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Should I apply for this contract?

Got a dilemma at the moment. I've been given the heads-up about a maternity-cover contract within the industry that I left two and a half years ago to go freelance.

Obviously, just applying for it doesn't at all mean I'd necessarily get it, but I have to think through all the pros and cons of potentially putting the business on simmer for 7 months if I did apply and was successful.

Its very flattering just to have been pointed at this one, suggests that I still have something to offer, and it would be 'real' money, about four times as much as I made this year during the same period, its also mostly over the relatively slack months of the winter. I can't deny the funds would be welcome since Gareth was made redundant earlier this year. Its a job I know well and would be good at. I seem to be well again these days, and I think I'm strong enough to handle a few months of structured work.

On the downside though, it would mean a daily commute and I'd almost certainly need to consider getting a small car. Gareth would have to take over all the day to day household and business stuff here, and whilst I could maintain minor projects and commissions, I would have to turn down any more significant approaches for contracts and research for at least 6-8 months. I'm worried that will negatively impact on the reputation we are building for flexibility. There is also the slim possibility that if the annoying fatigue illness is just taking time off, it could reappear under the normal stresses of working for someone else.

ugh, don't know what to do

Apply. At least then you'll be able to stop wondering what if.

Also, it's only for a few months, and is a fixed start date, and finish date. I don't know your business, but any major requests for research or contracts might stand for a slow or part time beginning, or even have it stalled for a few months.

Alternatively, kill it off, stone dead today. And don't look back. Dithering isn't a healthy route forward. Smile

If your illness reappears, you could always leave, of course.

I say apply for it, people who approach you will understand you have taken on a short term contract for outside work and you can't do a big commission for a few months, its over the quiet time which is when if you are going to struggle after gareth redundancy if ever, you can be covered for the first year and then have the busy summer months,to build up a head of steam to plough through next years quiet time.
I would say be positive about your illness and trust you are over the worst and try to put it behind you, the extra money can be squirrel away to cover lean times and you could see about a car share to save buying a car and the running costs, there are websites out there that you canlook on.
It's something you know you can do, its fixed term and pays ok.
Go for it.

Apply. If you get it, it's only 7 months and it will help with business re-investment.
Barefoot Andrew

What they said. Apply. Although option 4 was amusingly appealing Laughing

Apply, just because you apply doesn't mean you have to take it on either.

Besides, like you've already said it's over your traditionally slack period, it's real money, it will free your mind of worrying how to make ends meet, it may (I don't imply to know your finances) support the business when you come back to it extending the period of financial relief?

Plus, you could consider that if you're always available when people call people don't tend to book in advance. Therefore, knowledge to customers that you do get booked up for periods may inspire them to book you in advance to avoid disappointment, giving you a clear projected idea of your business income.

I would say apply, If you are certain that you will be disciplined enough not to take on too much extra work at the same time and make yourself ill again.
It could be good for customers to get used to the idea of booking projects in advance.
Plus, the offer of a weekend ratathon still stands, That would give you a stock of your most reliable commodity to further build up a nest egg.

Mmm, my instinct says No.3 Sally.

If you got it, and knowing your skills that's highly likely, consider how you'd feel if they asked you to stay on ....

I'd use the 'slack' winter months to focus on your business and do all the things you normally don't get time to do.

But that's just me.

If it was 7 weeks, I'd answer differently.


ETA if you applied, got it, decided to turn it down, that wouldn't look too good, in my opinion
Nell Merionwen

Apply. Tell any incoming commissions there is a waiting list. I would expect someone of your professional calibre would have a long waiting list anyway. For example Kat (Kat's hats) has/had and 18 month waiting list.
7 months in your line of work is not a long time.

Apply for it. It'll cover you for the lean months and if the business picks up you can always resign.
Rob R

Apply, take the work during the slack time but continue to live frugally so that you amass some capital, don't fritter it away in the 'employed' lifestyle. If you can do it on a self employed basis, even better. BUT work out the net gains first, after the car, fuel & travel time etc. 4 x earnings might turn into 3 x or less, and it might start to look less attractive.

Can the car expen be tax deductible for your self employed stuff? And can Gareth's low tax output be used to save you cash, too?

Go with your heart. I've gone for number 3 in the poll.

Go with your heart. I've gone for number 3 in the poll.

That's my feeling. Better to do one thing well than spread oneself too thinly.
Doing as Rob says may decide it for you - my guess is that the net gain won't be that great compared to effort expended.
welsh veg grower

I have to say I'm closer to EV's views here. Be careful as this can greatly inpact on your business (I know this from expereince havign taken a job for a year and then spent many months re-building my contacts, work etc)

However, I was approached last week by a client asking me to take a full time temp job and I offered I would do a part time deal for them. They have another lady who is also interested part time and so we will work it between us possibly as we both are self employed but as things are these days it can be rather slow and 2 days money a week can make a big differnce to how you can work on / develop your business. Also for me the job is a chance to get my skills back up to date and develop another side of my work I wouldnt get to do any other way. I havent made a finial decission either but part time is more tempting to me although the commute puts me off.

The other thing for you to consider is will this help or hinder the business, your own development and the reputation you are building.

Also, if working full time makes you ill and when you finish the 9 months contract will you then need time off to recoup before working on your business again.

sorry not much help but I guess go with your gut feeling on this one. Good luck

Apply. But get my shirt finished first. Wink

funnily enough your shirt is on todays list, assuming I can find a) the floor and b) the thread.

I'm still dithering about this, whatever I seem to have decided at bedtime I've changed my mind about by the next morning. Will keep dithering til monday I suspect before I decide whether to apply or not

funnily enough your shirt is on todays list, assuming I can find a) the floor and b) the thread.

I lost the thread years ago.
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