30. January 2012 15:11
The last six months have been quite different. In June I left my longterm position at twentysix to move to eibDigital. This was a move I hoped would broaden my mind but unfortunately it didn't*, so in December I decided to make the jump and become a contractor.
Like everyone I've whinged about my job on many occasions over the last six years, often suggesting that one day I would go freelance but never actually following through. The biggest thing that helped me make it a reality this time was I knew I'd got some work. A friend had mentioned his business needed an internal system building and we'd begun to spec it out. I also knew that they were willing to pay a realistic amount** for it.
That being said, entering the world of contracting at the beginning of December maybe wasn't the best plan. Once I'd built the main chunk of the afore mentioned system I started looking for my next pay check and found work was sparse around the Christmas period. This seems like common sense, people take holiday and are out of the office so the negotiations with recruiters take longer than normal. In hindsight I would have hung in there for an extra month to get me over the Christmas period and into the new year when all the project managers and technical directors are back in the office full time and maybe have new budgets to spend.
Tip #1: Unless you absolutely have to leave NOW***, wait until the new financial year before becoming a contactor
* Maybe my mind is too narow?
** Not the usual "I'll give you 50 quid and this old toaster that stopped working in 1994".
*** Or maybe you've got 30 grand in the bank.