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IT contracting, how to do it?

IT contracting, how to do it?

Old Jun 4th 2009, 12:41 am
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Default IT contracting, how to do it?

I see a lot of jobs advertising contract positions, how do you do those in aus. I have never tried contracting.

Someone I once worked with said you could use an umbrella company to sort it all out for you, can anyone recomend one? I havent a clue
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 1:13 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Most contractors work for the agency that got the gig in the first place. They handle all the invoicing the client and payroll for you. Its simple easy and convenient.

Having said that you *can* form your own company and pay yourself through that structure (with the help of an accountant) - but tax-wise theres very little benefit to doing so unless you manage to work for more than one contract each financial year. In the end this will probably end up costig you more and get no benefit from it. If 80% of your income is derived from one source the tax office deems you to be effectively an employee and therefore limits what you can claim as legit business expenses - you cant claim travel to and from work and cant income split company earnings with your partner (company book-keeper) to reduce tax liabilities.
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 2:19 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Originally Posted by dave99 View Post
I see a lot of jobs advertising contract positions, how do you do those in aus. I have never tried contracting.

Someone I once worked with said you could use an umbrella company to sort it all out for you, can anyone recomend one? I havent a clue
Yep definately,

A friend of mine reccomended ITG to me (www.myitg.com.au) they can assist with myriads of stuff like salary packaging, tax deductibles etc which can be very handy - particularly in the short term where you have all sorts of other things on your mind to deal with.

As far as contracting goes in general, you will usually work for an agent like Talent or Greythorn, who source staff for the client - for example "The Bank"
you will get paid by the agent who get their money from "The Bank" but take a cut for things like Payroll Tax and various insurances and unfortunately, a profit. They are in many cases a necessary evil....

If you use ITG for example as a salary packaging company, then the Agent would pay them and then they would pay you, again they take their cut for the services they provide to you which depending on your circumstances (Your mileage may vary tm) may or may not be worthwhile, I would suggest having a chat with them anyway.

I did however find that most agents are only interested in speaking to you once you are here, in respect to contract positions as they tend to move pretty quick (I applied for one on Tuesday morning, and had an interview Wed morning) and in some cases they even advertise positions that have already been filled (a crafty way of observing the letter, if not the spirit of certain laws and company policies) so don't get disheartened if you apply for a position that looks like a dead cert and you hear nothing back.

The recruitment agents here seem lazy to me, I'm sorry if you are one and you are reading this but I'll call it as I see it and often need badgering for feedback. I have heard this from many others too, not just in the IT profession.

You will in time build up a contact list of agents that are worth their weight in gold however - linkedin is a useful resource too (think facebook, for business :-) if you havent already seen it.

Some Advice, for what it's worth:

Consider tailoring your skillset to the market, look at what's in demand and focus on that area if you find your dream contract isn't forthcoming (it's better to earn something than nothing, even if it's for 20% less than you'd normally get out of bed for)

Contracting tends to be a small world, particularly if you move around alot. if you bite enough people on the arse, don't complain when *you* find it hard to sit down ;-).

All in all, as a contractor I now have a pet hate of sickness, holiday and bank holidays as you get paid for none of them. I thought it would be fun to try it too, having left a long term position of 12 years in the UK and thought some exposure would be nice - the expression "same shit, different day" springs to mind. Am now of the opinion that it's a great life for a single bloke with a few quid in the bank to fall back on if there's a gap between contracts. Whereas I'm Married with kids and never feel 100% secure in my job due to the inherently temporary nature of contracting.

Don't get me wrong, in a sadistic way I actually enjoy it, I've met some great people and learned plenty more than I ever would have done stuck in a rut in the same place. It's not for everyone, suffice to say when the right permie role comes up I will definatetly take it.

*ALWAYS* have an exit strategy!
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 2:25 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Originally Posted by dogscogs View Post
*ALWAYS* have an exit strategy!
Yes, good advice.

And never be surprised when you are terminated early without much notice, or contracts are not renewed even though you are performing well etc. Never expect the same treatment as permies and never get too comfortable that you lose all your skills.
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 3:14 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

What a great and extremely comprehensive response from dogscogs. I echo all those sentiments. Do your research, ask the right questions and decide if it's relevant to you. I've had good and bad experiences of umbrella companies, the good harking back from days long gone when it was fairly easy to rort the tax office. The bad when I got lazy and thought I'd use the umbrella company services to do sort out my taxes and discovered their expert knew less about it than I did.
I think unless you know what you're doing you're better off letting the recruitment agency handle all the headaches at least until you know the ropes.
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 3:32 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Originally Posted by gedge View Post
What a great and extremely comprehensive response from dogscogs. I echo all those sentiments. Do your research, ask the right questions and decide if it's relevant to you. I've had good and bad experiences of umbrella companies, the good harking back from days long gone when it was fairly easy to rort the tax office. The bad when I got lazy and thought I'd use the umbrella company services to do sort out my taxes and discovered their expert knew less about it than I did.
I think unless you know what you're doing you're better off letting the recruitment agency handle all the headaches at least until you know the ropes.

Well said -
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 3:52 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Originally Posted by dave99 View Post
I see a lot of jobs advertising contract positions, how do you do those in aus. I have never tried contracting.

Someone I once worked with said you could use an umbrella company to sort it all out for you, can anyone recomend one? I havent a clue
I go through Candle Recruitment. I just turn up for work, spend 7 out of every 8 hours browsing BE and let Candle do the rest for me.
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 4:07 am
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Default Re: IT contracting, how to do it?

Originally Posted by DunRoaminTheUK View Post
I go through Candle Recruitment. I just turn up for work, spend 7 out of every 8 hours browsing BE and let Candle do the rest for me.
Heck, you could be me in a parallel universe.
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