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View Full Version : Is the gloss coming off contracting?



SimonMac
2nd August 2012, 10:43
Can't be arsed to do a formal poll but more and more people are "whining" (I will add a caveat of various levels from mild grumbles to full blown bed wetting) that projects are going down hill, bobs being useless, rates being tulip, newbie's coming in who are clueless to the difference between Permie and Contract etc etc.

Is this just a cycle of the general bad times, or is contracting becoming less appealing?

I for one still love contracting, the money is always the biggest appeal but also the flexibility it offers me so I am here for the long run.

Scoobos
2nd August 2012, 10:46
I'm not sure whether its "contracting" as such, or if its just moving around many companies and countries; or that I'm getting older BUT.

I'm certainly becoming less tolerant. Many people annoy me as they don't have the experience I have and make mistakes I've seen happen before, all over again.

Permies also grind my gears when they are totally demotivated, I don't understand why they don't move on, its better for the company and themselves.

I think perhaps I'm more driven and have less tolerance, BECAUSE I'm a contractor - when your reputation is on the line with every new contract its hard not to be 100% committed.

(It shouldn't be that way, but AGENTS don't understand contracting either, and seem to want to apply permie style application policies to B2B arrangements).
Old fashioned "heavy handed" management also annoys me, especially when they dont understand I work for my business, not for them.

So , personally, I'm unsure - but I'm enjoying work less and less :(

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 10:46
no

SimonMac
2nd August 2012, 10:52
no

Good point well presented

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 10:54
ta

northernladuk
2nd August 2012, 11:02
I don't think it will ever disappear but it is certainly going to change over the next few years and past that I expect it will become the standard way of working so not be the golden egg it used to be in days of old.

The sheer number of people taking it up just because it is quicker to get a gig than it is a job and then just acting like a permie is going to continue to attract HMRC's attention until they finally put the boot in.

Companies are as much to blame with strategies to outsource their entire IT divisions to the Indian companies and contractors to replace full time staff so making IR35 a bigger issue. Looking at the last few clients they are looking to get contractors in to fill permie positions through the full lifecycle of a project inc any other tasks management deem appropriate so again attracting the attention of HMRC

It is still a good way to work and lucrative but I believe these benefits are going to diminish in the next few years.

NickFitz
2nd August 2012, 11:06
no

WHS ✔

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 11:06
ta

Lockhouse
2nd August 2012, 11:14
It's been going downhill for the past 20 years tbh, just hope the wheels don't fall of in the next 3-4 years and then I'm done anyway.

The Spartan
2nd August 2012, 11:26
It has become less lucrative than previously and there are more and more people taking it up, problem is I bet a lot of them aren't very good which bodes well for me as they're bound to need someone to tidy up the mess that's left behind.

TestMangler
2nd August 2012, 11:26
The gloss is certainly coming off for me.

When i started contracting in the early 90's, for the first time in my life, I used to enjoy getting up and going to a gig. After 14 years in the scientific side of the Civil Service, that was a bloody novelty, to actually enjoy what you were doing.

I think the gloss started to dull around 2004/05. Bobs, Agents, IR35, clients, managerial bullshit, bloated projects delivering truckloads of useless documents.

Got sent a Bob RAID doc this morning which actually contained a risk that 'The environment would not be fit for purpose' with a mitigating action of 'Ensure environment is fit for purpose', with both being the responsibility of said bob and his team of bobs.

Contracting pretty much now sucks, except the money :tongue

Scoobos
2nd August 2012, 11:51
The sheer number of people taking it up just because it is quicker to get a gig than it is a job and then just acting like a permie is going to continue to attract HMRC's attention until they finally put the boot in.


I'm not so sure fella, unless HMRC can outlaw being self employed, or an individual’s right to run a business - (which they can't) it's not going to happen.

This is the whole deal with IR35 imo, they are just trying to scare people to "fess up" in each iteration. I reckon loads of contractors would have been stupid enough to send in their contracts voluntarily.

On topic, for me a lot of it comes down to a change in Executive style and trends away from being "innovative" to "cost saving" ... Cost saving, in my experience means guaranteeing (Sp?) long term failure for the short term success of fudged increased profit <cough, efficiency> figures.

Mich the Tester
2nd August 2012, 11:58
I think the gloss started to dull around 2004/05. Bobs, Agents, IR35, clients, managerial bulltulip, bloated projects delivering truckloads of useless documents.

Got sent a Bob RAID doc this morning which actually contained a risk that 'The environment would not be fit for purpose' with a mitigating action of 'Ensure environment is fit for purpose', with both being the responsibility of said bob and his team of bobs.

