Is it worth starting contracting now? Is it worth starting contracting now?
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  1. #1

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    Default Is it worth starting contracting now?

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this forum and need help from the experts.

    I am software developer (IT consultant) with more than 10 years of experience and moved to UK 7 years back. I worked here for about 3 years as permanent employee. I had to quit because of my kids health issues. There was also concerns about my performance which I could not help it as I had no extra time to ramp up on newer technologies that I had to work on. I guess I dyslexic with APD (auditory processing disorder) which affects me at work.

    After about 3 years of break, now I am thinking to join back to work. I was thinking I will try out contracting. But, now that IR35 is going to be rolled out in private also from April 2020, I am not sure if it is going to be worth starting contracting anymore for my situation.

    Looking forward to helpful suggestions.

    Thanks and regards,
    Stit

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by stit View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this forum and need help from the experts.

    I am software developer (IT consultant) with more than 10 years of experience and moved to UK 7 years back. I worked here for about 3 years as permanent employee. I had to quit because of my kids health issues. There was also concerns about my performance which I could not help it as I had no extra time to ramp up on newer technologies that I had to work on. I guess I dyslexic with APD (auditory processing disorder) which affects me at work.

    After about 3 years of break, now I am thinking to join back to work. I was thinking I will try out contracting. But, now that IR35 is going to be rolled out in private also from April 2020, I am not sure if it is going to be worth starting contracting anymore for my situation.

    Looking forward to helpful suggestions.

    Thanks and regards,
    Stit
    Personally, I wouldn't. I'd try to find an interesting permanent job for a couple of years to see how the landscape develops. IR35 in the private sector is likely, IMHO, to be a car crash for the market. Wait, then see how things develop.
    Good luck.
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    Former member of IPSE.

  3. #3

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    Contracting can be fairly unforgiving and if your APD is quite bad you may find clients choose someone else over you, or release you early once they find out. Technically they can't discriminate but there's a whole heap of ways they can say you're not suitable for a role without mentioning APD.

    I would do as Watty suggests and wait out the forthcoming IR35 changes and see what the landscape is like once things have calmed down a bit.

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    Now is as good a time as any, if you can find the work.

    There's always something on the horizon that threatens to be the 'end of contracting', but while companies need short term specialist resource there will be a need for contractors. Whether there are enough contractors willing to continue offering their services depends on the compensation for inept government meddling. i.e. Show us the money.

    My bigger concern, not knowing what you've been doing to keep your skills relevant, is how to get that first contract. So you may want to keep your options open and go for any type of work that appeals and is available, contract or permie, to get back in the game.
    Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    Contracting can be fairly unforgiving and if your APD is quite bad you may find clients choose someone else over you, or release you early once they find out. Technically they can't discriminate but there's a whole heap of ways they can say you're not suitable for a role without mentioning APD.

    I would do as Watty suggests and wait out the forthcoming IR35 changes and see what the landscape is like once things have calmed down a bit.
    I am not officially or clinically diagnosed of Dyslexia and APD but my online research and my friends sort of confirm it. Probably, I could have been able to stay in my last permanent job if it was clinically diagnosed and informed to my employer.

    Reasons for inclination towards contracting are :

    - I think contracting jobs are easier and quicker to find than a permanent one. Is that so?in the past permanent jobs have taken 2-3 months for me to find. This time because of break, it may be 3-4 more months.
    - I think I can reduce the rate if it becomes difficult.
    - I can visit my family which is in Asia between the contracts.

    If IR35 does become an issue after April 2020, I can then switch to permanent. In that case I may have to close down my company. Not sure what are the cost over heads to have a company set-up run and then close down in 6-8 months.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobosapien View Post
    My bigger concern, not knowing what you've been doing to keep your skills relevant, is how to get that first contract. So you may want to keep your options open and go for any type of work that appeals and is available, contract or permie, to get back in the game.
    Luckily I was working on set of web development technologies that are still at the top. I have taken help from my ex-colleagues to check what to focus on and have already started revising Udemy courses on them. I know it will still be challenging.

