Case Study

Case Study | Permanent To Freelance

This is the case study of Mark, a Site Engineer from Glasgow, who decided to leave his permanent job to work on a freelance basis. Mark initially contacted us after speaking to one of our long-term freelance workers he met on site, who recommended he give us a call. 

We caught up with Mark again to see how he was getting on since the transition. What follows is an overview of his journey and experience from permanent to temporary work thus far.


Can you tell us a little bit about your career to date?

“I started as an apprenticeship with George Leslie, attended a day release programme for 4 years, and obtained an HNC in Civil Engineering. I then did a further 4ᅠyear day release programme to obtain my BSc (Hons) in Environmental Civil Engineering. I gained invaluable experience with George Leslie within the Scottish Water construction projects.

Having spent this time with George Leslie, I had the opportunity to join Bam Nuttall to increase my exposure and experience within the civil engineering sector. During my time with them, I worked on a variety of projects throughout Scotland”.


What was it that first led you to consider working on a freelance basis?

“When it came to finishing a project, I was informed at reasonably short notice about where the next new project would be. Towards the end of my time with Bam Nuttall, I’d spent a few years working away from home, and it occurred to me that working with a company as an employee, I would always have to go where the work was.

On my final site with Bam Nuttall, I worked alongside another freelance Site Engineer. He explained the mechanics of working freelance, which spurred my interest.

I felt that working freelance would provide me with the opportunity to work on bigger projects. Working as an employee, if your company doesn’t win the projects, you don’t get the chance to go between them. I felt I would get more variety and experience working freelance.

The pay rates also interested me! When I discovered what a freelance Site Engineer earned, it was better than my salary, though I had to acknowledge that there would no longer be any company benefits.”


How did you follow up on that initial interest? What research did you do?

“I got quite a bit of information from the freelance Site Engineer who was working via yourselves [Contract Scotland]. He recommended I call you for an update on market conditions and to get a bigger picture of working freelance, the opportunities, and how it all works – warts and all! I then spoke with an accountant to discuss tax options so I would have a basic understanding before calling you.”


What concerns did you have about giving up a permanent job, and what did you do to address these?

“My main concern was the continuity of work, especially as I was moving house at the time. My Consultant took the time to listen and understand my reasons for considering leaving a permanent job with a company with a good reputation and work opportunities. He wasn’t pushy and provided me with market information from both a permanent and temporary perspective.

I was then invited to your office to discuss my concerns face to face and the benefits and negatives of working this way. The Consultant provided an honest and transparent overview and an appraisal of current vacancies. Given that you already understood what I was looking for, I was only presented with suitable options.”


How long did the whole process take?

“I started to consider working on a freelance basis in the January, and after careful consideration (based on the advice I had received from you), I handed in my notice to my employer. When I became available, you were able to fix me up in a temporary contract straight away – this was in the April. I have since started another contract and both positions have surpassed my expectations.

The good thing is that I didn’t feel pressure from you guys throughout this whole process. You didn’t push things, the ball was always in my court, and it was me making the decisions. You were there to guide me where required and understood what I was looking for.” ᅠ


Now that you’ve made the change, is it what you expected and do you have any regrets?

“So far, I have no regrets, and it’s better than I expected. I am working with a great contractor on a great project. I am within travelling distance to my home, paid well, on time every week, and for every hour I work. As you know, the job I’m currently on is long-term, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the contractor and Contract Scotland.”


Thank you to Mark for taking the time to talk to us.

Interested In Finding Out More?

If you’d like to learn more about working freelance, we would be delighted to have a confidential discussion around your personal situation, an overview of the current market conditions and vacancies, and address any concerns you may have.

Use the form below to register your interest, and one of our Consultants will be in touch.