When to contract When to contract
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  1. #1

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    Default When to contract

    I have been considering contracting over the last year or so and more so recently. I am not sure when to make the move though. I seem to keep thinking i need to gain skill X or Y before i make the move.

    How do you decide when to move? Ensuring you do it at the right time skills wise.

    For example i have recently been offered a senior SAP Technical position with a large consulting company. This would offer the chance to move into a new SAP area (mobile). Not sure if i stay where i am and contract later in the year or take the new opportunity and contract in 4+ years?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpmycode View Post
    I have been considering contracting over the last year or so and more so recently. I am not sure when to make the move though. I seem to keep thinking i need to gain skill X or Y before i make the move.

    How do you decide when to move? Ensuring you do it at the right time skills wise.

    For example i have recently been offered a senior SAP Technical position with a large consulting company. This would offer the chance to move into a new SAP area (mobile). Not sure if i stay where i am and contract later in the year or take the new opportunity and contract in 4+ years?
    Depends on how old you are. I put 10 years into my skills before I took the plunge and as a result I have a good range of skills that I use to move around in.

    You might ask yourself is your current skill good for another 3 or 4 years or will you be jumping on a sinking ship?

    Once you go contracting you will find it hard to re skill because no-one pays top dollar for someone to learn a new skill

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    In your shoes, I'd take the new opportunity.

    I think it's best to move into contracting without giving up anything seriously worthwile. From what I've read here, quite a few have gotten into it following redundancy. I got into it (not long ago) without really trying to, just cause the job I wanted happened to be a contract rather than a permanent position. I may continue to contract after this, but I'd also take another good permie contract if it came up. At the moment it looks more like my current client will be making me permanent though, which I'm also fine with.

    Thing is, contracting can be great money (the upside), but you have no guarantees. Hence me saying I wouldn't give up anything worthwile just to give it a shot. Once in contracting for a while you can quite easily save up a bit to cover periods between contracts, but just moving in you can really mess up your finances if your first contract doesn't last or work out.

    The point the previous poster made about skills/training is probably quite valid, but then when contracting you should be making enough money to fund your own skills development to make yourself more attractive to clients.

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    Thanks for the solid advice.
    For info sake i am 30 with 6 years experience.

  5. #5

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    And SAP is really difficult to get into cold as a contractor. Most move from a permie position.

    So that is a great opportunity that I would grab with both hands if I were you.
    "I can put any old tat in my sig, put quotes around it and attribute to someone of whom I've heard, to make it sound true."
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    Quote Originally Posted by cojak View Post
    And SAP is really difficult to get into cold as a contractor. Most move from a permie position.

    So that is a great opportunity that I would grab with both hands if I were you.
    Absolutely. SAP rates aren't at the silly level any more, but they are still good and work is pretty much guaranteed. You want to go contracting, here's the first test of your nerve...
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpmycode View Post
    How do you decide when to move? Ensuring you do it at the right time skills wise.
    It's different for everyone. Redundancy is a good springboard into contracting. If there is any chance of a big pay off from your permie job then that's the opportunity.

    The main thing is that you need 6 months (maybe more) worth of living expenses in the bank to live off if contracting goes pear shaped.

    Don't expect much career development or training while contracting though you can do this in your own time/expense between contracts.

    Also, you need to be reasonably experienced before you go contracting because clients expect contractors to be hired guns who hit the ground running, get the job done and then move on at the end. A strong "can do" attitude to work helps a lot, there isn't much demand for jobsworths in contracting.

    Good luck!
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    Do you a warchest?

    How long could you last without being paid?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpmycode View Post
    I have been considering contracting over the last year or so and more so recently. I am not sure when to make the move though. I seem to keep thinking i need to gain skill X or Y before i make the move.

    How do you decide when to move? Ensuring you do it at the right time skills wise.

    For example i have recently been offered a senior SAP Technical position with a large consulting company. This would offer the chance to move into a new SAP area (mobile). Not sure if i stay where i am and contract later in the year or take the new opportunity and contract in 4+ years?
    Hi Pimpmycode,

    I am in a similar position with nine years of experience in SAP ABAP. I personally think I have gained enough technical experience working independently without a lot of support if provided with a functional specification. This has motivated me to move into contracting and gain some experience across different industry verticals. As my mentor (a contractor) always says, don't consider contracting in SAP unless you can provide solutions (technical/functional) to real business problems. I hope that helps (if not confuses) you decide. : smile

    Just a suggestion from my market research experience - If you haven't already learnt ABAP Objects (OOPS), I think it is a good idea to learn/get yourself trained. SUP (Mobile) is a good technology and make sure you also get experience on the Device management configuration. Webdynpro ABAP is another fantastic skill to have under your belt.

    All the best !!

  10. #10

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    And yeah putting skills aside, ensure you have a warchest of £10K !

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