Is a Salary Better Than Contracting?
It is common knowledge that contracting pays more per hour than a salaried job does. I don't know that there is an exact expected ratio, but in my experience an hourly paid contracting job pays a minimum of 1.333 times better than a salary would. (I know there are caveats, I'll get to those in a minute).
Take your salary and multiply it by 1.333. That is practically the worst case scenario for how much you would make by contracting instead. That sounds totally worth it, doesn't it?
Pros of contracting:
- Lots more money
- You still get paid even if you work more than 40 hours in a week
- Lots of varied experiences which will make you well-rounded
- You can never get bored because things change all of the time
Pros of salary (with cons of contracting):
- Predictable pay
- No "Bench Time" (This is a contracting term that means you are not currently billing any hours to anybody / out of work)
- Vacation time and sick time!
- Other perks like cheaper health insurance, 401K matching, bonuses, etc
- Gaining a much deeper understanding of one line of business (become an expert because you have worked at the same thing for a long time)
- Potential to "move up" within an organization because of how super good you are.
So, is 1.333 times your salary worth the gamble of having bench time? Can you handle the fact that vacation is completely
on you, and you will have next to nothing in your next paycheck? Is it worth it to have no income if you get the flu? What about having to prepare for retirement without any help from any company?
So far it is worth it for me because I am pretty good with my money and I believe I have what it takes to prevent myself from being out of work for too long. Is a salaried job the easy way out
or is contracting just a long-term Vegas-styled gamble
Labels: contracting, money, work
Confidence Drainer And Booster
This new job thing is simultaneously a confidence drainer and a confidence booster for me. You see, I really liked it when I was working on the project team that I have been at for 2.5 years. I don't enjoy documentation, too much "process", or too much red tape. However, my boss said I need more of that so they want to send me out to more enterprise-level situations. Our business has two halves: a project team half and a staffing half (consulting). I am now on the consulting side.
I don't know how anybody else reads the situation, but that was a serious blow to my confidence because it infers that I'm lacking in my ability to work through red tape situations. I would probably call it more of a "lack of desire", poh-TAY-to poh-TAH-to.
On the other hand, I know I was placed in a lose-lose situation and I certainly worked my behind off and did a bang-up job. The best confidence builder that came out of this was all of the support I got when I was getting ready to leave.
"Dude, if you are leaving I'll be leaving a little after."
"Trust me, you were the only one that knows anything around here and it will suck when you are gone."
"Jay, everybody will see how important you were once you are gone and everything falls apart."
"I'm already trying to figure out where I'm working next because I'm not gonna stay if this is how they're gonna play it."
And this one from a client of ours: "What! You're leaving? (sighs) Great...they're taking the only person that understands what's going on and taking him off my project. What are we going to do now? Maybe I should wait until you are back before we start the next set of work."
In the end I am at minimum happier now because my stress level has dropped significantly and I know that I am very good at what I do.
I have a new job in Brecksville. It's just a contract for a few weeks at IPA off of Snowville Rd.
I haven't had to relearn parts of existing projects in a long time, but I forgot how slow going it is for the first few days. Anyway, the good part is that it affords me a couple of minutes to update this mostly dead blog.
Maybe I'll revive it and start making weekly (or more often than that) updates.