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Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by jammed24, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. jammed24

    jammed24 Bit Poster

    Hi all,

    I have got an interview tomorrow for a Helpdesk Analyst position down in London. This is first time I have been invited to attend an interview down in London, feeling excited because I have been looking for a quite some time now :)

    I have had so many questions I tried to answer myself yesterday and there are still so many more. I hope some of the more experienced IT Professional can answer some of my questions.

    Perhaps I should give a bit of background of myself. I am currently employed as a 1st Line Analyst; prior to that I have had 9 months experience as a Helpdesk Analyst. Adding the IT experience I have just got over 16 months worth of experience.

    I a m currently on a permanent contract with my employer and the job interview for tomorrow is a contract position. As most people know a contract can end at anytime

    My question is has anyone given up a permanent job for a contract job? What is the
    difference between contracting and being employed permanent?

    From what I understand contract job is better paid but that is not what I am aiming for. I want to get more experience. Having been with my current employer for over a year career progression is very limited at the moment.
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Actually that's not just limited to contracts, the same can happen to permie roles as well.

    As a contractor you don't get paid holiday, sickness or training. You don't get career progression in a position and you don't have to play the politics game

    Contracting isn't for everyone, I know people who can't stand the insecurity that it offers, personally speaking I have been a contractor for the last 12 years and it's what I prefer, I generally stay in a role for periods ranging from 6 months to 24 months, it depends on the role and the type of work I am doing (whether it's simply back filling or a specific project).

    Whilst contracting can pay well you have to remember that there are also a lot of downsides to it, you need to be working (ie not sick or on holiday) to be earning, you tend to find that holidays take a hit because you pay twice (you pay for the holiday and the loss of earnings). Training is another thing that you have to realise will cost you more, you won't want to take training during the contract (because loss of earnings) and you have to consider the fact that you could be out of work between contracts (I spent 5 months out of work last year and I am not exactly unemployable). You also need to ensure that your own accounts are up to date (HMRC get very funny if you miss payments) and you are expected to be able to pay them whether you're working or not.

    I would honestly think long and hard about contracting, if you don't mind the insecurity and the crap you have to put up with for being a contractor (trust me there are times that you will get the crap jobs and be expected to cover xmas etc because you're a contractor).
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. matt645

    matt645 Bit Poster

    I did it in 2002, went from 1st line role (14k) in Bristol to a infrastructure role in Cheltenham (40k), to be honest it only paid so well because of the level of security clearance.

    It was good then and I managed to increase my rate by another 10k for the next 3 years then the rates started dropping... and dropping and then you find permanent employers wont touch you. It's a good life if you're happy trading lack of: holiday pay, sick pay, bank holiday pay, training, career progression etc etc if the money is good. London is a law unto itself so you may be alright but otherwise I'd say it isn't worth the bother for whats on offer these days.

    I got plenty of experience but you do tend to get pigeonholed and it's difficult to progress as they don't tend to give you 3rd line duties if you've been taken on purely to get through a backlog of 2nd line tickets.

    At the moment support is pretty rubbish though people with niche skills can still command very good rates i.e 300-600 a day.

    Have a look here: http://www.contractoruk.com/first_timers/index.html

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  4. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

    The only place i know in Cheltenham is GCHQ.
    Certifications: MOS Master, A+, MCP 271
    WIP: HND, Programming, Another Job
  5. matt645

    matt645 Bit Poster

    Shssh, not supposed to mention it by name.
  6. free.heron

    free.heron Nibble Poster

    Sometimes you can be lucky enough to be offered a permanent job after contracting for a certain length of time - I have made this move twice.
    Certifications: ITIL v3

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