Perm to Contracting - When did you give notice? Perm to Contracting - When did you give notice?
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  1. #1

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    Default Perm to Contracting - When did you give notice?

    After doing many months of research and watching the job market in my sector I have decided I am going to apply for contract jobs soon.

    I am interested to hear how those who made the jump from perm to contracting managed the giving notice issue.

    I am not prepared to hand my notice in before securing a contract as it is too big a risk for me. I have a weeks worth of holiday I can take but still leaves 3 weeks and I have read that they won’t wait for you.

    My managers know I am looking for jobs as I’ve applied for some internally in the last year so it won’t come as a surprise to them , however I’m not sure how it will go down if I give notice then say I can’t work it!

    Currently I see my options as being honest and trying to negotiate a quick handover/ notice period.

    Or handing notice in then getting signed off sick (something I’ve never done before) for the notice period, which burns bridges and is far from ideal.

    What did you do?

  2. #2

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    It all depends on several things, mostly how long will your new client wait for you to start. They are hiring a contractor because they need to fill a resource gap or buy in some specific exertise, so it is fairly unusual for them to offer a gig and then sit on their hands for a month or two.

    It also depends on your employer, your contract with them and whether or not they will be happy for you to disappear in short order.

    You may get lucky - I did and was out in two weeks, but that is the exception. Also holiday time is dependent on time served in the holiday year, so you may not have as much as you think (or even any).

    So to answer your basic question, you really should give in your notice so when the dream contract comes up you can grab it. The market isn't going to work to your requirements, sadly. You want to go contracting, you have to take risks, it kinda goes with the job...

    Hence the usual advice is to make sure you can live for a few months - how long depends on how saleable you are in a tight market - and keep looking. It's a bit like skydiving: jumping seems the most irrevocably stupid thing you've ever done, but having done it you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
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  3. #3

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    Ah yes good point, I know all about holiday accrual and I have 8 days accrued and not yet used.

    I don’t plan on making any potential contracting client wait, I would start whenever they want me too. I would rather annoy my current employer than do that.

    Truth is I don’t have much of a buffer,1 months worth ...and on my current salary I won’t ever have more than that unless we get a loan out. We make our bills every month and not much more..hence me wanting to start contracting in the first place as I can earn 3 times more doing the same job.

    Once I land that first contract it will all be about saving as much as possible. We can easily save enough to cover the next 6 months bills if I get a 6 month contract at market rate. It’s just the logistics of getting that first one I can’t quite figure out the best way.

    If I quit my job without securing a contract and didn’t get one we would be in trouble.

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    Going contracting for the money is not necessarily a good idea. We don't charge high rates for no reason, the differential between contract rate and salary isn't all that great these days.
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    I gave my 3 months notice in October then waited it out until December when I began to look for contracts.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    Going contracting for the money is not necessarily a good idea. We don't charge high rates for no reason, the differential between contract rate and salary isn't all that great these days.
    It's not the only reason but certainly is a big draw. If the contractor calculators are to be believed and I have done my research and sums correctly I will be much better off.

    However, I am well aware that it's not all necessarily plain sailing and people have been benched for many months at a time, and I will be saving as much as possible in the early days for a buffer.

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    Most calculators work on 48 weeks a year. You won't be...
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    My calculations used the take-home monthly amount based on earning the lower end of market rate (being a newbie contractor I know I probably won't walk into the higher end)
    so holiday for 4 weeks and then i've factored in getting benched for 2 months, increase in travel cost, insurance costs, pension contributions, accountant fees.

    My take home pay is still 20K more a year in the above scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slinky View Post
    My calculations used the take-home monthly amount based on earning the lower end of market rate (being a newbie contractor I know I probably won't walk into the higher end)
    so holiday for 4 weeks and then i've factored in getting benched for 2 months, increase in travel cost, insurance costs, pension contributions, accountant fees.

    My take home pay is still 20K more a year in the above scenario.
    ...if you work 8 months a year. Over the last 20-odd years, I've averaged 7. Plus no time off sick or other unexpected issues, no scheduled holidays and quite a few additional expenses you may not have considered. For example, where will you be working: lots of us have had gigs where we are away from home for months at a time and that costs money: I've seen people working with 5 figure annual expenses for example.

    You may look like you're earning loads, and it's quite possible you will be, but do not assume you will be. There are a lot of stresses and strains involved with contracting that override the cash in the bank

    I'm not saying don't do it, you may well be better off all ways round. But be very clear what it is you are getting into, it's nothing like being a nice safe employee.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    ...if you work 8 months a year. Over the last 20-odd years, I've averaged 7. Plus no time off sick or other unexpected issues, no scheduled holidays and quite a few additional expenses you may not have considered. For example, where will you be working: lots of us have had gigs where we are away from home for months at a time and that costs money: I've seen people working with 5 figure annual expenses for example.

    You may look like you're earning loads, and it's quite possible you will be, but do not assume you will be. There are a lot of stresses and strains involved with contracting that override the cash in the bank

    I'm not saying don't do it, you may well be better off all ways round. But be very clear what it is you are getting into, it's nothing like being a nice safe employee.
    I am in London, i've factored in maximum possible travel costs for that to zones 1-6.

    I won't apply for jobs that involve staying away in the week, I have a young family (I am the mother) and yes I thought about childcare if they are ill etc.. my husband will cover, or grandparents have already agreed.

    Your points are useful and I feel comfortable in that I have thought of everything you have raised plus more. I have friends who are contractors and have advised me also.

    Now I need to just stop talking about doing it and actually start applying.

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