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japp
17th August 2011, 14:36
Hi all

I've recently made the decision that I would like to start contracting, I've had a good read of the guides on here as well as the forum itself and have picked up lots of valuable advice and tips so thanks to everyone for that.

I'd like to just run my scenario past you all and hopefully get some advice on next steps etc ...

I've been working in Infrastructure / Server Support for over 10 years now, mostly on the Windows / AD / Exchange side of the fence. in early 2009 I began studying for Prince2 certification with a view to becoming an Infrastructure / Technical PM, I successfully passed and gradually moved into a Technical PM role with my employer and I did this for around 1 year before being made redundant. I got a new job straight after but this has turned out to be a 70/30 split between Technical Engineer and PM work.

When I start contracting I'd much prefer it to be as a Technical PM for a few reasons, I enjoy it more, it pays more (generally) and to be frank my technical experience is in an area that the world and its wife has experience in.

Given the above do you think I can chase contracts as a Tech PM or am I better off getting a permie position first and getting more experience?

Sorry for the long post, I'd appreciate your feedback

Cheers

Wanderer
17th August 2011, 21:42
I've had a good read of the guides on here as well as the forum itself and have picked up lots of valuable advice and tips so thanks to everyone for that.

:yay: Well you're off to a good start then. You would be amazed at how many people come on here and don't bother.


do you think I can chase contracts as a Tech PM or am I better off getting a permie position first and getting more experience?

Generally our advice to people come on here to ask contracting or permie?, is that they should stick with being a permie. ;)

Contracting can be a tough business, you need to be confident, good at what you do and have a "can do" attitude. 10 years in the business is entry level but I'd say go for it if you feel like you can do it. It's a bit like jumping in the swimming pool, you stand on the edge dip your toes in, wonder if it's warm enough or not and eventually you say what the hell and jump right in (or someone pushes you). It's a bit of a shock at first but then you get used to it.

You've probably read all this already but a couple of quickies to consider about contracting:

1. You won't have any permie rights, holidays, sick, pension, job security etc
2. If you have a LTD company then you have to understand IR35, get an accountant.
3. Consider joining the PCG, they can kick start you with pretty much everything you need and some good advice.
4. Consider an umbrella initially if you are going to be a fairly low earner (<£30k) or you don't know how long your contracting will last. It's a lot easier than a LTD company but you will pay a lot more tax. There are calculators to compare the two.
5. Your contracting hourly rate should be annual salary / 1,000, don't under sell yourself
6. You need enough savings in your war chest to cover at least 6 months living expenses - if you live hand to mouth then this business is not for you.

Good luck.

kaiser78
17th August 2011, 21:43
Hi all

I've recently made the decision that I would like to start contracting, I've had a good read of the guides on here as well as the forum itself and have picked up lots of valuable advice and tips so thanks to everyone for that.

I'd like to just run my scenario past you all and hopefully get some advice on next steps etc ...

I've been working in Infrastructure / Server Support for over 10 years now, mostly on the Windows / AD / Exchange side of the fence. in early 2009 I began studying for Prince2 certification with a view to becoming an Infrastructure / Technical PM, I successfully passed and gradually moved into a Technical PM role with my employer and I did this for around 1 year before being made redundant. I got a new job straight after but this has turned out to be a 70/30 split between Technical Engineer and PM work.

When I start contracting I'd much prefer it to be as a Technical PM for a few reasons, I enjoy it more, it pays more (generally) and to be frank my technical experience is in an area that the world and its wife has experience in.

Given the above do you think I can chase contracts as a Tech PM or am I better off getting a permie position first and getting more experience?Sorry for the long post, I'd appreciate your feedback

Cheers

Recommend the highlighted above - there are good PM contractors with shed loads of contracting experience who have been struggling to find PM roles in recent time. Somebody new to contracting with very little PM experience will find it difficult to find a role - however, never say never...
BOL

japp
18th August 2011, 08:15
Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated.

About an hour after I posted this I was offered a PM role within my current company so I gave things a godo think over last night. I've decided to accept that to build a bit more experience and boost the CV aswell, I'll use the extra time to boost the war chest ready for when I make the jump. I would probably be able to survive a couple of months currently so that will give me a chance to get enough savings together to get to that 6 month mark.

I probably wasn't clear enough but I've decided that contracting is what I want to be doing long term. Probably like many I'm simply trying to make the jump as the best possible time to maximise my chances of success. I'd definitely be going down the limited route as I have a long term plan in place, it's not simply about earning more money in the short term, I'm looking to build a business.

Thanks again for the feedback and the pointers, I'll definitely be researching a lot more over the coming months .... Fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all that :)