Contractor doctor: can I take my first contract at the company i'm planned on leaving?

Dear Contractor Doctor

I've decided to go contracting and handed in my notice at my current permanent employer. However, they asked if I would consider staying on for 3 months as a contractor.

What are your thoughts?

[Name supplied]

Contractor Doctor says:

I generally do not advise contractors doing their first contract with the company they work with.

a) You are leaving for a reason, more quality of work reasons, than cash alone. Hanging around on a different pay structure doesn't change that.

b) Changing to a contract position does not mean you will be treated any differently. They will treat you like a permanent member of staff still. You cannot blame them. You won't thus benefit from the advantages of contracting, in terms of lack of politics, etc.

Sometimes companies ask you to stay a bit longer to act in a support role, perhaps on a part time basis. Don't bother. You pretty much put yourself out of the rest of the market if you are not available full time.

My advice would be to complete what you intended in the first place and break completely free.

Perhaps you are just getting cold feet and worried about getting a contract. Natural of course, but don't worry too much. You'll be fine.

Good luck with it all.

Contractor Doctor

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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