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Stick at contracting or go permanent?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Vdubster187, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Vdubster187

    Vdubster187 Bit Poster

    Hi all,

    Having contracted ever since leaving the military on 2012 I am now at the point of deciding if permanent may be a better long term option.

    Started off at the low end, IMAC work very basic and not very rewarding, having said I used this time to complete A+ and CCNA

    My next long term contract was network installation and light configuration ( recently finished )
    During this time I studied and passed CCNA Security and a McAfee IPS cert.

    Now currently looking for my next contract in the networking sphere, my eyes have been opened to the damage I may have done by not going permanent in the first place to build a solid networking background. I am finding many Networking contracts are looking for experience in a supporting role, with being aware of all the protocols etc but never really had to troubleshoot in a real situation, this seems to be my shortfall.

    My ideal role would be in network security, firewalls etc.. I am hoping on some helpful pointers, do I stick out the contracting or do I start again in the permanent world. It is seeming very hard to get past interview stages as soon as previous support role questions are asked.

    Also I am now studying for Checkpoint CCSA will this do my more damage than good without the experience to back it up?

    Any pointers or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Certifications: A+ (2009), MCDST, NVQ2 IT, CCNA, CCNA (S) MCP (70-290) McAfee NSP
  2. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

    Difficult one really. Contracting is great if you're happy going in and out of roles, and with your CCNA i'd say your certainly setup for it and can't imagine you'd have too many issues picking up a new contract.

    I started off the same as you, low end contracting, and stuck at that for 3 years, until i decided to go permanent after getting the right job offer.

    I did it for the money, will say that outright :) - Before that point in time i wasn't experienced enough to have a full time permanent role paying what i considered to be worth the move from contract to perm.

    What i asked myself was - what is the balance in terms of salary and benefits compared to contracting. I'm now in a role where that outweighs the contracts over a long term with my salary - and all the benefits included that go alongside it, and with the time off as part of it.

    There's certainly nothing to stop you doing what you're doing now in contracting and continuing to gain experience, and just keep an eye out for that permanent job if that's what you really want, the beauty you've got is i guess you can get up and go within a couple of weeks from a contract should that perm position come about.

    If it's about more than just the money for you, i'd say go perm. just my opinion :)
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
    Vdubster187 likes this.
  3. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    So I spent 10 years in the forces, came out and spent 18 months in a perm role, I then went contracting for 14+ years or so.
    I went through the start of the recession out of work, infact I spent 6 months looking for work and that was the longest time out of work in that time.

    Four and a half years ago I was approached to go perm, having been contracting for so long I was at the point of earning a decent rate (daily rather than hourly), it was a drop in salary but it gave me the chance to actually get a career path.

    Now I should add, I wasn't lacking in skills and experience and I shouldn't ever struggle to find work, the opportunity to go perm with my current place was the right thing at the right time, in the time I have been here I have had a decent salary increase, been promoted in to management and been involved with some decent infrastructure projects (VMware Cloud orientated) but there is a however....

    However, my role will no doubt come to an end at some point in the future, my leaning is definitely to go back contracting, especially as I see that the market is much better than it was five years ago.

    It's really hard to give suggestions to people, I know guys who are contractors who are thinking of going perm but are scared on the reduction in salary (talking a drop of potentially £30k) so I understand the reason for putting it off, however I don't think my career suffered with the 14 odd years of contracting that I did and as such have no regrets about doing that.

    I guess it depends on whether you want a career or the money at the moment.
    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).
    Vdubster187 likes this.
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Taken 30k drops in salary while perm and 50k drops in salary while contract. Contract to perm drop could be those two combined.
    Few perm roles out there offering decent packages is the reality.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Byte Poster

    Out of curiosity where do you guys see these contracts advertised? I tend to see mostly permanent work on the common job sites.
  6. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    A bit off topic but a lot of contractors I have worked with tend to be in there roles for quite a few years is that something people have come across before as I always assumed the contract roles would only be for around 6 months?

    Also in your experience do most people do contracting for the increase in pay or for the chances to work on projects and a variety of work which they may not get in a perm role?
    Certifications: A few.
  7. Vdubster187

    Vdubster187 Bit Poster

    Thank you Apexes great advice

    I find Jobserve is a good one, generally agencies will chase you up for short contracts also

    All depends some are rolling contracts renewed monthly or extended from my experience.

    I personally do it for the flexibility and variety of exposure, but the money is always a help of course
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2015
    Certifications: A+ (2009), MCDST, NVQ2 IT, CCNA, CCNA (S) MCP (70-290) McAfee NSP

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