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Previously on "State of the Market"

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  • oliverson
    replied
    Originally posted by dx4100 View Post

    I see a lot of myself in what you wrote which probably isn't a surprise.
    Same here. Whilst I could probably go perm at current gig if I wanted and I'm enjoying the work and the people I'm working with, ultra easy, good rate, outside IR35, totally remote, etc., I just couldn't accept that all of a sudden I've gone from being my own boss to having somebody else as my boss. Sure, some will say that the client ultimately calls the shots, and that might be the case at a fundamental level, but not enough for me to give up being a contractor. I haven't been in a perm role for over 20 years now and can't see that changing.

    I think next stop for me is retirement from contracting (not retirement from coding), anytime in the next 2-3 years. I'm increasingly thinking of selling the UK property at the height of the next housing bubble and moving to the Spanish place. There's not much of a mortgage on that now.

    An increasing worry for me is that I'm in my mid-50's and the missus is eleven years older, already retired. Is she supposed to just sit there staring at the back of my head as I write code, working every billable day? It's funny but as a younger man, clearly a toy boy, I was interested in groping my missus 4rse, but looking forward, there's a possibility I might have to start wiping it!
    Last edited by oliverson; Today, 10:52.

    Leave a comment:


  • BigDataPro
    replied
    Moved to the next stage of Perm interview in spite of Contracting (20+ years) for the majority of my work life. Looks like next one is a coding interview. Funny thing is that I have also started getting calls for inside roles. £600 inside, 3 days at the client site. Doesn't sit well with me!!!

    Oh by the way, I have started writing articles about data and data engineering on linkedin. Kind of marketing!
    Last edited by BigDataPro; Yesterday, 21:32.

    Leave a comment:


  • FIERCE TANK BATTLE
    replied
    I'm a contractor half for the money, and half because I get bored as heck staying in the same role, most of them are pretty terrible and once you've to grips with the code and tech, the job itself is pretty monotonous. You can't tell from my work history if you just look at roles and dates when I started as a contractor because even from my first ever job I was only there 4 months before jumping to a better role, then 6 months, then 1 year, and so on. I only worked 1 role iirc that was more than a year (2 years) and that was because I was the only dev and building and managing every aspect of code and deployment myself which gave me the skills to be a contractor.

    If a job wasn't boring and I was the top dog, like technical director or architect of the code side of things, and paid decent, then I could go perm for years now. I've got all the skills I need should I be laid off, unlike some mates who have been 15 years doing the same job with outdated tech and have never learned anything else. So long as it's remote so I can travel and work from wherever I want, I'm good.

    Leave a comment:


  • northernladuk
    replied
    Originally posted by pjt View Post

    My experience has been somewhat similar. Been contracting for 16 years and prior to that I worked for the same company straight out of Uni. I hated it, the work was slow and their was nothing to really get excited about. First contract I had the work was crazy I was delivering more in a week than I was in a month at my perm place and I felt like I actually enjoyed the pace and pressure I was under. Every project I've been on since I've felt the same its been hard work but being brought in for a specific expertise and delivering on that and leaving with a happy client can be really rewarding. The money is great also but for me its a lot more than that. I really don't know where I'd be if I hadn't taken the leap. My worry is now Perm might be the only option but my skill set doesn't really fit with perm roles so I'm starting to feel I've maybe painted myself into a corner.
    On the plus side perm jobs aren't won purely on skill like contract roles. The person is also the asset. I've been part of perm recrtuiting for both Service and PM type roles at a few clients and honestly the CV's they get are absolutely dire. Having related skills and then interviewing well will probably do for most roles. It's not and cut and dried as contract. They will have a spot to fill but also looking for someone to stay and grow as the company does so don't worry too much about direct skills.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fraidycat
    replied
    Originally posted by Cookielove View Post
    Perm is the way forward but it is a very hard nut to crack once you have contracted for a long time...I've tried but they are wary of contractors even though I could do the job easily...
    I think it depends more on your contract durations, and not the fact you are a long term contractor. If your contracts have lasted in years and not months that will give the Perm hires more confidence.
    Another thing i found was a majority of places have ex contractors already on the payroll as permies. I found very few tech teams that dont. Alot of the time at least one of the people interviewing me for a perm role was an ex contractor themselves.
    Last edited by Fraidycat; Yesterday, 17:18.

    Leave a comment:


  • rocktronAMP
    replied
    Originally posted by Cookielove View Post
    Perm is the way forward but it is a very hard nut to crack once you have contracted for a long time...I've tried but they are wary of contractors even though I could do the job easily...one role I was told they wanted someone who it would be a step up for...they dont seem to thin who coudl do the job! I think they vcan feel thretaend by contractors depending on the hirer....

    I just looked at my pay slip today from Clarity and it is shocking when you add up the Employer's NI, apprenticeship levy etc etc ...it is what it is.... it is just eye watering but no other option if I can't get perm have to go inside...

    I have to say most of the best workers I have come across have been contractors so many clients I've seen perm staff who are a tad lazy or just not up to the job....that has been my experience.
    Wicked idea.

