Thinking of taking the leap into contracting Thinking of taking the leap into contracting - Page 3
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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbolton View Post
    Hi All,

    I am sort of in a similar situation to the original post on this. Thought I would save starting a new thread when my questions follow along a similar line.

    I am another fairly young professional looking to get into the world of contracting. For what it matters I have about 4 years worth of experience, but have worked across multiple companies and roles covering small business right up to a FTSE top 10 company. Currently working in Telecoms in billing/finance

    I would like to eventually become a business analyst in a similar field but appreciate I may need to work up to this.

    Happy to provide any and all information which would help you tailor advice. But my question is basically what I need to in order to be in a situation to quit permanent work and move into contracting? Second question is how long is sensible to expect to wait to be in the situation to be ready to take the plunge?
    You need to read this thread.

    https://www.contractoruk.com/forums/...ntracting.html
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  2. #22

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    I have read it, hence me saying I am in a similar situation...

    All this thread really was was people arguing whether 3 years and/or talent was enough, my question wasn't am I ready. It was how do I know when I am ready? Like what specifically do I need to be able to demonstrate? I am also in a slightly different situation that I have not had an offer or handed my notice in, I am purely planning ahead.

    I have been involved with fairly large projects as well as BAU functions, worked in all sorts of different industries, teams and company sizes. Led on smaller projects, gained a variety of different skills from coding to project management. All of this was with the aim of being able to contract some day. I am asking what more do I need to add to be in a position (not really bothered on timescale) to be confident of landing good roles?

    I appreciate the points that contracting isn't for everyone but I feel it suits me well as I like variety, I have enjoyed project work and seeing change happen due to my actions. I would very much enjoy the flexibility and freedom, the money would be nice but is by no means the reason I am doing it.

    Again happy to answer any specific questions

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbolton View Post
    I have been involved with fairly large projects as well as BAU functions, worked in all sorts of different industries, teams and company sizes. Led on smaller projects, gained a variety of different skills from coding to project management. All of this was with the aim of being able to contract some day. I am asking what more do I need to add to be in a position (not really bothered on timescale) to be confident of landing good roles?
    I am another fairly young professional looking to get into the world of contracting. For what it matters I have about 4 years worth of experience, but have worked across multiple companies and roles covering small business right up to a FTSE top 10 company. Currently working in Telecoms in billing/finance
    But this is what I find a little exhausting so apologies if I come over a little short. So you've 4 years (ignoring the argument the first or more years is just training/onboarding) yet you've worked in multiple companies doing very wide range of things. So it's safe to say you've not done the same thing for more than 6 months and quite possible not done the same thing twice. Your CV should be interesting.

    All this shows you might be a competent person, quick learning, long term asset to whoever you spend more than a couple of months with but I see absolutely no skills here at all. I see dabbling. Great beginning for a promising career don't get me wrong, but a world away from contracting.

    What you need to do now is find a job that is going to take you on as a junior BA and stick with it for 4 to 5 years. At least see a full year out so you can either see a large project through the full lifecycle or even through a single financial year. Both of these just part of being a BA and part of the considerations when doing your job. It'll also build you solid experience that you've demonstrated multiple times.

    That 4-5 years might get you in the door as a junior/mid range BA because you are going to be up against people with 10, 15 and even more experience. I guess once you are in the door you could try work your way up. I'm personally not a fan of this but others have done it successfully so it's a valid option. I'd rather get as far as possible and then enter at the top of your game but there is a lot of money lost over that time I admit.

    In that gig find yourself a mentor that you respect and aspire to and stick to him like glue, push your training budget and get all the certs you can and push for responsibility to apply them. Get a career plan worked out where you want to be a highly experienced BA in 3-5 years and get your head down.

    Then you can pop up and see what is left of the contracting world. It's been a heavy two years and another big change to come. It's highly likely there won't be anything left and we will all be permie by then anyway.

    Disclaimer. Am sure someone will come on and say just apply, get the first gig and blag it. It's worked for some and fair dinkum to them, just not my experience.

    Hope that's not too harsh and it helps. Others will have different opinions so what and see what they say as well.
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  4. #24

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    No need for apologies, I have seen some of the questions on here. I started out vary varied while I was trying to work out what I wanted to do and which industry interested me. So yes to begin with my CV looked interesting and was mostly less than 6 months.

    The last 2.5-3 years have been 2 telecoms companies, 1 a fairly small start up, the other was probably the largest telecoms company in the UK. I have been doing almost the same role but obviously on a different scale and requiring different ways of working.

    Quick learning definitely seems to be one of my strengths, I guess this was picked up from the "dabbling". But as I have tried to just point out I have started to move on from dabbling.

    I have done a few large projects in my last 2 roles but not really been able to take a full lead on one.

    How would you go about finding a junior BA role? I have never seen anyone ask for less than 5 years on a BA role.

    I would probably rather get in then work up but appreciate as a BA this entry level is still probably a little higher than I am.

    I have found a couple of mentors who are helping to guide me on training and career progression, but 1 is a perm (who has never contracted) and the other has only just gone into contracting in the last year. I have no certification, where would you suggest starting?

    That is a very cheery outlook, I think while there is still demand for flexible workers there will be some sort of contracting world even if it does look different.

  5. #25

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    I'd suggest you speak to your managers at work and work a career path out with them that includes the relevant experience and certification. They should have BA's there already so should know how to get you skilled up to fill the positions. Most large companies will support someone eager to climb the ladder so just take in as much experience and training as they are willing to offer.

    If they refuse to do that then leave and find someone that will.

    Someone else really needs to come in and give you some advice as well though. I must admit I find this concept of picking a role so young and then pinning the rest of your career on it a little odd. I started out as a mechanical apprentice, moving in to heavy electrical, switchgear, CAD, desktop support and then in various service management roles. Even then I chopped and changed within that area until I reached a point that senior roles were next and I just didn't fancy those. I find this idea that you can pick a job at 23 and then that's it for the rest of your life is a bit odd. The allure of the money is obviously the driver but I don't get how you know you've reached the best you can be and found your calling. There are many different roles in IT at you may not have come across yet let alone tried and would you not fancy becoming a 'senior xxxx' at the top of the org chart rather than just contracting as a BA forever?

    I don't really get it hence me being fairly negative on the whole pigeon holing in contracting so young.
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I'd suggest you speak to your managers at work and work a career path out with them that includes the relevant experience and certification. They should have BA's there already so should know how to get you skilled up to fill the positions. Most large companies will support someone eager to climb the ladder so just take in as much experience and training as they are willing to offer.

    If they refuse to do that then leave and find someone that will.
    I have been struggling with this for the past year, I thought a large company like mine would be as you stated keen on developing eager young employees. I have so far not been able to get any formal training and all I have managed to get is freedom to work on a few business change kind of projects on top of my day job to get some exposure. I feel like I am not getting enough hours of this though, and it is therefore not proving as useful as I had hoped.

    I will try again with this in the next few weeks. I have been working with some BA/PM types on projects so am picking up some bits in the process by osmosis but some formal structured training would be extremely beneficial.

    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I must admit I find this concept of picking a role so young and then pinning the rest of your career on it a little odd.
    This is definitely not the case, I 100% do not plan to do 1 job for the rest of my life, it is just that my exposure to these people and roles feels like a good fit for my skills and what I enjoy doing.

    As you pointed out earlier, I have probably tried more things than most people my age so have a reasonable understanding of what sort of roles would work for me.

    I know noone will believe me but money is honestly not the driver for me, I want to enjoy my work and I really feel the variety you would get with contracting would offer this when working on large projects.

    I will await any input from others

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