Case Study - Moving from Permanent Work to Contracting
Although permanent work has the security of a regular income and employment benefits, contracting is where the real money lies. Mitch Dubbick tells us about his decision to leave behind the familiar world of permanent work and make the jump into the world of contracting...
"I had always been in permanent employment up until Feb 2006. A few of my old colleagues left permie work to go into contracting and tried to convince me to do the same. They told me about the better rates, more flexibility and, if I got a really good contract then I could take time off in between if I wanted to as well. Another benefit was that I could broaden my experience too. If I wanted to go back to permie work I'd have more skills to take with me and, if I stayed contracting I could command better rates. I kept thinking about it and finally took the plunge. I then looked into limited and umbrella companies, and was not really sure which way to go.
Then I came across ContractorUmbrella and I found their website very informative. I read over their various pages of helpful information and called one of their even more helpful consultants. They cleared up my concerns and advised me honestly about limited companies, umbrella companies and the differences I would find from being permie. They had an impressive customer charter, and fixed fees which was appealing. I did speak to accountants as well about setting up a limited company but after all my research I chose the Umbrella route. Basically, this decision was just for the first 6 months so that I could keep everything nice and simple. This way, I could get a feel for contracting before having the tie-ins' of a limited company.
My first 6 months came and went and after such a surprisingly easy, hassle free, and smooth 6 months I didn't want to leave CU. My Account manager is faultless, and always ready to help as much as possible. It is reassuring to have the guidance there if I need it. They constantly ensure I am compliant with my expenses, which was one of my concerns if I ran my own company. I have heard stories about random investigations, and extra tax bills as a result, and I really did not want to have that worry over my head. I now earn more than I did being a permie, I have more flexibility over what work I do and what I don't do. My work experience has increased a lot and I have found, as a result, other areas I want to work in that I did not know about before. I had one particularly good 5 month contract and, as my friend had told me, I was in such a good financial position that I did not need to rush and get my next contract. This meant I could take some time out. I used this time wisely to spend with my family, treat the kids, and take a nice long holiday. I can earn in 6 months what I earnt as a permie in a year!!
I am not sure if I will ever switch over to a limited company now. I am very happy under the umbrella; I have become too accustomed to simply raising a timesheet once a week, getting paid on a regular basis, and having someone checking over everything for me. I suppose I just like the easy life and I really don't want the responsibility of running a company at the moment, with two young children I really don't have the time to be honest.
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