What do you see as the core benefit of contracting? What do you see as the core benefit of contracting?
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    Default What do you see as the core benefit of contracting?

    As per the title really, I've been offered a perm role recently at the place I am contracting*, and am tempted to take it. I'm just ruminating in my head about why I started contracting in the first place and whether the perm is worth it.

    Most people who I know contracting, do it for the money, but I know a few who don't. Anyway for me:

    Holidays - I like to backpack. I generally work 3 months on, backpack for 3 weeks, repeat. Occasionally some of the backpacking time is working remotely, but I am happy to be on a beach in Cambodia working, or logging in from a hotel in Moscow, or debugging while on an overnight bus in Guatemala. The important thing is the contracting lets me travel.

    Money - It's nice, but honestly once I reached the £50k a year point anything over is nice, but not really important. I could probably mint it contracting, but I tend to turn down projects that would require longer term commitment or less breaks. Enough to live + travel = better than loads of dosh + unhappy life.

    Anyway, the contract I am on has offered me a perm role, with generous holiday, but more importantly a "you can spend one month a year working remotely no questions asked" clause. Which means I get the perks of perm, plus the main perk of contracting for me. (Also the office politics, having to work around other people timetables etc, hence I am still debating.)

    So what would be your tipping point? What could a perm role offer to make you leave the contracting life? Or is it as simple as "nothing, I want to be my own boss?"

    *IR35 would not apply. It would be related but totally different role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanDS View Post
    So what would be your tipping point? What could a perm role offer to make you leave the contracting life? Or is it as simple as "nothing, I want to be my own boss?".
    No problems considering the right roles for me. I'm tempted to go for a perm role where I am at present. Best gig I've had while contracting and it's gonna be a gutter to go back to living away and all that after this. I'm tied in knots about the money, which would be a big drop but I'm pretty comfortable, so it's just the principle in my head that is the problem.. and the thought that I enjoyed going to the new gigs, away or not, so have I just got too comfortable here and I would actually enjoy the next away gig as I've always done.

    Plenty of time to ponder yet.

    Add to that the smart cookies should be taking the tasty roles now. They could be a bit few and far between from say Oct onward (because it's always quiet around xmas anyway and then there could be a rush in the run up to 2020 in the new year).

    All said and done, you take the perm gig and if you don't like it leave and start again. Just view it as a poorly paid role for a period, although notice periods could be an issue.
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    I find little difference between being a contractor and a permie, as long as you're not looking for promotion and moving into management. I was recently made redundant from a perm job and I applied for both contract and perm positions, though I found very few suitable contract roles. For me whether it was perm or contract wasn't that important.

    I would make a decision not fundamentally on whether it is perm or contract, just whether it suits you for now. Taking 3 weeks off after 3 month contracts is not something you can generally achieve in a perm job, and also not even for some contracts, especially ones that extend 1 or 2 years.

    If you become perm you can easily move back into contracting and vice versa.
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    I can go and do almost the same role as a permie, on pretty much the same money,

    In fact - I did. And, in fact, for 12 months I took home more than I did contracting*. After 12 months, I finally couldn't take it any more and quit.

    I'll never say never, I'll never tell anyone else what's right for them - but for me I rapidly learnt that for me contracting represents far more than cash. It's about freedom, it's about new challenges and new people every few months, it's controlling my destiny, it's about holidays with no phone calls or e-mails piling up, it's about not having any HR procedures, it's about not having an expenses policy. to me, it's a lifestyle and one that I love.

    With next years changes I'm already mentally preparing myself for the possibility of permiedom in future, but I'm also doing everything I can to avoid it. Right now, I'd literally rather leave IT than get a permie job.

    *Always hard to compare, but if we ignore my Plan B/C type stuff and things I could get away with doing while permie, then broadly I took home each month more than I did contract.
    Last edited by vwdan; 19th July 2019 at 14:56.

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    The money.

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    the challenge.
    the adventure
    the new horizons.
    the fecking Powerpoint Monkeys
    Developers.


    ahhhhh, feck it!

    it's the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanDS View Post
    Most people who I know contracting, do it for the money
    Quote Originally Posted by fiisch View Post
    The money.
    Quote Originally Posted by BR14 View Post
    it's the money.

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    What first attracted you to millionaire, Paul Daniels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbrown View Post
    What first attracted you to millionaire, Paul Daniels?
    the fecking PM
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    Inertia, however........................

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanDS View Post
    Holidays - I like to backpack. I generally work 3 months on, backpack for 3 weeks, repeat. Occasionally some of the backpacking time is working remotely, but I am happy to be on a beach in Cambodia working, or logging in from a hotel in Moscow, or debugging while on an overnight bus in Guatemala. The important thing is the contracting lets me travel.
    What laptop do you use?

    I presume it's one that's a suitable balance of power and ram to run the dev tools, decent battery to allow a good few hours use while on a bus or somewhere with no power socket, light for portability, and not too expensive in case you get robbed or mugged.

    As to your question, the main benefit of contracting is it gives you more flexibility and freedom to choose life over work, as you've found.
    Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

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