    If you are not targetting perm employment GOV.UK or one of the consultancy thereof then change 1 or 2 roles in your CV / Linkedlist.

    2017 - 2018 Contract Engineer with Wernham Hogg Paper

    2017 - 2018 Contract to Perm Engineer with Wernham Hogg Paper (3 months contract and then 9 months permanent - flex it on the ratio 4/8 or 5/7 or 6/6 as appropriate )

    Hopefully the HR won't look back that far in the process. How cares what you did more than 5 years ago?
    Of course this will fail SC or deep resume checks.

    Leave a comment:


  • pjt
    replied
    Originally posted by northernladuk View Post

    It's interesting having a discussion with a contractor that doesn't have the same opinion on this as most. Refreshing.

    It does run deeper than tax which is even worse for the perm-contract situation though. The key thing I contract for is to be able to start with nothing and leave when it's done. I simply cannot do the endless churn. The longest I've every been in a job was 7 years in my early twenties chasing my career and knew by then I'm going to be a job hopper. I have a touch of autism so am super motivated with a challenge but get unmotivated very quickly without a light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure many 'normal' people are the same. I love starting a new gig, finishing it and then going while all the politics and un-fixable problems roll on forever. It's they way of working and the disconnect between. Some say well get a new project in your perm gig and start your challenge again but its just not the same. I'd call that churn which I cba with.

    I'm 100% even if I decide to go perm for whatever reasons I'm going to be ready to go in a year or two. I've got that mindset and can't see it changing. I think many seasoned contractors are the same. Yes we can hop in and out of perm but we can't do perm for the next 5, 10 whatever years.
    My experience has been somewhat similar. Been contracting for 16 years and prior to that I worked for the same company straight out of Uni. I hated it, the work was slow and their was nothing to really get excited about. First contract I had the work was crazy I was delivering more in a week than I was in a month at my perm place and I felt like I actually enjoyed the pace and pressure I was under. Every project I've been on since I've felt the same its been hard work but being brought in for a specific expertise and delivering on that and leaving with a happy client can be really rewarding. The money is great also but for me its a lot more than that. I really don't know where I'd be if I hadn't taken the leap. My worry is now Perm might be the only option but my skill set doesn't really fit with perm roles so I'm starting to feel I've maybe painted myself into a corner.
    Last edited by pjt; Yesterday, 16:44.

    Leave a comment:


  • jamesbrown
    replied
    Originally posted by Cookielove View Post
    I just looked at my pay slip today from Clarity and it is shocking when you add up the Employer's NI, apprenticeship levy etc etc ...it is what it is.... it is just eye watering but no other option if I can't get perm have to go inside...
    Yeah, but that's only because the employment costs are invisible to permies. All of these costs exist for permies too and bring down their salaries.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cookielove
    replied
    Perm is the way forward but it is a very hard nut to crack once you have contracted for a long time...I've tried but they are wary of contractors even though I could do the job easily...one role I was told they wanted someone who it would be a step up for...they dont seem to thin who coudl do the job! I think they vcan feel thretaend by contractors depending on the hirer....

    I just looked at my pay slip today from Clarity and it is shocking when you add up the Employer's NI, apprenticeship levy etc etc ...it is what it is.... it is just eye watering but no other option if I can't get perm have to go inside...

    I have to say most of the best workers I have come across have been contractors so many clients I've seen perm staff who are a tad lazy or just not up to the job....that has been my experience.

    Leave a comment:


  • dx4100
    replied
    Originally posted by northernladuk View Post

    It's interesting having a discussion with a contractor that doesn't have the same opinion on this as most. Refreshing.

    It does run deeper than tax which is even worse for the perm-contract situation though. The key thing I contract for is to be able to start with nothing and leave when it's done. I simply cannot do the endless churn. The longest I've every been in a job was 7 years in my early twenties chasing my career and knew by then I'm going to be a job hopper. I have a touch of autism so am super motivated with a challenge but get unmotivated very quickly without a light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure many 'normal' people are the same. I love starting a new gig, finishing it and then going while all the politics and un-fixable problems roll on forever. It's they way of working and the disconnect between. Some say well get a new project in your perm gig and start your challenge again but its just not the same. I'd call that churn which I cba with.

    I'm 100% even if I decide to go perm for whatever reasons I'm going to be ready to go in a year or two. I've got that mindset and can't see it changing. I think many seasoned contractors are the same. Yes we can hop in and out of perm but we can't do perm for the next 5, 10 whatever years.
    I see a lot of myself in what you wrote which probably isn't a surprise.

    Leave a comment:


  • edison
    replied
    Originally posted by hungry_hog View Post

    Which is all great until they wonder why someone who has been contracting for 20 years is applying for a 70k perm role. And there isn't really an easy answer for that. You can't really say "I'm down to the bare bones and this job at one third of my day rate is a stop gap until the storm blows over".
    This happens at all levels. I've seen it when hiring people during the last 2-3 years for roles at even £40-50k.

    I'm personally experiencing it myself now. Went for a £100k perm job and the recruiter politely laughed in my face. He looked at my LinkedIn profile as we were speaking and within a few seconds would have worked out it was likely a big drop from my day rate.