Contracting pretty much now sucks, except the money :tongue

Very recognisable. This is all part of a set of ritual dances and witch doctor ceremonies generally known as 'best practices'. It makes me sick. I won't go permie though.

TestMangler
2nd August 2012, 12:01
Very recognisable. This is all part of a set of ritual dances and witch doctor ceremonies generally known as 'best practices'. it makes me sick.


**** it Mitch. Lets give all this up, steal a car and go on a road trip, kinda like in 'From Dusk Til Dawn'

OwlHoot
2nd August 2012, 12:03
ta

Hang on - The square root of WHS sounds more ambivalent than a WHS

Also it might be negative (*), so NickFitz may actually be disagreeing with you.

(*) although conventionally the square root "function" of a positive number is assumed to be positive.

gingerjedi
2nd August 2012, 12:09
In my line it's not really worth the bother any more, the rate in (most cases) is the same as permy plus a little extra to cover lack of holiday/sick.

Unfortunatly desperate people are happy to accept this so rates stay low. :ohwell

I'm looking to go perm at the first good opportunity.

BrilloPad
2nd August 2012, 12:17
I started contracting in 1988. It was bad then - but 94-99 were superb! I lasted aniother 10 years before permiedom - but I think it has been downhill for last 13 years.

NickFitz
2nd August 2012, 12:31
Hang on - The square root of WHS sounds more ambivalent than a WHS


Unicode Character 'HEAVY CHECK MARK' (U+2714) (http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/2714/index.htm) ✔

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 12:32
Hang on - The square root of WHS sounds more ambivalent than a WHS

Also it might be negative (*), so NickFitz may actually be disagreeing with you.

(*) although conventionally the square root "function" of a positive number is assumed to be positive.

ok

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 12:33
Unicode Character 'HEAVY CHECK MARK' (U+2714) (http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/2714/index.htm) ✔

ta

MyUserName
2nd August 2012, 12:37
I reckon you should all get out of contracting as soon as you can.
In fact get out of any kind of software development in the finance sector at all.

northernladuk
2nd August 2012, 12:47
I'm not so sure fella, unless HMRC can outlaw being self employed, or an individual’s right to run a business - (which they can't) it's not going to happen.

This is the whole deal with IR35 imo, they are just trying to scare people to "fess up" in each iteration. I reckon loads of contractors would have been stupid enough to send in their contracts voluntarily.

On topic, for me a lot of it comes down to a change in Executive style and trends away from being "innovative" to "cost saving" ... Cost saving, in my experience means guaranteeing (Sp?) long term failure for the short term success of fudged increased profit <cough, efficiency> figures.

But they are dealing with this with increasing pressure. As the number of PSC's go up so will the pressure for them to pay up until some knee jerk across the board totally unfair policy comes in. As the problem gets bigger you are damn sure the effort to fix it is going to match. What are they going to do? Give up? The only saving grace is they are doing it badly for the moment.

Bacchus
2nd August 2012, 12:54
no

Yes

Notascooby
2nd August 2012, 12:55
Yes

Depends

nomadd
2nd August 2012, 15:02
Yes

WHS^

Ta.

OwlHoot
2nd August 2012, 16:16
ta

WHS

portseven
2nd August 2012, 16:19
Yes

In area of work (solution architecture) not seen the rates go up at all over the last 5 years, seeing more bobco's hiring UK contractors for naff rates, and driving the market down. As well as more and more bob's in clientco's in general, can't clientcos understand that throwing brown bodies at a job doesn't help!. Getting bored at last number of gig's.

Am tempted to go for a permie role and see if I can x-train into something else.

Then again, maybe not .... Meh

EternalOptimist
2nd August 2012, 16:43
ok

quackhandle
2nd August 2012, 16:47
Hearing recently from my accountants (NW) that HMRC has created three new depts/teams to deal with IR35 got me pi$$ed off and then the Hays contract fails the IR35 review so I have been wondering if this was the end of contracting, media driven witch hunt and all that.

But having chatted to Mandy at PSG got me all smiley again, she soothed all my fears. :wink Hector can go and whistle, I've worked AT (not for) 15 different clients, yeah disgused employee - I must be tulip at my job! :eyes Its a bit subjective the OP, as we've all being doing this for different lengths of time. I was busy being stoodant during the nineties so can't comment. Acutally it was just like contracting just with a lot less money. :laugh

Personally in 10 years I've been through the good and bad of contracting; pimps still haven't a clue of the world of contracting; searching for gigs and negotiating rates can be tiresome, the opt in/out can be frustrating, but I would give it all up if I could get off my arse and give plan b a go.

Sod going permy though.:smokin

qh