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View Full Version : Going contractor - want to control own destiny!



albatross
5th May 2011, 10:49
Hi,

I'm new to the forum as I am currently a software developing permie (Java, Hibernate etc.), but planning on moving into contracting. I'll be handing in my notice soon (once I've tied up a couple of loose ends). I may start looking for work before my notice is up, but have saved up a buffer to allow me to look for work for a few months after leaving my permie job.

My motivation is:


I don't want to move into management
I wouldn't mind some more dosh
I want more control over my career


I have a couple of questions:

1. My contract would be with an agency and they would have a contract with my client. Does this still feel like running your own business? Or, does it feel like you work for the agency?

2. I'd like to use contracting as a stepping stone to being an independent consultant - so eventually would like to supply my services direct to clients and ideally have one or two on the go at a time to make life more interesting and varied - is this feasible?

Glad to have discovered this forum, lots of very useful info here!

Wanderer
5th May 2011, 21:23
:wave: Welcome


I'll be handing in my notice soon (once I've tied up a couple of loose ends). I may start looking for work before my notice is up, but have saved up a buffer to allow me to look for work for a few months after leaving my permie job.

That's a good start, I hope your buffer is enough to cover you for 4-6 months. :) Don't mess about, start looking as soon as your notice is in.


1. My contract would be with an agency and they would have a contract with my client. Does this still feel like running your own business? Or, does it feel like you work for the agency?

Ahh, who wants to know? If it's HMRC asking then yes, we are all running our own genuine small businesses. :smokin

In reality, it varies from client to client. Some will treat you like a permie and demand you work 9 till 5 and get their approval before taking time off, others recognise that you are an independent contractor, set your own hours (within reason) and do what you want so long as you are delivering the project. Sometimes the clients have petty rules and restrictions seemingly designed to make your life difficult (logons and id-cards that expire every few months and have to be renewed etc)


2. I'd like to use contracting as a stepping stone to being an independent consultant - so eventually would like to supply my services direct to clients and ideally have one or two on the go at a time to make life more interesting and varied - is this feasible?

Definitely. Build up your network of contacts, keep in touch with them and take them out for beers/coffee now and then to see what's going on.

If you haven't already, read the links on the right side of this page. The First Timers guide is good, you have to choose LTD or Umbrella and if LTD then understand IR35. I normally recommend the PCG if you are going LTD, they can set all your stuff up for you quick smart and get you trading. Alternatively, an umbrella is a good way of getting started if you are not sure how things are going to turn out.

Good luck!