Author Topic: Part time or contract IT work  (Read 963 times)

Uturn

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Part time or contract IT work
« on: November 12, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »
TL;DR - 47, stash is only half way to FI, thinking about part time or contract IT work.  Specifically, networks and security

While searching for a replacement car recently, I figured out that it's not the car that I don't like, it's that I don't like driving.  I think I am coming to the same conclusion about full time working.  7 years ago I started thinking about what am I working for.  I figured that my mortgage was my biggest expense, so wouldn't it be nice if that was gone.  I made a plan to pay it off in 10 years.  I went pretty aggressive and two years ago I refinanced the remaining $88k at a lower rate.  I also stopped paying extra because at 3.2%, my money is better in the market.  Earlier this year, my brokerage account balance passed the mortgage balance. So essentially, the house is paid for. My current financial situation is NW is right at half FI.  I max my 401k/HSA/IRA every year.  I also put half of my net pay into my brokerage account.  I figure that I am 3-4 years from FI. 

So what is the problem?  I really don't like my life.  I don't make friends easily, and therefore don't have many.  I live smack in the middle of suburbia hell.  All I really want to do is grab a backpack and a bicycle and go see stuff.  Maybe jump on a boat when I run out of land.  Since I cannot afford to quit my job and go do these things, I am wondering about contract work.  That could allow me a few months per year to go do things, and still have money coming in. 

My resume is basically Network engineer from 1997 to 2013, Cyber Security Engineer since 2013.  Before you get out your calculator and try to figure out how I can do those jobs for so many years and not be FI, I have not always been wise with my money. 

Have any of you out there switched from full time into part time or contract IT?  How was the transition?  Are you looking for a full time position again, or do you kick yourself for not making the move sooner?

Goldielocks

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Re: Part time or contract IT work
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 02:57:57 PM »
If you are over 47, and plan to continue working in IT / cyber security, do NOT take a leave of absence.  Go part time or contract work, that makes it look like you are fully employed.

2 years of non IT work will make it very very hard to get back into it unless a friend / former employer takes you on.   This happened to DH.

One option for part time work is to become a tester -- this can be often done from home.... or contract programmer.  A friend works from home for the large telecommunications supplier locally, and they have piece rate work, so part time is an option, but working remotely may be better for you, if you are OK with a 12 hour day one day, then day off the next, etc.  (you build up your piece rate for the week on the days you choose).

Uturn

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Re: Part time or contract IT work
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 09:43:59 AM »
On most days I can usually tell the difference between computer code and a a nice hot pizza. I don't think contract programming is my thing. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Part time or contract IT work
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 09:53:24 AM »
I'm contracting right now (SQL/data visualization/etc) because I burned out hard at my last job.

My contract is 9 months, with a potential opportunity to go permanent next year.

I like this contract because I am free to say "hey, I'll be out of the office next week" and I can just take unpaid time off whenever I want.  I still have health insurance as long as I don't go more than 45 days without a paycheck from this particular contract agency.

I don't like the fact that I don't get paid sick/bereavement/holiday pay.  We had a family health emergency, so I ended up taking time off I hadn't expected to take.  I can handle the financial loss, I just don't like that I had to.

This company is really great at treating contractors like people; others are not.

I'm planning to go back to permanent, and when I get within 2 years of FIRE, probably work part-time.  (My mom did that at her company to ease into retirement and loved it.)

One of my colleagues did short-term contracts for years.  He jumped back to permanent last year because he didn't like having to hustle to find the next contract every time.