    For the employer or client, it will be less riskier to hire me as a contractor than a permanent one. Yes, there will be 6 month probation in case of permanent but in contracting it is not even weeks.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by stit View Post
    I am not officially or clinically diagnosed of Dyslexia and APD but my online research and my friends sort of confirm it. Probably, I could have been able to stay in my last permanent job if it was clinically diagnosed and informed to my employer.
    How do these affect your work? You'll get very little sympathy or concessions from a client if it directly impacts what you do. They are paying top dollar for the best out there. If you can't perform as well as the next guy you are going to struggle. There are no rights to wave at them. They aren't supposed to discriminate but they don't have to take you on and they can bin you on the spot as per the contract.
    Reasons for inclination towards contracting are :

    - I think contracting jobs are easier and quicker to find than a permanent one. Is that so?in the past permanent jobs have taken 2-3 months for me to find. This time because of break, it may be 3-4 more months.
    Not quite true as they are different beasts. Plenty of contractors out there not earning a penny while they spend a couple of months looking for gigs. There is also the fact contracting gigs will end so you'll be back on the bench again at some point.
    - I think I can reduce the rate if it becomes difficult.
    This doesn't work. That's permie thinking. The client wants a person to carry out a task and is prepared to pay for it. There are plenty of people out there skilled enough to do it. Dropping your rate won't help you here. You might think about going for a lower skilled role but then you don't have demonstrable experience doing that role and again there will be plenty that do.
    - I can visit my family which is in Asia between the contracts.
    Possibly but a lot of gaps is going to make it even harder to get roles.
    If IR35 does become an issue after April 2020, I can then switch to permanent. In that case I may have to close down my company. Not sure what are the cost over heads to have a company set-up run and then close down in 6-8 months.
    Just like many other people will be doing and a CV with a mish mash of contract and perm roles with big gaps and potentially different roles isn't going to work in your favour.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 21st July 2019 at 12:56.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stit View Post
    I am not officially or clinically diagnosed of Dyslexia and APD but my online research and my friends sort of confirm it. P

    Bluntly..... you need to get diagnosed or stop claiming to have these disabilities.

    If you do suffer from them then you'll be diagnosed. If you simply cannot spell and don't listen, then you're not going to last long in any job, and especially not contracting.

    This may sound harsh, but in an industry where evidence is key, 'my mates sort of' confirmation is of no use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stit View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this forum and need help from the experts.

    I am software developer (IT consultant) with more than 10 years of experience and moved to UK 7 years back. I worked here for about 3 years as permanent employee. I had to quit because of my kids health issues. There was also concerns about my performance which I could not help it as I had no extra time to ramp up on newer technologies that I had to work on. I guess I dyslexic with APD (auditory processing disorder) which affects me at work.

    After about 3 years of break, now I am thinking to join back to work. I was thinking I will try out contracting. But, now that IR35 is going to be rolled out in private also from April 2020, I am not sure if it is going to be worth starting contracting anymore for my situation.

    Looking forward to helpful suggestions.

    Thanks and regards,
    Stit
    To be brutally honest, if you have this history and with respect, issues, Id suggest contracting isnt for you.

    The market is more competitive than ever from what I read and hear. As soon as clients get a whiff that a, kids health and b, you're own health may impact your ability to deliver, they'll drop you quicker than ducks going south in winter.

    IMHO, you need permanent employment which should give you a safety net of sorts to cover any future issues you may encounter.
    I couldn't give two fornicators! Yes, really!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by stit View Post
    Hello everyone,

    But, now that IR35 is going to be rolled out in private also from April 2020, I am not sure if it is going to be worth starting contracting anymore for my situation.

    Stit
    IR35 has been in the private sector for the last 20 years, but the responsibility for paying the tax rested with the freelancer. The uncertainty of the rules meant that it was effectively a voluntary tax (IMO). The Government is now shifting the responsibility to the client.

    Using the uncertainty of *their* own rules to carry out a "smash and grab raid" to fund headline grabbing spending promises....one might argue!

    The need for a contingent workforce (Contracting) is immutable and growing. This change will give it a good kicking, but unlike 20 years ago I do not see it killing off contracting. It is always my belief that with change comes opportunity and this is a big change so.....

    As for Dyslexia: The Chairman of one of my companies had dyslexia and rose to become operational head of the Royal Navy. And the best boatbuilder I have ever known.....had dyslexia. So smart clients will recognise that Dyslexia is not a problem, but an opportunity.

    Good luck!

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