Author Topic: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...  (Read 4419 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« on: February 09, 2014, 07:09:42 AM »
Hey MMM'ers!
I'm all twisted up in a knot trying to sort this out but thought maybe I could get some helpful insights over here.

Normally I am an independent software developer.  I started a few years ago and dragged myself up out of a very low income situation.  I choose what I work on, so I love what I do, and I can work from home which is my ideal situation (i am a homebody! lol)
Through the networking grapevine I was contacted for a startup programming contract, possible FT position.  I went in for the interview just for kicks and it went okay, it seems like I have the skills or can be taught the skills needed pretty quickly.  I'd be working on-site for a couple months, 45m commute (by subway), possibly bringing in my computer (UGH), but it's as many hours as I can take (PT) and the pay is pretty good.

All signs say to "sure, take it!" and the people I met were nice, but... there is something holding me back!  I am worried I'd go in and work on their software all day, then be too exhausted to come home and work on my software.   I'd be paid more for working on theirs, undoubtedly, but thematically speaking I'd have way more fun just working on my own.  In addition, I am not totally sure I believe in their business model, and while they are nice people it just seems very start-uppy and I am unsure if I should desert my solid little indie business I've built up over the years (let's be honest, I could work indie stuff in the off-hours, but I am FT indie now so I'd lose a lot of working hours.  i am pleased to report my little biz is doing well, but it does require a lot of time to get everything done so it would suffer).

I've always been freelance/indie and have never had to guts to commit to a FT job- like I said I prefer working from home, and i really really dislike working in offices (I feel trapped and get freaked out, lol.  I feel like a psycho typing this out but I've made my career work around my preferences for years now so i am loathe to change.)  So FT wouldn't really be in the cards, i'm just trying to decide if I should take on the contract job or not.

So far I've spent about 3-4 nights pretty restless because of this, waking up at odd hours, unable to get back to sleep, queasy, etc.  Can't sort out if i'm being a baby and should square up and get a real job in an office, or say no thanks and continue with my idyllic indie setup.

I don't want this to go as long as it inevitably has but a quick pro-con list for my own edification:
-it would be nice to make some more money. i have enough thru my own work now, but it's a tempting sum.
-i'd probably learn some new software tricks
-i'd learn some new industry information
-i should have an IRL, office job? adulthood i suppose... idk. i figure the MMM crowd would be one of the few crowds to not think me crazy for avoiding them.

-seriously, i hate offices. and 45 min commute each way (1/2 mile walk to subway, pleasant in nice weather, not so in blizzardy snowy icestorms)
-it is heavy programming, i'm fairly confident i can do it but i've been hired for other programming jobs before and when you need to do something for a client that you don't know, it can be a nightmare, especially on-site!
-might have to bring in my computer, which i dislike (i have weak little arms and dont wish to haul around my brand-new personal computer all around the city)
-i already am making decent money, it's always nice to have more i suppose but AT WHAT COST @_@  would my indie software shipments slow down? undoubtedly.
-i've read "the incredible secret money machine" so many times and it really emphasizes not working for just one client/company. i know that's like, what a job is, but his words keep echoing in my head to keep a bunch of little income sources rather than one big source that is not under your control and that can let you go at a whim.
-it would require some kind of work wardrobe which i just do not have. i've been working from home for years, and i only have like 2-3 office-appropriate outfits (good condition/relatively stylish). so i would have to spend some money on a few new shirts/sweaters to not look disheveled.
-most importantly:
-i want to stop wrestling with this and be able to sleep through a night and just get back to my little indie biz cause it has a lot going on right now! i just started doing some next-level stuff and this year i have plans to really ramp things up.

I'd appreciate any insights you guys can throw at me.  I haven't heard back from the place yet, but i'm a pretty likely candidate as far as i can tell (the only one) and they want someone to start quickly so I want to get this wrapped up, mentally, and figure out where I'm at.

