I'm qualified to answer this one, as I was a contractor in the UK for
five of the last six years, and I'n now a project manager employing
The site I've always found of most use is
You have to register, but it is packed with great advice for first
timers, and job boards giving current rates etc
You don't say whether you're going through an agency or not. If you
are, they'll be able to give you rate guidelines for the job you're
Getting a contract normally involves a formal face-to-face interview
with the client. Occasionally there might be a second interview and
sometimes decisions are made on the basis of a telephone interview.
Remember all the good interviewing rules and you should be OK. Here's
There is also advice for first time contractors from one of the larger
UK agencies, MODIS, here:
As for setting your rate, as I already mentioned, an agency could help
you there, or, you should search as many job sites as you can find and
compare the jobs with the one you're after.
The jobsite I use most is at http://www.jobserve.com , and if you
search on CITRIX and contracts you'll find pleny of jobs for
Rates seem to vary from about £150/day to £300/day depending on the
responsibilities, so if I were you I'd find out as much as I could
about the job, and price yourself accordingly.
A search of another big jobsite http://www.cwjobs.co.uk for Citrix
contracts found 74 open jobs this afternoon, so there should be plenty
of scope for comparison.
You also have to think about how to manage your salary/payment.
Here's a summary of some first timer info from an IT recruitment
agency at http://www.jenrick-cpi.co.uk/contractors/first_guide.html
"One of the key decisions that you will have to take once you have
secured your first contract will be whether or not to set up your own
limited company. As a general guideline, if you wish to work on
contract for more than six months of the year and achieve maximum net
income, then you should consider forming your own limited company and
using that as your vehicle for providing services. You should appoint
an accountant to advise you on the technicalities of running your own
company. This will, of course, incur certain costs but your accountant
will be able to advise you on a wide range of topics including issues
such as IR35. For more information on IR35 we suggest you visit the
PCG website at the following address www.pcg.org.uk. You also need to
be aware that as a Director of a limited company, you will have a
number of legal responsibilities which, although not arduous, will
need to be fulfilled."
"If you expect to spend less than six months on contract, or do not
want the responsibility of running your own company, then it may be
worth considering working under an "umbrella company". In this case,
the umbrella company take care of most of the administrative and
accounts details for you but charges a weekly fee for it's services.
The disadvantages of the umbrella company are the weekly fee and that
this method of working is a little less tax efficient than running
your own company."
Whatever your preferred method of contracting, an agency can offer
guidance and assistance; from helping you form your own limited
company to recommendations of reputable umbrella companies.
First time contractors often get overly worried about the amount of
administration they'll need to do to keep books, tax accounts, VAT
returns etc, but I hired an accountant who did most of it for me, and
again, any of the agencies above would be able to point you in the
The important thing is to make sure you're happy, and take the plunge
A list of UK agencies:
Google searches used:
IT contract CITRIX UK
IT contract first timer UK
IT recruitment agency UK