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Before leaving my permie job what can I do to ease my passage into contracting?

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    Before leaving my permie job what can I do to ease my passage into contracting?

    Hi all,

    I'm currently employed as a permanent developer and I'm looking to make the leap to contracting.

    I'm 25 years old with 4.5 years coding at industry level, experience in:

    - Magento (PHP / Zend / Mysql / Javascript and the various prominent libraries / HTML / CSS etc) 3.5 years
    - Java 1 year
    - Unixy stuff 4.5 years
    - CI (Jenkins) and various unit testing frameworks (PHPUnit for php and a few javascript based ones)

    Additionally, as I'm sure a lot of tech enthusiasts do, I've played around with all the big web frameworks in my free time (Rails, Symfony, Angular etc).

    I'll preface by saying I've read through the first timer guide here at CUK and absorbed most of it, the IR35 still has me a bit baffled but I'm sure I'll work through that, and I've enough savings to last me 6 months or so. I'm set on the course of contracting, and all the associated risks, my question is: As a first timer, what can I do while I'm at my permie role to try to minimise my time without work? (I'm thinking WRT setting up a Ltd company and things) Recruiters on LinkedIn seem to immediately lose interest in me (I suppose understandably) after they find out I'm still employed on a permanent basis and am only considering contract work.

    Any other advice for me?

    #2
    Originally posted by shawtobot View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm currently employed as a permanent developer and I'm looking to make the leap to contracting.

    I'm 25 years old with 4.5 years coding at industry level, experience in:

    - Magento (PHP / Zend / Mysql / Javascript and the various prominent libraries / HTML / CSS etc) 3.5 years
    - Java 1 year
    - Unixy stuff 4.5 years
    - CI (Jenkins) and various unit testing frameworks (PHPUnit for php and a few javascript based ones)

    Additionally, as I'm sure a lot of tech enthusiasts do, I've played around with all the big web frameworks in my free time (Rails, Symfony, Angular etc).

    I'll preface by saying I've read through the first timer guide here at CUK and absorbed most of it, the IR35 still has me a bit baffled but I'm sure I'll work through that, and I've enough savings to last me 6 months or so. I'm set on the course of contracting, and all the associated risks, my question is: As a first timer, what can I do while I'm at my permie role to try to minimise my time without work? (I'm thinking WRT setting up a Ltd company and things) Recruiters on LinkedIn seem to immediately lose interest in me (I suppose understandably) after they find out I'm still employed on a permanent basis and am only considering contract work.

    Any other advice for me?
    You can set up a LtdCo now, similarly get a business bank account and accountant sorted so that when the time comes you are ready to roll (and invoice!). Consider also IR35 insurance with Qdos or PCG etc and use them from day 1 to review your contracts.

    Not sure about your Linkedin recruiters comment, I've had more than a few enquiries on Linkedin for contract roles - try and find some new recruiters :-) Speaking of which, once you're about to jump, update Linkedin, Tw@tter, Ars£Book and whatever else social media you use to broadcast your intentions.

    How long is your notice period? take that into consideration when you set yourself a 'Day Zero' and start actively looking for roles that will begin around that time. Times from first contact from the agent to sitting at a client's desk can vary wildly but typically allow 3-4 weeks for everyone to get their tulip together.

    Use this time to polish your CV and get it out to as many jobsites / pimps as you can find. Do you have any useful contacts / potential customers you can exploit at your present job? If so give them the nod when you've submitted your notice.

    If you're serious about this then commit...set a date and go for it.

    Best of luck :-)

    Comment


      #3
      Quick question is it 1 year Java followed by 3.5 years php or 3.5 years PHP followed by 1 year Java.

      1 year of Java as your most recent job probably won't get you very far....
      merely at clientco for the entertainment

      Comment


        #4
        Which ever way around surely a 4.5 year career isn't really going to cut it against people that have been working/contracting for much longer. Your CV alone is going to look a little lacking compared to theirs without the risk that you are new etc. I can't see how you can look like a specialist in your field with that history.

        Am sure there have been other people that have posted responses to similar questions saying they went contracting straight out of Uni or went in with less experience but still, these surely have to be lucky examples.

        What draws you to contracting out of interest? I am guessing you have seen the rates.
        'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the replies all!

          Originally posted by eek View Post
          Quick question is it 1 year Java followed by 3.5 years php or 3.5 years PHP followed by 1 year Java.

          1 year of Java as your most recent job probably won't get you very far....
          My most recent job is PHP, so I suppose I'm lucky in that respect

          Originally posted by northernladuk
          Which ever way around surely a 4.5 year career isn't really going to cut it against people that have been working/contracting for much longer. Your CV alone is going to look a little lacking compared to theirs without the risk that you are new etc. I can't see how you can look like a specialist in your field with that history.

          Am sure there have been other people that have posted responses to similar questions saying they went contracting straight out of Uni or went in with less experience but still, these surely have to be lucky examples.

          What draws you to contracting out of interest? I am guessing you have seen the rates.
          Quite right, not finding a contract is a real possibility. Contracting appeals to me currently because I have little in the way of responsibilities - no mortgage, kids etc, so I was hoping to take a risk while failing wouldn't be the end of the world. Is there anything you'd suggest to test your theory? Could I potentially make some applications to see if I'd land any interviews, which might be an indication that some employers would consider me?

          Also, you're right and a lot of the attraction is the rates, which is significantly more than I am currently paid.

          Comment


            #6
            Just as an aside, other Guides to Freelancing are available and PCG membership is about a lot more than IR35 protection (and they don't sell insurance either, but let's not confuse things...) so are worth a look anyway.

            But I have to agree with the others; to be a successful contractor you have one thing to sell, experience. Is yours sufficiently strong to compete?
            Blog? What blog...?

            Comment


              #7
              Save 60k so when the contract doesn't materialise you aren't out on the streets.
              Never has a man been heard to say on his death bed that he wishes he'd spent more time in the office.

              Comment

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