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The 10 Rules of Contracting

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My guide to starting and surviving within the tech contract market

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The 10 Rules of Contracting

  1. 1. 10 RULES OF CONTRACTING JAY HEAL Lead User Experience Design Consultant (CONTRACT)
  2. 2. a person or firm that undertakes a contract to provide materials or labour to perform a service or do a job. Contractor.
  3. 3. YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONTRACTING CLUB RULE NUMBER ONE
  4. 4. I’M NOT SURE CONTRACTORS ARE ALLOWED THE FREE COFFEE - YOU’LL HAVE TO ASK YOUR LINE MANAGER Head of UX (perm) - line manager RULE 1: YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONTRACTING CLUB
  5. 5. DO CONTRACTORS SPEND XMAS IN MONACO? Technical Architect (perm) RULE 1: YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONTRACTING CLUB
  6. 6. WHEN YOU WALKED IN I THOUGHT ‘GREAT, ANOTHER LAZY ASS CONTRACTOR’ - BUT ACTUALLY YOU TURNED OUT ALRIGHT. UX Designer (perm) RULE 1: YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONTRACTING CLUB
  7. 7. RULE 1: YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONTRACTING CLUB CONTRACTORFREELANCER Gets paid for a deliverable Gets paid for their time Can work from any location at any time to get the job done Most commonly works from client’s office Registered self employed (Sole Trader, Partner, Ltd) Registered self employed as Limited Company only Work is self-sourced (word of mouth, advertising, online communities, etc) Work usually sourced via recruiters and direct in- house contacts
  8. 8. DO YOUR HOMEWORK RULE NUMBER TWO
  9. 9. MOTIVATION ✓Security ✓Career progression ✓The people ✓Perks (e.g. free coffee) ✓Learning new skills at work RULE 2: DO YOUR HOME WORK Bought a house, got married & had 3 children Really don't want to turn out like my boss The people The coffee ain’t that great Groundhog Day
  10. 10. TALK TO A CONTRACTOR
  11. 11. REMEMBER: YOU 
 ARE THE PRODUCT RULE NUMBER THREE
  12. 12. PRODUCT YOU ✓ What experiences do you have (skills, sectors, etc) ✓ What makes you stand out ✓ How much could you expect as a day rate ✓ Where are my skills most in demand RULE 3: REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PRODUCT
  13. 13. UX Contracting map £300 - £600 
 per day More for specialist
 industries
  14. 14. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE & TOOLS RULE NUMBER FOUR
  15. 15. ✓Get a good accountant - one that understands contracting ✓Find a mortgage broker - one that deals with contractors ✓Invest in bookkeeping software - http://fre.ag/44c6xl0m ✓Legitimate software & hardware ✓Business insurance (Indemnity) RULE 4: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE & TOOLS A-TEAM
  16. 16. GET NOTICED RULE NUMBER FIVE
  17. 17. ✓CV - keep it short but meaningful ✓LinkedIn - list out when you are available ✓Portfolio - show the processes not just the output ✓Online presence - UX Jobs, YunoJuno, etc ✓Meet-ups RULE 5: GET NOTICED VISIBILITY
  18. 18. USING RECRUITERS TO YOUR BENEFIT RULE NUMBER SIX
  19. 19. ✓The most common pipe line to work ✓Negotiate the best day rate for you ✓Will chase interview feedback on your behalf ✓Pay invoices directly on time (weekly, fortnightly & monthly) RULE 6: USE RECRUITERS TO YOUR BENEFIT RECRUITERS
  20. 20. ๏You are just a number, only interested while you are an option ๏Charge employer a percentage of your day rate (£50-£100) ๏You will hear from them constantly ๏BECAREFUL: they will put their candidates in for the jobs your applying for & leaving RULE 6: USE RECRUITERS TO YOUR BENEFIT RECRUITERS
  21. 21. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
  22. 22. MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION RULE NUMBER SEVEN
  23. 23. STAYING RELEVANT & KEEP WORKING RULE NUMBER EIGHT
  24. 24. SHORT-
 TERMISM ๏Take the highest paying work ๏No long term strategy ๏Always recycling existing experience RULE 8: STAYING RELEVANT & KEEP WORKING
  25. 25. RULE 8: STAYING RELEVANT & KEEP WORKING DAY RATE ADDED VALUE
  26. 26. DON’T FORGET THE TAX MAN RULE NUMBER NINE
  27. 27. ‣ Quarterly VAT returns - 14.5% for Flat Rate Scheme ‣ Yearly Corporation tax - 20% on profits ‣ Self Assessment / personal tax - Every April ‣ Accountant’s fees RULE 9: DON’T FORGET THE TAX MAN TAX
  28. 28. BE HAPPY RULE NUMBER TEN
  29. 29. THANK YOU JAY HEAL CONTRACTOR www.jayheal.co.uk @jaymichaelheal

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