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May 13, 2008

Interview Update 2

Interesting times!

The company that interviewed me last week just let me know they can't afford to employ me as a staff member, which was their preference (so I'd be on a tighter leash)... Would I consider a contract position at marginally more than I'm getting now instead?

In the UK, the current tax laws mean that if you play your cards right it can be more profitable to be a self-employed contractor rather than an employee. When using temporary workers, the big companies don't have to provide benefits, pay corporation tax, national insurance, sick pay and so on. Because of the money saved, they tend to pay individual workers a better hourly rate. Times they are a-changin' and that may not be the situation for long if The Tax Man gets his way. For at least the 2008-2009 tax year, though, being a contractor is worthwhile.

Contracting isn't something I'd recommend to everyone. You're basically like a trapeze artist, swinging without a net. If work dries up, you're screwed. If you get sick for any length of time then you're screwed, which is why most contractors will go into the office even if they're close to death's door. There is no 'I've got a hangover so I'm going to call in sick'. You have to work the hours to make it pay. In fact, holidays like Christmas and vacations in general can become extremely stressful as you're constantly aware that while you're not working you're not earning money for the business... oh, and unlike regular employees, you also have to actually run a business at the same time as doing the 9 to 5.

The flip side is that you're not tied down and if a better offer comes along you can easily move around. As such, when the market's strong contract rates tend to be high. I've been contracting on and off for about two thirds of my working life. It's something I'm comfortable with.

So, would I consider another contract role, closer to home, for more money? Would I heck?!?

The only thing that stopped me from saying 'yes, when can I start' was that I have an interview lined up with another company, again in Central London, tomorrow morning. I don't like going through the interview process but I'm feeling much more comfortable about the one tomorrow knowing that I already have a decent offer in my back pocket.

As seems to be the way right now, The Project news is scant. Life stuff has been getting in the way. Right now I'm strongly drawn to the idea of going back to basics and writing a blues and a rock song. Most stuff I've been coming up with has been pop, which isn't where I want to be. I get such a kick out of playing Red loud and raw, though. That's where my heart lies.

What I don't want to be is derivative. That's kind of why I'm considering doing 8 bar blues stuff. In the odd half hour gap that I've been managing to grab for practice I've been playing over pre-fab backing tracks such as those on IG BLOG or Dolphin Street. Check them out. Some fun stuff in lots of different keys. Oh, and there's also some decent stuff on Riffeo.

1 comment:

Further on up the road said...

Never done contracting. I've had lots of friends who have. I've always had the fear of what happens when the contract dries up and the need to travel about much more than I have to at the moment - a friend of mine who's been contracting was in Suffolk for 6 months then up north the next and hardly home except for 1 or 2 nights a week. Not the life I'd like really.