Going permie? Going permie?
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Thread: Going permie?

  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie

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    Default Going permie?

    OK, here's the facts. I'm on my first contract, started out on 3 months but been extended 4 times currently till end April. I'm no spring chicken, so have lots of experience, but also responsibilities - mortgage, wife, child etc. I know that I am very well respected with Clientco, and I recently managed to get a 20% rate rise. Clientco has now said that they may have permie position and would I be interested, and at what salary? I have to be realistic and expect that if I turn it down they *may* recruit a permie and my contact role may not be renewed.

    Now the subjective bit. I'm not interested due to location (200 mile daily commute). I like the work, people etc, but in my mind it is a temporary role (even though it has gone on for 8 months now). I can honestly say that that if I was out of work and had never heard of the company and looking for a permanent position the location would mean that would not even consider it. But as its stands if they offer me a few months extension I'd bite their hand off due to current climate. I know that sounds contradictive.

    My gut reaction is to turn it down, with location as reason and not give a permie salary I'd expect. I wanted to go contracting for the variety of work and being my own boss. I have enough in the bank to last 8-10 months comfortably. I'd hope they don't find a permie too soon. I may get an extension. I may get contract work with same Clientco in the future. I may be on the bench for some while.

    Thoughts? Also, I'm currently outside IR35, but would there potentially be retrospective tax implications if I took a permanent with the same client?

    Arty.
    Last edited by arty; 28th February 2009 at 22:55.

  2. #2

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    The permie job offer scenario is very common. Routine in fact, on those kind of rolling contracts at least, and often on smaller projects as well.

    No one can advise you on whether to take it or not, but I think a lot of us feel that a "permanent" position is hardly more secure than a contract role really, and permie packages rarely offer anything you couldn't quite happily manage without, or could easily pay for yourself if you really wanted to.

  3. #3

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Sounds like the location would be the killer issue if you took the perm role, you could always take a gamble and get the perm role, then make it as temporary as you feel fit (i.e. just quit when you've had enough).

    How this may affect IR35 - well I'm no expert but I guess they could look at it and say if you were a contractor on Friday, and a perm on Monday, and the job role is the same.. etc?

    I would do it as a risk calculation.. imagine the following scenarios:-

    1. You stay contractor and they get rid of you. You then fail to secure another gig for 6 months and are 6 months worse off in terms of money..

    2. You go perm and keep earning money choosing the period of time which suits you to work there. You then get retrospectively caught for IR35 and have to pay back-tax on the earnings you had as a contractor.

    3. You go perm, don't get caught, and keep the money rolling in.


    If you choose 1 then you have a gap on your CV, big loss of income.
    If you choose 2 then you stay employed, and perhaps lose a bit of money, but probably not as bad as option 1.
    If you end up in scenario 3 then it's a win all round situation, and probably (in my opinion the most likely scenario*). Of course you could stay contracting with them, but run the risk of being replaced, then again they may just keep you as a contractor.



    * I'm no expert, everything said is just opinion and not guidance or advice [disclaimer]
    The cycle of life: born > learn > work > learn > dead.

  4. #4

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    Take it. As you point out you are not a career contractor and you have responsibilities. This economic down-turn will be pervasive which means that well paying contracts will be in short supply for some considerable time; although there will be low-paying scum temporary jobs around. If you, and more importantly your wife, have never experienced something like this market and the grief that goes with it then I advise you to take the offer.
    How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

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  5. #5

    More fingers than teeth

    BrowneIssue is a permanent contractor

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    A business will not offer you a permie position to get you to stay. They do it to save themselves money. It will not provide you with any more security than you have as a contractor.

    You have demonstrated commitment to them by taking extensions. In the current climate they know you are unlikely to even bother looking elsewhere. They are not offering you a permie position to make it more likely you will stay.

    If you do switch to permie, your terms & conditions will change significantly. Your job description will finish with the line "... and anything else as instructed". You will have to start attending meetings you currently do not go to. You will have to be nice to people you currently do not care for. You will have to start taking an active part in the office politics. You will take leave when you are told, not when suits your family. You will have reviews at which you will have to defend yourself despite having done the job.

    You will cease to be a professional and become a wage slave. You will lose pride, self-respect and control over your own destiny.

    Once you've been a contractor, it is terribly hard to go back again.

    Is it worth it?

    What you have is the fear that everyone gets that has a long 1st contract - fear that you were lucky and couldn't pull it off again. Don't worry. The solution to that is to spend a couple of hours a week - no more - keeping on top of the market, sending out CVs and applying for the occasional role that comes up close to home. Once you've had one or two practice interviews 10 minutes from home, the confidence will come and you will never think of going permie again.


    P.S. You should have noticed by now that you get opinions here, not answers. You are still going to have to work it out for yourself. However, do please come back and let us know the decision you make.
    Last edited by BrowneIssue; 1st March 2009 at 13:23. Reason: The P.S.

  6. #6

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    Going permie?

    I hope you like working weekends for free.

    As a contractor, the daily rate is a powerful deterrent to being dragged away from your family for a release/patch/whatever at the weekend.
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  7. #7

    More time posting than coding

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    The standard response to this is to name a basic salary at least equal to your daily rate, plus bonus, car etc, plus working from home.

    99% they'll say forget it, if they don't then you've got yourself one sweet deal

  8. #8

    Fingers like lightning

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    Arty

    Exactly same position as you - I am

    Job is 150 mile commute roughly - been there 3 weeks and they asked me the same and my contract is for now 10 months.

    After a few weeks I went back to the Director and told them what Id want to go perm but ONLY in 10 months time.

    Not heard since- but I didnt pull any punches on the package. If it comes through - Ill be getting a rather cushty package.

  9. #9

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Mr Arty, you are most clearly an 'accidental contractor', else you wouldn't even be posting about this non-event. Sounds like you made a wrrong decision to go contracting. Go find a local permie position, relocate or something.

    In the meantime, if you need to buy time, tell the client co that you are interested in going permie, but need to repay loans etc <or other good excuse>, which is possible on contract rates for another 3 months. After 3 months when they ask again, say are need to sell your house in order to relocate. This will take another 3 months etc <or use other excuse>, after 3 months winse and repeat until binned or got local permie job.

  10. #10

    Nervous Newbie

    arty has no reputation


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    Thanks for all the comments/advice. Seems to be fairly evenly split between “play safe and take the permie role” and “this is normal contractor life, get used to it”. I think I’m going to do the latter.

    Reasons? Firstly whilst it is my first contract, it was a definite choice last year to make a career change as a contractor, and I’m not inclined to bail now even if the market is tough. I don’t think I’d even consider it in a normal economic climate.

    Secondly, as one of the respondents said, the ClientCo doing this to save money, but also to retain me longer term. So I think there is a reasonable chance of a few more months on contractor rates – or work in the future.

    Arty.

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