page title icon 12: Permanent or Contract – what’s right for you?

Choosing whether to go contracting or stay in a permanent project management role isn’t always that clear

In this podcast we discuss some of the merits of permanent and contract roles as a project (or program) manager, and consider the factors that you might want to consider when deciding what’s right for you.

There are a number of factors to consider: These include – how much experience you have, how specialist you are and whether money is your main driver? And whether you fit in with the culture of a company.

Show notes:


  • base salary
  • company car
  • pension
  • other fringe benefits
  • training (usually paid for)
  • progression/transition
  • mentoring
  • redundancy
  • security/stability
  • experience depends on employer


  • IS usually paid more
  • admin hassle
  • need to manage your own money
  • keep a buffer (both for the taxman and in case you are on the bench) min 6M but ideally 1yr
  • take renewals – evidence of this shows competence
  • will depend on the amount of risk you want to take
  • exposure to different ways of working and cultures
  • easy to leave a nightmare role
  • some people just don’t feel comfortable with permanent employment and the obligation that brings
  • you may get the rubbish jobs
  • can be a good option to see if you like the culture and then move to perm
  • IR35 – a UK challenge
  • fixed term salaried role – not such a good deal for you
  • agency ‘directly employed’ model – ditto

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