want to form your own company or use a umbrella company that does your invoices, taxes, expenses...
I prefer the umbrella route as I hate paperwork and do nto want to need to know the intricate workng of taxes.
I book my time, get paid by the day -- offset by expenses and my own pension contributions. That is the limit i want to do paperwork wise
I started contracting in Oct 06. Since then, I have been out of work for a total of 4 1/2 months. Please note. I take holidays usually between contracts as if you dont work, you dont get paid _________________ John Hardesty
ITSM Manager's Certificate (Red Badge)
Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
Joined: Mar 04, 2008 Posts: 1894 Location: Helensburgh
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:15 pm Post subject:
very helpful. thank you.
I was originally planning on a permanent job, but with things as they are I'm seriously looking at all options.
Diarmid _________________ "Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
So thats how it goes on that side of the pond.
I have a consultant for 20 odd years..
Being in the US I don't get free health care , however my wife has coverage thru her job.
Bigger companies in the US will only hire you thru a pimp because of liability and a few other reasons. I learned quickly not to worry how much the pimp gets as long as I get what I wanted . I don't have the hassle of waiting to get paid , fighting over expenses , exceeding budgets etc , getting SOW's scope and addendum's signed..
However you can go thru dry spells, so have a plan B to fall back on.
Even if its selling computers in a store. Even when I am not working and on a dry spell vacation, I still get up the same time and spend time studying, looking for work etc.
Its not for the fainthearted wife trust me.
As long as you have a plan and stick to it you will be fine.
If you have a mortgage and a finicky wife DO NOT even think about it. You could lose everything.
Never stop looking for work and you should be OK.
But it does suck at xmas all the days off and no money coming in. _________________ Ozzie Sutcliffe
Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:18 pm Post subject: Hmmmm..Contracting
I recently moved from a 10 year permanent position into....another permanent role! I have many friends who are contractors (none really service mgmt) but more Proj.M's/SAP etc.
They all tell me they do contracting for a better lifestyle, as more money means they can live better. So I say ok. Then I notice, they never ever take time off, and for them, taking a day off is like asking them to lose their right arm.
Ok, so maybe I would be reluctant too if I had to sacrifice £400 for a day off, but it almost seems that the so called planned improved lifestyle is more about never having a day off and working yourself to the bone! (OK I know it's not physically draining but still!).
Anyway, no harm intended but just needed to get this off my chest!
p.s. before you say...."You need to work your contract as you'll not know if you'll be working in 3 months"....well the guys I know have never had a contract break!
Nevertheless, wouldn't mind paying my mortgage off early
UKVIKING - Good post thanks.
I would also like to go down the contract route having been working all my working life as an employee of companies
Would be nice to work on projects that have a start,middle and end
With the creditcrunch now in place,presumably companies will favour taking on contractors instead of full time employees.
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