Dipping my toes in IT Contracting
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    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Dipping my toes in IT Contracting

    Hi All,
    It's my first post so I thought I'd say hello and pick your brains.

    I've been interested in contracting for quite some time now but stuck with permie rolls due to the need for a regular wage (mortgage/kids). I'm about ready to jump but found myself hesitating recently. I'd be interested in how forum members made the transition to contracting and how they find it compared to permanent roles.

    I'd also like to hear what any of the IT folks think the UK/Ireland contracting market will look like over the next few years. I'm SQL Server DBA in it's various versions for around 7/8 years now. I'm pretty confident I can get a 6 / 12 month contract relatively quickly but I'm not sure about longer than that.

    Thanks

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    Contractor Among Contractors

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    There’s a reasonable amount of work around for DBAs. Forget the length of contract though. Most will be 3 months and then extend if you’re any good.
    Read up the links to the right especially around IR35.
    DBAs are usually BAU people rather than project work so it’s more important for you.

    Oh. And it’s spelt ‘role’ or ‘roles’. Contractors should be better at spelling and grammar than perms.
    See You Next Tuesday

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post

    Oh. And it’s spelt ‘role’ or ‘roles’. Contractors should be better at spelling and grammar than perms.
    Thanks. Nice catch - edited

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Oh. And it’s spelt ‘role’ or ‘roles’. Contractors should be better at spelling and grammar than perms.
    I'm sure you'll argue completely the opposite at some point before this thread dies.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    There’s a reasonable amount of work around for DBAs. Forget the length of contract though. Most will be 3 months and then extend if you’re any good.
    Read up the links to the right especially around IR35.
    DBAs are usually BAU people rather than project work so it’s more important for you.

    Oh. And it’s spelt ‘role’ or ‘roles’. Contractors should be better at spelling and grammar than perms.
    A perm is a dodgy Scouse hairdo. The preferred contractor term is 'permie'.
    Where there's muck there's brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I'm sure you'll argue completely the opposite at some point before this thread dies.
    If there’s a drift towards sandwiches then that may well happen.
    See You Next Tuesday

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAPORTS123 View Post
    Hi All,
    It's my first post so I thought I'd say hello and pick your brains.

    I've been interested in contracting for quite some time now but stuck with permie rolls
    A permie's lunch is of no interest around these parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Oh. And it’s spelt ‘role’ or ‘roles’. Contractors should be better at spelling and grammar than perms.
    Quote Originally Posted by LAPORTS123 View Post
    Thanks. Nice catch - edited
    They should also be diligent enough to spot ALL occurrences of spelling and grammar 'slips'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    If there’s a drift towards sandwiches then that may well happen.
    Let's wrap it up there.

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    OK - OK. Schoolboy error. I thought I'd use my loaf (sorry) and ask the experienced folks.

    Aside from spelling and grammar, are there any other tips for making the transition from a permanent job to contract work?

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    Contractor Among Contractors

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    You've already mentioned that you're stuck with permie work because of the need for a regular income. Has that changed? Is that why you're ready to make the switch? Your first few contracts must focus on stashing the cash and spending as little as possible. This is so you can keep a roof over your head and feed and clothe the children when the inevitable happens: no work, sick, or a holiday. All those result in you not earning a bean.

    As well as IR35, you also need to decide if you're happy to run your own limited company. You need to read up on what that actually means - you will have legal responsibilties that can result in a fine, jail time, or both if you really screw up. The money you earn will not be yours. VAT is definitely not yours.

    If the Ltd Co route is too much hassle or you're not sure and literally only want to dip your toes in, then you need to look at an umbrella. No IR35 come back, no need to have your own insurances, but you lose out on offsetting expenses and take a bigger tax hit as you have to pay employers and employees NI, and income tax. Many people start off with an umbrella while they work out if contracting is the way they want to go.
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    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by LAPORTS123 View Post
    OK - OK. Schoolboy error. I thought I'd use my loaf (sorry) and ask the experienced folks.

    Aside from spelling and grammar, are there any other tips for making the transition from a permanent job to contract work?
    Most of us have been contracting for a few years/decades.

    While some will tell you stories of how they went into contracting two years ago aged 25 with 3 kids and a £5k per month mortgage, my advice would be to be a little more circumspect.

    1. Try to have cleared down as many debts as possible and maybe have a bit of savings (a warchest) before starting.
    2. Don’t quit your permanent job until you’ve got a contract signed.
    3. You can either go down the Umbrella route or set up a Limited Company. When starting out, I’d recommend umbrella, at least until you get a handle on things.
    4. It’s not the moneybags life that it used to be. When you’re working, try to save as much as you can.
    Strong and Stable Moderation

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