Saturday, 15 June 2013

IT Support Contracting vs Full Time/Permanent

IT Support Contracting vs Full Time/Permanent

I am coming to the end of my current contract. We explored the possibility of going permanent but nothing emerged. They wanted it to happen but red tape prevented it. Not just that, but I suspected that they would never be able to meet my salary expectations.

Since the economic downturn that started in 2008, salaries in the private sector have remained stagnant and have barely, if at all, kept pace with inflation. Plus, I live in a big city so this means that the cost of living is so high that a normal salary from a permanent job is not enough for me to live a decent life and build a future too.

So I am going to stay in the contracting game. Next time out, I want more money. Even though most people see contracting as the opposite of a career, you can actually carve out a career with much greater precision if you know what you are doing. I am going to hold out for the right role for the right money.

I am confident on the money. I am hopeful about the type of work. I don't want to pick up phones anymore. My preferred choice is migrations but I will also consider VIP Support and 3rd line support. What I want to get away from is dealing with a multitude of average "users". That really is the "arse-end" of this industry. You'd have to hold a gun to my head to make me do regular first line "Helpdesk" work ever again.

Back to the money again, if I play my cards right then contracting may be able to give me money equivalent to a salary that I could never have gained with a permanent job. We'll see. All things being equal, I'd prefer to be "permanent" because I like to establish a base and long term trust. But if employers aren't going to give me what I want, then it won't happen anytime soon.

Right now, I'm quite happy being a contractor. There's a great sense of freedom with it and as long as you get enough money from it then it's well worth being one. I'm not so sure that being a lifelong contractor is a good idea but doing it for a few years can only enhance your CV/resume, especially in IT.

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