Life as an international contractor

over 3 years ago Irina Nagy

​Max Woolgar, Senior SAP Consultant at Investigo, sat down with a top international contractor to discuss the ups and downs of an international career.

What are the benefits of being an international contractor?

One of the greatest benefits I can think of right now is that I get to work with a range of different multinational corporations. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work across the globe with clients like Nestle, Mars, BMW, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and many more. This has allowed me to work in lots of different environments, exposing myself to different cultures, climates and people, all of which I greatly enjoyed. I also have a much greater control of who I work for, the length of time I work and the people I work with. I get to use different applications, software, tools etc and also have a greater flexibility on pay.

What are the disadvantages of working as an international contractor?

Most of the time I tend to work irregular hours. If work needs to be done, then I have to work until it is completed. This means that I sometimes miss important family events which I would have most probably been able to attend if I were a permanent employee. I also don’t get to have paid holiday or the same level of job security a permanent employee has. Moreover, I can’t be promoted through a company, I get no pension, no healthcare or work benefits.

What do you find most rewarding?

Being hired to do a specific role with a client and knowing I have completed it then moving on to my next challenge. As an international consultant, I get to have very clear deliverables which I can track against.

How much does the change in exchange rates affect your roles?

This can have quite a large impact especially when it comes to choosing a country to work in. A couple of years ago, it was very profitable to work somewhere in Europe with the rate of euros against the pound. This isn’t so much the case anymore.

How often do you get expenses paid?

Around 50 % of the time. Typically, if they aren’t being paid by the client, I will be offered an all-inclusive rate which reflects this.

How much time do you typically spend away from home?

This is completely dependent on the role and location. At the minimum, I always aim to get home for the weekends.

What effect does the role have on your personal life?

It does, of course, have quite a big impact on my personal life. Therefore, going contracting was a very important decision for me, one which I thought about and looked at on all angles. However, if the situation is right it can also be extremely rewarding.

Max works in Investigo’s SAP division, specialising in the recruitment of both permanent and contract professionals. If you are seeking an SAP role or recruiting for these candidates please contact Max on max.woolgar@investigo.co.uk.