Author: Jason Dove
Jason Dove is a top Business Intelligence consultant and author who has shared his expertise with some of the most respected businesses in the world. Crystal Reports is his reporting software of choice and the subject of his book "Crystal Reports Formulas Explained" which is the most advanced book on the market. Currently available with a free 70 page Crystal Reports XI tutorial:

IT Career - How to make real Money in UK

06/28/2010 12:14 am By Jason Dove | Articles: 8

For those with experience and knowledge of the IT industry, England is a real land of opportunity.

Working as an employee for an English company certainly does pay well, but the real rewards come from "consulting". Consulting (also known as "Contracting") is working on short term contracts as a self employed expert.

By approaching work in England from this point of view it is possible to increase your income by 200-300% for doing the same job.

So why aren't all the English IT experts contracting? Well, one of the often voiced downsides to this style of work is to be away from home. To a native Englishman this can be a major issue. As a foreign national working away from home, you are doing this anyway, so why not get paid for it?


"Self employed" may sound like you have your own business, and that is one way to approach working as a consultant. However, this can cause problems with work permits and visa. The solution is to use an umbrella company.

Umbrella companies employ you as a traditional employee, but in reality act as accountants who pay you the money earned through consulting and handle your expenses.

You should set up an account with an umbrella company before you even start applying for contracts as agents will not be keen to hire you if you need to sort this out. There are a lot of things that need paying attention to while choosing an umbrella company.

Being Your Own Boss

Being a self employed consultant may sound glamorous and the idea of being your own boss is a dream many of us share.

The opposite is true!

As consultants usually sit outside of a company's hierarchy it can seem like everyone and no one is your boss.

After working on a few separate contracts all your previous boss(es) can contact you again for small pieces of work and so it seems you never leave a boss behind, just gain new ones.

The only real freedom consultants have which others do not is being able to leave any bad job at short notice.

Finding Work

It is easy to find contracts, though maybe not so easy to be hired!

All the contracts you could ever want are posted on one of a few jobs websites. In fact, every job I have applied for has been through, there are a few more worth a look but it is usually the same jobs appearing on all of them.

It is simply a case of searching on your skill set and sending your résumé for the jobs which are the best fit.

If the agent calls you, your résumé has impressed them enough that they are interested in putting you forward.

The agent will have an informal chat and if all goes well, will recommend you for an interview with the client.


Agents are a necessary evil when working as a consultant. I have written about this at length previously, but to give a summary here:

Agents are not your friends they are only interested in their commission and will do anything to get it.

Be polite to them, but do not be fooled by their friendly act.

Finding New Work

When your current contract has two weeks left until it is completed, it is time to start searching for your next contract.

The first step should always be to ask your current employer if they are going to extend your contract. Just because it is a short term assignment does not mean that it will not last for years!

If your employer does not need your expertise or you want to move on to another assignment, it is just a case of repeating the steps outlined in the "Finding Work" section.

Be sure to update your résumé with as much detail about your last contract as you can.


The wealth is there to be earned but there are rules to this new game which can trip up the unwary.

With a little forethought and planning, it is possible to gain the rewards.

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