This was sent in to us by a reader, Donald about where a signed contract or unsigned contract makes any difference.
I am at this new contract for nearly a week.
I went for another interview elsewhere but they offered me this one first and the agent said the client needed to know by the end of the day or they would take someone else. so they forced me to take it. However, I would have preferred to wait to hear about the other contract.
However, because of the speed of it all I‘ve started the assignment without signing the contract yet.
The other contract is for around 20% more and is a lot closer to home.
I‘d like to just leave this contract and start the other one next week.
Would that be OK?
Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Contractor Surgery
Firstly I‘d like to say one thing to you.
The next time an agent tells you that the client needs to know by the end of the day or they will take someone else, don‘t believe it.
Clients are reasonable people and will almost always wait a couple of days or so to hear.
Also, once they‘ve chosen who they thing is the best person for the job they don‘t like to take the second best.
So, they‘ll almost certainly wait to try and get you on board.
Agency Wants to Close Deal
The person who really wants you on board right away is the agent.
The agent doesn‘t much care about niceties like getting the right person.
All the agency is interested in is closing the deal.
They do this every single time just about.
Take Another Contract
They know contractors are out on other interviews. The last thing they want contractors to do is to take another contract and lose them this juicy morsel and the commission that goes with it.
In most cases the second best contractor candidate will be through another agency.
Most contractors fall foul of this and take contracts that they rather wouldn‘t.
They believe the hard sell by the agent.
Agreed the Contract Terms
However, that‘s the good news.
In practice, you have the equivalent of a signed contract.
I‘m afraid that the very fact that you turned up to do the job it states in the contract means that you are in agreement with the terms in the contract and agree to take the contract.
However, that doesn‘t mean to say that you now have to stay there for months doing a job that you would rather not do and taking less money for it than you can get elsewhere.
Like Football Managers
Most clients are like football managers. They would prefer not to have a demotivated person working (or playing) for them who would rather be elsewhere.
That‘s why they let many players who are still under contract to go.
There is a good chance that the same would happen to you. That’s as long as you had the ability to soak up the venom from the agent.
Talk to the Client Rather Than Agent
All you have to do is to go to your client and tell him or her that for whatever reason that you can think of that you don‘t want to stay there.
It could be to do with the work not being what you expect, the travel taking longer than you expect or personal problems causing you to quit.
Very few clients would then say ‘Tough! You‘ve got a contract and will have to see it out’.
Virtually all of them will agree to let you go. They will immediately call the agent of the next best candidate to start the following week – and all they will lose is a week.
Of course your agent is going to go ballistic.
It‘s up to you whether you call the agent yourself or leave it to the client.
The agent will certainly be in touch to give you abuse.
However, he or she will get over it very quickly and get onto getting another contractor an assignment after mouthing off to you.
After the mouthing off you are in the clear and you are free to start your next contract which will pay 20% more.
Don‘t take the p*ss though and send in an invoice for the few days you worked.
You‘ll quickly make that up anyway.
So, what would you do in the same circumstances with an unsigned or signed contract?
Let’s hear your comments below.
Ad – Contractor Services
If you do need an umbrella company you could try one of the following:-
Or would you prefer to get expert advice about which umbrella company is right for your specific needs? If so fill in the form below and they will be in touch.
For Mortgages specially designed for contractors try Specialist Contractor Mortgages.