Pack in IT Contracting
We have made an assessment of the advantages of being an IT contractor in 2017, and of the disadvantages. See our article Ten Advantages of Being a Contractor which we will be publishing as a comparison. You can make a judgment on which outweighs the other, to pack in IT Contracting or not.
Here are ten reasons to pack in IT Contracting:-
Falling Rates Compare to Permanent Jobs
1. Rates fell during the downturn and haven‘t risen all that much since then. This has cut the differential between IT Contractors‘ rates and permanent salaries.
2. More and more jobs are being outsourced to India and other offshore countries where well skilled IT workers can be paid less than £5,000 a year.
IT Work Permits
3. Every year tens of thousands of people from India and elsewhere get IT Work Permits to come and work in the UK. They are taking many of the jobs previously given to IT Contractors. This will be expanded even more if the Doha round of the WTO trade talks gets implemented. That’s when IT Contractors from anywhere in the world can come here for six months of every year.
Advent of IR35
4. With the advent of IR35 there is not the tax advantages that there were in contracting. It lessens the differential between being permanent and contract. Even if one feels that one‘s contract is outside IR35, there is always the worry that the Inland Revenue will decide that it is, and that you‘ll get a sudden demand for a large sum of cash.
5. The build part of the development lifecycle is becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the development lifecycle, with the advent of more efficient languages and tools. Companies prefer to have their business analysts in-house, so there will be less straight programming jobs in the future – which is where contractors have normally specialised.
Cyclical IT Industry
6. The IT industry, and therefore the numbers of people recruited for it, has become increasingly cyclical. Although there will always be boom times, contractors can expect to have a long period out of work once every 5-10 years where they can‘t find anything, their money runs out, their houses and cars are re-possessed and their partners leave them. If you are happy for this to happen once or twice a decade then contracting really is for you.
7. At every client site that you work there will be people who will dislike you, just because you are a contractor, partly because of jealousy and partly because you are a temporary interloper from ‘outside the tribe‘.
Working Away From Home
8. You can‘t rely on being able to work near home the way permies can. A fair portion of your day may be spent traveling so that you are constantly knackered. You may even have to spend some contracts away from home, and away from family and friends.
This gets a bit wearing after a while. That’s especially as you know you could get a permie job at the place just down the road, a short drive away. You could see plenty of your family and friends and not be so knackered all the time. If you work away from home for a few contracts on the trot you may find your family beginning to resent you coming home at the weekends and upsetting their normal family life. That’s despite the fact that you dislike working away from home. However, you do it to bring in the money to allow them to have that life.
9. You are able to make long term relationships with the people that you work with, instead of making friends and losing them every three to six months. You always say that you‘ll stay in touch, but circumstances don‘t allow it. How many good people have you worked with in the past with whom you are no longer in touch?
Money Differential Falls
10. The money differential is good in the beginning between you and permanent workers, but as the years go on, and you stay low down on the ladder, you will find yourself being interviewed for development jobs by IT managers, directors and CIO‘s who you used to work with years ago, and who you perhaps trained. The good thing is that they‘ll probably give you the contract just to reinforce their own sense of well-being on a day-to-day basis. As you get a bit older still, you hear of your ex-colleagues retiring early on full pensions and with bagfuls of share options, just as you have, once again, lost everything in the latest severe downturn.
Do you agree that you should pack in IT Contracting or do you agree with the previous article that you should keep going?
Gives us your views on whether you should pack in IT Contracting or stay in it in the comments section below.
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