Dipping my toes in IT Contracting
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  1. #11

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    OP I made the jump this year. Personally I feel it was the best decision I ever made; I am the first to admit however that I attacked it all wrong! I didn't really have much of a warchest, have a bit of debt to clear and live in rented accommodation... However, I live alone and have no significant other or kids to worry about so if I end up in hot water, it's just me that I have to consider.

    As others have said don't hand your notice in until you have a signed contract. Not a written offer, not a verbal offer, not anything other than a signed piece of paper saying your limited company will provide X services for X amount a day. Lots of folk post nightmare tales of clients pulling out at the last minute, changing assignment days etc etc. - the only time this happens though, is when there isn't a signed contract.

    To shorten your permie notice period, consider saving some holiday days at your current employer. That's what I did and it got my notice period down from a month to two weeks, which made me a lot more attractive to the market. Some places simply will not wait a month and I found even two weeks was too much for some clients.

    Personally i'd skip the umbrella and go straight to limited with an accountant like SJD or Gorilla - do your research. Most will set everything up including your bank account for you and you stand to extract a considerable amount of extra value out of your day rate that way.

    Your CV is only one tool you have to get in front of people - ensure your LinkedIn profile is strong, you have plenty of contractor recruiters on there and that you're posting some occasional insightful content. No cat memes.

    When you're looking for your first role, you need to be on the phone to recruiters hassling them. They won't want to deal with you as much as other contractors applying because you pose more risk; keep yourself in front of them and keep persisting, but don't for gods sake appear desperate.

    Hope this helps.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    Personally i'd skip the umbrella and go straight to limited with an accountant like SJD .
    Too much bad press around SJD, particularly at the cost so forget this option.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Too much bad press around SJD, particularly at the cost so forget this option.
    So far, they've been fantastic and not cocked anything up... Their premium package also covers my business insurance, registered address, etc. IMO they've been worth it, but that's just my experience. Could've been lucky.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    So far, they've been fantastic and not cocked anything up... Their premium package also covers my business insurance, registered address, etc. IMO they've been worth it, but that's just my experience. Could've been lucky.
    As you mentioned in your original post, you've only just started. You've not had a full cycle yet etc. There seems to be a growing number of people unhappy with them.
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    So far, they've been fantastic and not cocked anything up... Their premium package also covers my business insurance, registered address, etc. IMO they've been worth it, but that's just my experience. Could've been lucky.
    You can use Simon Dolan's new accountancy firm instead. Business insurance isn't expensive and if you have a mortgage just use your home address.

    Oh and btw @mattfx as you had no kids and lived in rented accommodation you did it right.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    So far, they've been fantastic and not cocked anything up... Their premium package also covers my business insurance, registered address, etc. IMO they've been worth it, but that's just my experience. Could've been lucky.
    I think your luck may be about to change. As I commented on Monday my linkedin feed is full of former SJD staff looking for work...
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  7. #17

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    I'd like to apologise on behalf of the contractor community for some of the facetious comments you've received.

    Wholly unfitting for a professional forum.

  8. #18

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    Oh, I did do it right? Thanks SE

    I must admit when I see their DD go out each month I do shudder ever so slightly, especially when others speak of monthly fees in the region of £90-110.

    What's happened then? Why the sudden mass exodus of staff?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    What's happened then? Why the sudden mass exodus of staff?
    could be completely unrelated, of course, but:

    After selling SJD Accountancy for £100m in 2014, [Simon] Dolan re-entered the contractor accountancy market on 18 September 2017 with the launch of Dolan Accountancy.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pr1 View Post
    could be completely unrelated, of course, but:

    After selling SJD Accountancy for £100m in 2014, [Simon] Dolan re-entered the contractor accountancy market on 18 September 2017 with the launch of Dolan Accountancy.
    Have to do better than that.
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