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    Default Crunch time. Advice needed.

    Hello all.

    I have been working as a business analyst for just shy of 10 years. Over this time, I have seen my salary rise from a junior entry level salary of 25k to approx. 80k as a lead. Consistently told that I have great potential, the companies I have worked at have and continue to invest in helping me progress.

    I feel I now need to make a decision about my future. My last promotion has moved me into a line management role, so less actual business analysis.

    I know that if I continue down this path for for too long, the option of switching to contract as a BA may become increasingly difficult (correct me if I'm wrong). I also know I will continue making less money than I potentially could.

    On the other hand, if I decide to switch to contracting, I will never know how far I could have progressed in the perm world.

    So what are your thoughts? What would you do? Should I continue along the perm route or pack it all in and go contract?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    My post count is Majestic

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    I'd not be going anywhere with an 80k wage in these time. I assume that is plus benefits. You appear to have factored that in though.

    I must admit I'm not sure how we can help though. Normally we are asked to help with decisions on tangibles like rate, income, travel etc. This one appears to purely personal so not sure what to add beyond contracting isn't the best route at the moment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I'd not be going anywhere with an 80k wage in these time. I assume that is plus benefits. You appear to have factored that in though.

    I must admit I'm not sure how we can help though. Normally we are asked to help with decisions on tangibles like rate, income, travel etc. This one appears to purely personal so not sure what to add beyond contracting isn't the best route at the moment.
    Wow that was fast! Thanks for the quick reply. This alone is useful for me. I want to understand if the grass is really greener on the other side. Do you have any thoughts about my worry that moving into management will limit my options with contracting in the future? I worked with a chap some time ago who warned me about this and want to know if others agree.

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    GB9
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    +1. to NLUK

    I know some cracking BAs and they struggle to get past the 500 mark on contract.

    If you are getting 80k plus benefits then you won't be far off where the 500 rate would be after the divi tax. You will also have better career prospects. I would stay put.

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    Agree with NLUK and GB9 on the financial side of things. BAs can be very generic and 2-a-penny, at least as far as I saw when I was in banking - hence the oft quoted 500 ceiling. Overall you won't be that much better off if you contract.

    You might have other reasons for wanting to go the contracting route. An 80k permie job normally asks the earth from the employee, whereas a 100k contract isn't nearly always as stressful. I suppose it also depends on what you enjoy doing; if you enjoy the BA work and it's what you want to do then you might be happy in BA contracts for the next 10 years.

    And contracting doesn't necessarily mean the end of your career (though it did for me ). You can attend courses, train yourself and you'd be surprised how you can work into growing roles if you prove yourself to be more than capable at clients.

    There's also the option of taking your permie career onwards to the next level, perhaps PM, programme management and into senior management. There are contract roles for all of those too...

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    Thank you all for the responses. This helps me a great deal.

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    Agents will look at your last role, so unless you're doing the role you want they're less likely to pick up your CV etc.

    Either stay where you are or fudge you CV a bit

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    sal
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    As others have stated - If you are only considering contracting for the supposed financial benefits, it's not really worth it at this day and age. HMRC are fixated on destroying ltd contracting in the near future and Umbrella is not worth it if you are on 80k salary.

    If you are considering in order to get better/similar pay without being forced in a management role, or having to bother with office politics for promotion/pay rise it's a different matter.

    The grass is greener in the contracting world until you are in a role, couple of months on the bench with no income will make you sober up.

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    Once you hit your third contract and learn how to negotiate on rate, that's your lot. No pay rises, no redundancy package, no bonuses. If you are getting 80 as a lead BA, what will you get as a PM, senior PM, Programme Manager and so on. I'll back NLUK on this and say stick perm.

    However, there is one question for you to answer before I declare my answer final - why do you want to go contracting?
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    For me, it really was a decision about money.

    I am a developer, I wanted to earn more, but without having to go into line management type roles, or switch into Project Management roles, which is very often a progression I see.

    I wanted to stay coding.

    Where I live there is a pretty hard cap on permie dev roles (and no real concept of Individual Contributor roles that some american companies have so that their best techies can stay techie and get paid more)

    Contracting was the easy option for me.

    But for you? Would you be happy moving into management roles, and up the corporate ladder away from the grunt work (in your case business analysis)? If yes, you are already on the way by the sounds of it,

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