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Switching employment often

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    Switching employment often

    I'm new to contracting so I'm not familiar with how job hopping is viewed.
    I'm on my second contract, the first was 3 months and I didn't want an extension, I'm into the third month of the second (due to end in march), if I were to leave my current one early for higher pay is this going to hamper me longer run ?

    #2
    Quitting a contract for another one should be something you do as an exception, not the norm.
    How big a difference in money is it?
    What difference is there in location/travel?
    What is wrong with the current contract?

    While contracting is about having short term work, you are a supplier to your customers (the agents/clients). You should be striving to build up good relationships with your clients as you go along. Then when you've been doing this for a few years, you don't go looking for work, it comes looking for you.
    Your reputation is important, damaging it will take a long time to repair.

    If you've built up a good war chest of maybe 1 year, then you might think about it, but the rate difference would need to be +50% and the location/contract security would need to be very good.
    I'm perfect, in a very specific and limited way.
    Hands... out infractions
    Face... the music
    Space... between the ears

    Comment


      #3
      Agents look at your previous contracts to see how often you get extended. Having two blocks of three months on your CV isn't going to do you any favours.

      Comment


        #4
        If you want to go back to the client within the next few years yes, otherwise probably not.
        I'm alright Jack

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          #5
          CV

          Agree with all the above.

          What's wrong with the current one, is there an issue with the job, or is it just that a higher paid one as come along? Also, before you went contracting did you change perm jobs fairly frequently or did you have a long term stable job (even if that was different roles within same company?)

          I always try to do a min of a year and if I can. Regular bouts of anything under 8/9 months look sketchy.

          If you switch your first two contracts after 3 months, agencies and employers will think you didn't get offered and extension regardless of whether that is true or not.

          Comment


            #6
            You aren't switching employment often. You'll be with your Limited for the foreseable future... but hang on.. are you really employed by your LTD.... Hmmmmm....

            OP. Please think about the terms you are using. You aren't employed by your clients so won't be switching employment. Might seem a bit pedantic but it's very important.

            And to answer your question. No one wants to take on a mercenary. They want someone that's going to deliver a good solid service. Two short gigs end to end is starting to look like a mercenary and this will harm you in the long run. If the rate gap is massive and you simply can't turn the gig down then you've a decision to make. If you are talking 20 or 30 quid it might not pay off in the long run.
            Last edited by northernladuk; 25 July 2017, 13:37.
            'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by WTFH View Post
              How big a difference in money is it?
              What difference is there in location/travel?
              What is wrong with the current contract?

              While contracting is about having short term work, you are a supplier to your customers (the agents/clients). You should be striving to build up good relationships with your clients as you go along. Then when you've been doing this for a few years, you don't go looking for work, it comes looking for you.
              Your reputation is important, damaging it will take a long time to repair.

              If you've built up a good war chest of maybe 1 year, then you might think about it, but the rate difference would need to be +50% and the location/contract security would need to be very good.

              .
              ~ 60% more
              No difference
              Very boring work

              I hadn't considered the warchest and reputation parts yet.


              Originally posted by blossom View Post
              Also, before you went contracting did you change perm jobs fairly frequently or did you have a long term stable job (even if that was different roles within same company?)
              After uni I did 2.5 years at a massive media agency, then 4 months at a big 4 during which I got offered my first contract and left, so really I'll have 3 short stints within the last year if I left this one.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tiggat View Post

                After uni I did 2.5 years at a massive media agency, then 4 months at a big 4 during which I got offered my first contract and left, so really I'll have 3 short stints within the last year if I left this one.
                Sounds like you don't have a huge amount of experience and you've shot yourself in the foot taking underpaid roles. I'd be erring on the side of caution and getting some experience under my belt. When you've got a raft of gigs behind you and look like an expert in your field you can afford to start picking and choosing. With only less than 4 years work experience I don't think you can afford to chase too many times.

                That said with that massive gap I'd question if you were even in the running for the gig so maybe you don't have a decision to make after all.
                'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by tiggat View Post
                  ~ 60% more
                  No difference
                  Very boring work

                  I hadn't considered the warchest and reputation parts yet.




                  After uni I did 2.5 years at a massive media agency, then 4 months at a big 4 during which I got offered my first contract and left, so really I'll have 3 short stints within the last year if I left this one.

                  3 short stints could be damaging...regarding the 60% increase on the other one, I can see why it's tempting. Few more questions to mull over...

                  - what is the actual going rate for what you do and the industry you are in? if its such a big jump it suggests a potential change in industry, so you would need to be absolutely concrete certain that the +60% role would be a keeper.
                  - What if you don't like the next role? Appreciate your existing job might be boring, but hanging onto a boring job for the sake of your CV might be a wiser move than taking something that *looks* interesting from the outside. What makes you think the next role won't also be boring?
                  - Is the other one actually definitely there, have you been interviewed and offered? You could still do all that, see how it goes but tell them you are on 4 weeks notice. If they want you they would wait out your notice period.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by blossom View Post
                    3 short stints could be damaging...regarding the 60% increase on the other one, I can see why it's tempting. Few more questions to mull over...

                    - what is the actual going rate for what you do and the industry you are in? if its such a big jump it suggests a potential change in industry, so you would need to be absolutely concrete certain that the +60% role would be a keeper.
                    - What if you don't like the next role? Appreciate your existing job might be boring, but hanging onto a boring job for the sake of your CV might be a wiser move than taking something that *looks* interesting from the outside. What makes you think the next role won't also be boring?
                    - Is the other one actually definitely there, have you been interviewed and offered? You could still do all that, see how it goes but tell them you are on 4 weeks notice. If they want you they would wait out your notice period.

                    All very valuable, please do think of these.

                    Speaking from a "contractor hirer" point of view:

                    If I receive a contractor CV with <4yrs and it has 3 x roles in the last year... these are red flags for me. Simply put, we have soooo many good CVs coming in, am I really going to risk it on a person who (for whatever reason) seems to contract hop every few months!?! Why wouldn't I take the other guys / girls who have similar yrs experience but have done a solid 1yr+ in each contract or role?

                    This doesn't mean you shouldn't take it, but this new "60% extra dough" role better involve the reinvention of the wheel and a VERY long contract, or your CV is about to be trash fodder the next time you are looking for a role in another 2-3 months time...

                    I suggest using your gut feel, pondering the questions asked by others here and talking to a fellow veteran contractor you trust. Go from there.

                    Best of luck but do becareful, your CV for the last year is looking a bit ropey.

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