Author Topic: Contract Engineering Jobs  (Read 1798 times)

cj25

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Contract Engineering Jobs
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:57:57 AM »
DH got laid off 6.5 months ago and while he's had several interviews and made it close several times, he still hasn't found a job.  Last week he was offered a contract software engineer job.  It's 18 months, pay is around what he was making before, but only 5 vacation days accrued over a year and 6 paid holidays.  So any time the actual company is closed that the contract company doesn't offer, he wouldn't get paid (ie day after thanksgiving, days around Christmas). Health benefits aren't even worth discussing as they are abysmal so we'd have to keep the crappy (but clearly less crappy) plan my work offers.  It's a 50-60 minute commute approximately (each way) and not really in the industry he was hoping to be in.  But it's work and unemployment ran out 2 weeks ago (we still have severance money but we have a lot of debt still).  Are these kind of terms typical of contract work?  Is it worth it to take even though it's not ideal?

SKL-HOU

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 10:09:46 AM »
I cannot comment on if they are typical or not (I would imagine it really changes based on area, industry, company, etc). If it were me I would take it. What is the alternative? Does he have a lot of interviews set up? I think it will get harder and harder to find a job. He can take the contract and continue to apply for jobs. He has been unemployed for 6.5 months, do you really want to risk another 6 months?

neo von retorch

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 10:23:19 AM »
Yes - I think the "worth it" is a situational question, rather than the type of position in the industry. Ideally, contracting pays better, but it also often gives you ZERO holidays or PTO, so I think you're actually one up on the competition there. I did have one job where I was a full-time employee for a staffing company, and it paid well and had amazing benefits, but that's different from a one-time contract like you describe. From your description of the scenario, I'd probably take the work, but keep an eye out, possibly looking for closer full-time work in 6 months or so.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 12:19:41 PM »
I think it's worth taking while he looks for other jobs. It'll make it easier for him to leave when he finds something better because he won't be giving up health insurance or other benefits. SKL-HOU is right: it gets harder to find jobs the longer you are unemployed and with unemployment insurance having run out, there's no incentive for him to turn down work.

It's tough to be laid off and wind up in a less desirable situation. I just went through this with my own husband, and it necessitated a 2500-mile move and selling our house. Best of luck as you work through this!!

benjaminbutton

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 02:02:02 PM »
I do contract work and get get no vacation days and no holidays paid.  Other than the commute, what is the problem?

cj25

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 02:20:07 PM »
I do contract work and get get no vacation days and no holidays paid.  Other than the commute, what is the problem?

It's just not a full time position with all the benefits that we're used to.  5 weeks to 5 days is hard.  Obviously he doesn't need any time off since he's been off, but just difficult to not have the kind of job you're used to.  I also don't want him to take a bad deal since we aren't familiar with this. 

SKL-HOU

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 02:31:49 PM »
I do contract work and get get no vacation days and no holidays paid.  Other than the commute, what is the problem?

It's just not a full time position with all the benefits that we're used to.  5 weeks to 5 days is hard.  Obviously he doesn't need any time off since he's been off, but just difficult to not have the kind of job you're used to.  I also don't want him to take a bad deal since we aren't familiar with this.

I think it is time to face reality. It has been 6 months and he hasn't found what you are used to.

Roboturner

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 02:36:58 PM »
take it while searching for other jobs. My company at least much much prefers an actively employed person to an unemployed person.


Also im confused about "contract" - if he would be 1099 the company couldnt put terms on when/where he worked or "5 vacay days"

Sounds like he's W2, in which case yes, sounds like the company just has a really really shitty benefits package. Holiday pay is considered a "benefit," most companies just have that as part of the package. My above statement stands though, he should probably take the shit job while continuing to apply elsewhere - 6 months is starting to look a lot like a "hole" in his resume. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 02:44:49 PM by Roboturner »

cj25

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 02:53:18 PM »
It's contract through some recruiting/staffing type company.  So he is paid by the recruiting company, not the company he would be working at.

I know we need to face reality.  And he may actually get some good experience.  But I just mainly wanted to know if this was typically how these work.

Aggie1999

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Re: Contract Engineering Jobs
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2017, 03:10:28 PM »
It's contract through some recruiting/staffing type company.  So he is paid by the recruiting company, not the company he would be working at.

I know we need to face reality.  And he may actually get some good experience.  But I just mainly wanted to know if this was typically how these work.

Is this the first contracting gig he has applied for? If so, getting basically the same pay as full time but without decent health insurance benefits, no pay for company days off, minimal contracting holidays, etc doesn't seem that good. In the software industry typically you get paid a decent amount more per hour when going the contractor route over a full time position. The bump in pay is meant to make up for the lack of benefits and the perceived less stability with employment.

If it's his first contracting offer then I'd say negotiate higher or look for a different contracting firm. Contracting is all about negotiation, even more so than landing a full time position. If he has been trying to get contracting work for 6 months then probably take the position and look for another contracting gig in 6 months.