Thanks everyone for reading this any any thoughts they have, and mostly for letting me type this all out :)  It made my thinking a little clearer.  I'm still torn... on the one hand, i'm quite happy as-is, on the other hand...

edit: forgot i'd have to buy new clothes! ugh
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 07:17:51 AM by another_hipster »


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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 07:45:33 AM »
It sounds like not having to be in an office and deal with a commute is very important to you (it is very important to me, too).  I recently turned down a job which came with a higher salary and a very nice signing bonus, but which would have required me to be in the office.  Being in the office is awful if you're used to having more freedom.  I made my decision after wrestling with it for a couple of weeks -- when I was on a hiking trail in the middle of a Tuesday watching a couple of deer forage for food.  I asked myself if I was willing to give up hikes/runs in the middle of the day in exchange for more money, and the answer was NO.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 08:22:52 AM »
Thanks for your reply, jrhampt!
It is indeed, i just feel shy owning up to not wanting to deal with offices/commutes "In this Economy", lol.

Glad to hear you had the same situation though, decided not to take the job and were happy with it.  Your walk sounds lovely! i've had similar mid-work-week moments when i was taking the day off on a wednesday or whatever- it's really nice to be able to call your own shots.

I feel silly saying "no" to job opportunities, but i get the feeling i'd be pretty unhappy about the 2nd week in...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 08:25:50 AM by another_hipster »


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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 08:42:00 AM »
Well from your post, the cons seriously outweigh the pros.  It doesn't seem you have a real reason or desire to take the job.  If the company wants you badly enough maybe you can negotiate working from home, working for them part time, etc.   

Unless you can make the job work for you (and you don't have a hair on fire debt emergency that you would need more $ to kill) I'd keep doing your own thing and work to maximize income for your business.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 09:18:56 AM »
thanks for your reply, olivia!  haha yeah i tried to balance it out, but really it's just extra cash (about twice as much as i'm making now on my own) and sometimes it's cool to learn new software tricks (although there are probably easier ways of doing that than getting a new job).

thankfully my little indie business helped put out my years-long hair-on-fire emergency last year (i had that post bookmarked during the crisis to keep motivated, lol). i've got about $1k on my credit card but it's nothing to go out and get a new job over, it'll be paid off in another month or two. i'm still weaning myself off "crisis mode" so that might be why i'm like OMG MUST TAKE GIG...

the only hesitation is my SO is thinking about a job change, so there is a little bit of uncertainty there and some extra cash seems like it might be advantageous. he made it clear that i shouldn't worry and not to let this affect my decision. i suppose i should double check to make sure he was serious... cause if that's the case, i'll probably just take a pass on the gig. flattered, but no thanks :)

btw, writing & talking this all out has made me recall other job situations i've entered in the past, just for needing some extra money quickly, and i've never been happy with them and have usually quit at the first opportune moment. maybe i should learn something from all those experiences...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 01:47:25 PM »
update: i just got offered the gig. talked to my SO too, he said not to take it if I don't want to. we ended up talking a bit more though and the money would be helpful, esp since we're still putting out the last embers of our hair-on-fire situation, his job thing, and we would like to save up and move out of the city at some point in the next ~5 years...

it would be about twice what i make now, my biz is set up for royalties so i can take a little while off and still get paid (so i'd get 3x what i'm making now, for 2 months)... just increasing my biz royalties would be put on the back burner/off hours.


haha i feel like this is a choose your own adventure novel, but i can't flip around to see what all the endings are ahead of time ;P darn!

(thanks also for listening to me think out loud!)


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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 06:40:08 PM »
Would you lose all your current clients while working on this contract?  If so, then I wouldn't do it.  A short-term contract job that harms your long-term earning potential wouldn't help you.

the fixer

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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 09:57:26 PM »
Viewed by itself, the job doesn't sound too bad: it's got flexible hours, good pay, and you do your work on your own computer (have you ever had a programming job where you get assigned a company computer? Every IT department sucks and I never get what I want). The commute is the only big minus that stands out to me: that's a fixed investment of time each day no matter how many hours you "work." So I don't think you're crazy for being tempted.

Still, I think you've got a good thing going and should keep it up. This is certainly a nice job but the opportunity cost is too high. It sounds like you're just being tempted by a "grass is greener" mentality.

Some people are just cut out for freelance work. I know I am.


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Re: Contract job, unsure if I should take it or not...
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 09:59:31 PM »
I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, or if they have I missed it-- but have you suggested a compromise where you work from home 2 or 3 days out of the week?

I'm a self-employed developer myself.  Have a great gig going right now that's pretty far out, but I got them to agree to no more than two days a week in the office.  Well worth it for the contacts made and, of course, the money.