    My only response is this is something I have thought about since 2020 and I've actively taken some steps and spent quite a lot of money to move towards a perm role. 80% of the time the recruiter still isn't convinced. For others, I think one of the only reasonable arguments is the market has so fundamentally changed that contracting isn't feasible from a risk/reward perspective.
    Last edited by edison; Yesterday, 11:58.

    Leave a comment:


  • northernladuk
    replied
    Originally posted by dx4100 View Post
    I agree with both of you but I wonder how many have actually have had fingers burnt and how many are just trading off a general prejudice against what a contractor is and why they do it. We say a lot of them about ourselves around here when they aren't entirely true. Personally I find the reasons why people contract or want to contract often run a bit deeper than simply wanting to avoid some tax. Personally it was all about exposing myself to as my technologies as possible and being ultimately responsible for all of what I do. Don't want to blow my own trumpet (but its ok sometimes to recognise what you achieved) but I am probably in the top 10% of my field off the back of it. The extra money along the way was only a want due to the extra risks involved.

    I don't know. I think my frustration is it all feels mainly prejudice driven than based on what actually will or might happen.

    If you are offering a good salary, benefits and you have a nice place to work and keeping people challenged and engaged... a contractor in theory wouldn't have a reason to leave. I guess the real problem is, thats rarely the case :P
    It's interesting having a discussion with a contractor that doesn't have the same opinion on this as most. Refreshing.

    It does run deeper than tax which is even worse for the perm-contract situation though. The key thing I contract for is to be able to start with nothing and leave when it's done. I simply cannot do the endless churn. The longest I've every been in a job was 7 years in my early twenties chasing my career and knew by then I'm going to be a job hopper. I have a touch of autism so am super motivated with a challenge but get unmotivated very quickly without a light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure many 'normal' people are the same. I love starting a new gig, finishing it and then going while all the politics and un-fixable problems roll on forever. It's they way of working and the disconnect between. Some say well get a new project in your perm gig and start your challenge again but its just not the same. I'd call that churn which I cba with.

    I'm 100% even if I decide to go perm for whatever reasons I'm going to be ready to go in a year or two. I've got that mindset and can't see it changing. I think many seasoned contractors are the same. Yes we can hop in and out of perm but we can't do perm for the next 5, 10 whatever years.

    Leave a comment:


  • tsmith
    replied
    Originally posted by dx4100 View Post
    Its hard to understand for me where the reluctance to engage with contractors who want to go perm comes from. Is it the agent not wanting to put us forward or is it demands from the employers ?

    There are plenty of good people in both perm and contract roles but the very best people I have ever worked with have been contractors by and large. And most of us can easily jump between a perm and contract role without the world ending if its genuine want to move across. And I get that is the fear from employer, we will jump back, but a proper chat and interview process can usually expose that and employers should have more confidence in their ability to retain people if they are worth working for, and if not, its a them problem.

    I want to move to perm but I can't get a single response from an agent. I have a six month contract so its not like I am desperate. Its more my wants for my future properly thought out. I won't be jumping back into contracting as soon as the market picks up for example. Contractor is just a means to an end at the moment. I want to move into a more team lead long term role.

    If employers want to discount taking a risk on a contractor going perm then they are ignoring such a huge talent pool. Its terrible for UK plc as well to have so much talent unengaged right now.
    I think going back to perm from contract - Im same as you - via agents goes nowhere. Only interest is via companies direct. But even then its slim pickings.

    Almost all roles now have 'whats your salary' requirement now. No doubt if youre 10 years older than your new boss and wanting more then theyre on.

    Your application is going nowhere

    Leave a comment:


  • ResistanceFighter
    replied
    Originally posted by dx4100 View Post
    If you are offering a good salary, benefits and you have a nice place to work and keeping people challenged and engaged... a contractor in theory wouldn't have a reason to leave. I guess the real problem is, thats rarely the case :P
    99% of the time it's the money. This stretch is the longest I've been out. I'm not desperate, but I have a perm offer on the table but the salary is just far too low. I know full well that even if the job is great, I will just jump back on the contractor train when the market picks up again

    Leave a comment:


  • dx4100
    replied
    I agree with both of you but I wonder how many have actually have had fingers burnt and how many are just trading off a general prejudice against what a contractor is and why they do it. We say a lot of them about ourselves around here when they aren't entirely true. Personally I find the reasons why people contract or want to contract often run a bit deeper than simply wanting to avoid some tax. Personally it was all about exposing myself to as my technologies as possible and being ultimately responsible for all of what I do. Don't want to blow my own trumpet (but its ok sometimes to recognise what you achieved) but I am probably in the top 10% of my field off the back of it. The extra money along the way was only a want due to the extra risks involved.

    I don't know. I think my frustration is it all feels mainly prejudice driven than based on what actually will or might happen.

    If you are offering a good salary, benefits and you have a nice place to work and keeping people challenged and engaged... a contractor in theory wouldn't have a reason to leave. I guess the real problem is, thats rarely the case :P

    Leave a comment:

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