How to Handle Moving From a Permanent Role to a Contracting Role

Congratulations – you have secured your 1st contracting role. The recruiter will be keen for you to move as soon as possible because the sooner you start earning so will they and the client most likely needs someone for the project yesterday!

The first thing to do is to step back and make sure that you are covered and protected as this process unfolds and that you manage it in the best way possible. You will need to be provided with, and to review completely, the contract provided via the agency. Typically, you will most likely sign the contract with them. Nobody likes to read legal documents, but it is critical you do in this instance. In fact, if you have a friend or family member in the legal field you may ask them to review on your behalf. You are perfectly entitled to do this, and it may save you time and pain in the future if you do so. You are also perfectly entitled to question anything within the contract that may be confusing / hard to understand. Agreeing a contract is a 2-way process which must be equitable for both sides and must be entered without pressure or duress. If you do not have a legal representative Accounting Pro can refer you to legal employment counsel in Ireland or the UK to assist you.

It is also important to note that you want to leave your current permanent role on good terms. There is no point burning bridges and it is smart professionally to manage this process in a manner that suits all parties. So, once you have signed and returned the contract – and the agency and client have reconfirmed everything is a GO to start, in writing, (and the agreed start date itself) you need to go to your employer and advise you are leaving. As a matter of courtesy inform your manager and then HR of this. Make sure you have read your existing contract terms paying attention to your notice period and expect to be asked to stay the full term. If you have annual leave this can be factored into your departure date too and it is always advisable to take a short break from 1 role before starting another (it will help you decompress mentally and prepare for the new role). Do not try to leave early and break the terms of your notice period – this would be very bad professionally and bad form too. You can of course try and negotiate a quicker departure date but only if it is mutually agreeable – remember you need a reference!

Finally, you need to make sure that you have everything set up for your payroll and accounting/company requirements. Remember, you are no longer ‘employed’ in the traditional sense anymore, in fact you are your own employer. This may be daunting for some, but it is actually putting you in a position of power in your working life. You are now managing your own payment affairs and you need to be fully clued in as a result. So, do your research and again, like the legal situation, if you have a friend or family member with accounting experience get their advice on what to do next. If not, do your own research! Look at the options – the 2 options available are a PAYE Umbrella service OR Personal limited company. Accounting Pro are here to assist and walk you through the pros & cons of both options so you can make an informed decision as to which option suits your needs best. We can assist you with the setup and management to allow you to concentrate on your 1st contracting role. We can also advise on company secretaries and professional indemnity insurance, something which can be very important in some instances. When shopping around for an umbrella service, be aware of sales pitches that discuss ‘prices from’ and ask for a definite and exact monthly price and ensure it is honoured – if you don’t, the price may rise. Ultimately select the service that is best for YOU – consider price, customer service and automation in your decision-making process. Recruitment agencies can be helpful and can and do refer certain umbrella companies, but it is ultimately a contractor decision and you should do your own research to select the service that best suits your needs as a contractor. Remember, you are now your own boss and you need to make the right decisions for you going forward!

Accounting Pro is Ireland’s premier contractor accounting service.  We are here to help you, the busy contractor and/or company, with all your accounting and payroll needs. We are both an umbrella company and umbrella corporation and we can create your limited company. We are on your side, always. To learn more about what we do please review  and contact us by email: or phone us 01 6933370. For the UK see Accounting-Pro UK. “How to Handle Moving From a Permanent Role to a Contracting Role” is an article written by Accounting-Pro Ireland for the benefit of everyone. Feel free to share it but please give attribution on a CC BY-SA license.