First Contract! ... Bit like a wet party popper going off ...
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    Fingers like lightning


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    Default First Contract! ... Bit like a wet party popper going off ...

    Hello Contractor UK - I've been lurking around the site for the past 6-8 months whilst I was seriously considering getting in to contracting, so for everyone that has posted articles or other valuable content, thank you! You all really helped in my decision making process.

    I've just moved from a 10 year long career in perm jobs climbing the greasy pole over to being a contractor. My last position was at a global food distributor with 2000 odd employees as the global IT team leads right hand man for the infrastructure, this included pretty much everything and was semi architectural and about 70% project work. My contract role was for an organisation of a similar size but in aviation, with a claimed 70/30 split of project/BAU work, so I naturally had very high aspirations for the kind of work i'd be doing, things i'd be exposed to, etc...

    Well - sadly nothing has really lived up to my expectations. Turns out the place i've moved to has literally an 8th of the servers to look after when compared to my last place and the same number of us to look after them. Nothing is fault tolerant, the DR plan is "flap your arms and panic" and change control is "run it by the manager but don't expect an answer, you'll just have to make a call on it".

    I knew from the day rate on offer that this role would be slightly more junior than my prior one, but Jesus, it just feels like i've stepped back about 4 years in my career! What have I done!? I thought that receiving my first payment from the agency would help, and it did, but for about 5 minutes, but unfortunately due to being a perm in my last role I took a cut in my desired rate in order to get my first gig.

    Fortunately it's only a three month affair.

    Has anyone else experienced this with their first contract? Or any of their contracts? What did you do to try and rectify it? I put a remediation plan together in my own time for restructuring the entire infrastructure here to try and be proactive about things, but the guy in charge just said "yeah, we know it's not ideal but it probably won't change. Nice diagram though."

  2. #2

    Some things in Moderation

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    Welcome to the real life world of contracting...

  3. #3

    Old Greg is my bitch's bitch

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattfx View Post
    Hello Contractor UK - I've been lurking around the site for the past 6-8 months whilst I was seriously considering getting in to contracting, so for everyone that has posted articles or other valuable content, thank you! You all really helped in my decision making process.

    I've just moved from a 10 year long career in perm jobs climbing the greasy pole over to being a contractor. My last position was at a global food distributor with 2000 odd employees as the global IT team leads right hand man for the infrastructure, this included pretty much everything and was semi architectural and about 70% project work. My contract role was for an organisation of a similar size but in aviation, with a claimed 70/30 split of project/BAU work, so I naturally had very high aspirations for the kind of work i'd be doing, things i'd be exposed to, etc...

    Well - sadly nothing has really lived up to my expectations. Turns out the place i've moved to has literally an 8th of the servers to look after when compared to my last place and the same number of us to look after them. Nothing is fault tolerant, the DR plan is "flap your arms and panic" and change control is "run it by the manager but don't expect an answer, you'll just have to make a call on it".

    I knew from the day rate on offer that this role would be slightly more junior than my prior one, but Jesus, it just feels like i've stepped back about 4 years in my career! What have I done!? I thought that receiving my first payment from the agency would help, and it did, but for about 5 minutes, but unfortunately due to being a perm in my last role I took a cut in my desired rate in order to get my first gig.

    Fortunately it's only a three month affair.

    Has anyone else experienced this with their first contract? Or any of their contracts? What did you do to try and rectify it? I put a remediation plan together in my own time for restructuring the entire infrastructure here to try and be proactive about things, but the guy in charge just said "yeah, we know it's not ideal but it probably won't change. Nice diagram though."
    If you want seniority and status be a permie. What you offer is a significantly higher level of expertise than would be expected at the 'level' you are at. Use that expertise to deliver value for the client. See what you can do to fix things - maybe smaller thing than their entire infrastructure. You want to be getting an extension. Three months as a first contract doesn't look great.
    Where there's muck there's brass.

  4. #4

    TripleIronDad

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    Very calm. Keep calm, carry on invoicing, and keep looking round.
    If computers have no doors or fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

  5. #5

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Different companies are mature in different aspects of the business. Every company is different.
    Companies who JFDI can sometimes be a breath of fresh air after you've been somewhere else and have to plan weeks in advance to move a single CAT5 cable.
    You'l have to get used to them all being different and almost always not very good (and always blaming the last lot of contractors for things that go wrong)

    Your mistake is that you compromised your rate for your 1st gig
    How are you going to build a war-chest that way?

    Do your 3 months and move on (but don't turn down a renewal until you have a firm offer elsewhere). Or suck it up.

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    Fingers like lightning


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    I don't understand... you are paid more to do less.. less responsibility, less headache, can't see the drawback??

    Did I miss anything?

  7. #7

    Godlike

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD View Post
    I don't understand... you are paid more to do less.. less responsibility, less headache, can't see the drawback??

    Did I miss anything?
    To enjoy those kind of results you need to have a life outside of work/career.

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    More time posting than coding

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    A comment was made to me by one of the permies recently. "that guy over there is 5 years younger than you at look at what position he is in, what happened to you?"

    I didn't tell him that I left a more senior permie position than that guy to take this contract which more than doubled my monthly take home (and I settled on a lower than desired, but decent rate for contract 1), for significantly less stress and hours, whist also giving me a wider breadth of experience.

    The permie who made the comment went back to his budget hotel that night and spend the evening doing some "mandatory security training".

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    Super poster

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandyD View Post
    I don't understand... you are paid more to do less.. less responsibility, less headache, can't see the drawback??

    Did I miss anything?

    For some this is not a positive, they would rather be challenged at work. But then this is why we contract, we can move on after 3 months. You will end up with some contracts not enjoyable, that is life.
    Vote Corbyn ! Save this country !

  10. #10

    Double Godlike!

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    You haven't picked up on the basic nature of the change you have made; it's not permie techie to contract techie, it's permie techie wage slave to independent business. Your job is to earn money; how you do it and under what conditions is largely irrelevant.

    Also, you don't have a career, you are building experience and expertise. Contractors get hired for (usually very specific) experience, permies get hired for potential

    Every gig is a learning opportunity, even those where what you've learned is you didn't ask enough questions. Never mind, do the best job you can and move on.
    Blog? What blog...?

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