Author Topic: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like  (Read 631 times)

happyuk

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Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« on: January 29, 2019, 02:46:39 PM »
I'm just seeking some outside perspectives about an ongoing dilemma I have.

Like many other people on this forum I am a software developer, and have been doing this more or less constantly since 2006.

During the period from late 2012 to the spring of 2015 I had gone through a number of unsatisfactory positions, before seeking out and getting a position at a large engineering company in April 2015.  This is the first position I have have had where I had been truly happy with my surroundings, colleagues, managers, pay and conditions.  Since joining the company I have never felt compelled to seek positions elsewhere, in spite of the inevitable ups and downs that you get with any job.

To throw a spanner in the works , a former PhD colleague of mine whom I have known for 20+ years, has been nagging me to go and do contracting for his consultancy (in the telecoms sector) for a large defence company, for about the last 4 years on and off.  Recently he has upped the ante by dangling a very attractive rate (£550 / ~$700 per DAY) in front of me.

Never before have I felt more in two minds about doing something like this.  When working for companies whose culture I hated, I needed little encouragement to spruce up my CV and start looking.

My dilemma is that I still REALLY like my job, the Indian team I work with, the culture of continuous improvement, the relatively short (10-15 mins) commute.  And it offers ample scope for self improvement, more than I could physically take on.

What would others do in my position?  I have spoken to the Project Manager of the firm I would be contracting with, as well as meeting with who would be my future colleagues and all seem perfectly decent.  I have also sought out two people who have worked at the company and both tell me it's an excellent place to work.  My own slight reservation is that they would want me start on a specific date (March 18th 2019) and seem fairly unbendable on this, while I most definitely would want to wrap up any existing commitments I have before even considering making a move.  I have been working 2 years on a project that is on the cusp of being released/deployed and would hate to see that disadvantaged.

Part of me says "just do it", while the other part is perfectly content to stay where I am.

I would be interested to hear what others might do in my (admittedly envious) position.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 02:49:36 PM by happyuk »

six-car-habit

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Re: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 10:47:09 AM »
" This is the first position I have have had where I had been truly happy with my surroundings, colleagues, managers, pay and conditions.  Since joining the company I have never felt compelled to seek positions elsewhere, in spite of the inevitable ups and downs that you get with any job." + continous improvement culture, + short commute + self improvement aspects.

  It sounds like your current job is a permanent position, at least as long as the company exists- vs-. contract work of unknown duration. Admittedly I know nothing about software developement, but I do observe defense contractors at work in the USA. Some of the better firms get repeat business, and have had multiple projects over the last decade or so, at our location. Other firms do one contract job, and aren't seen again. But the workers, are not reporting to our large location every week of the year. There are obvious breaks in the local work schedule where the contract employees must be working out of / at a different location if they are employed year round. So their commute and possibly pay is variable throughout the year.

  Better to deal with the Devil you know, than the Devil you don't know ??

Tidus

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Re: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 07:46:52 PM »
You just mention one particular criterion in joining the contracting club.

And it's just the "very attractive rate (£550 / ~$700 per DAY)". That's it.

For me, that's so shallow reason to think you are already enjoying you where you are now and with continuous growth.

Lastly, try this. Get a paper and pen. Put a line a long line on the middle. This will really help you to decide.

So there are 2 columns now.

On the left side, write the title "What's the worst thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club". Write whatever comes into your mind. Just brain dump everything no hold barred.

Now on the right side, write the title "What's the best thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club". Same process. Just brain dump everything.

Give your self time to do this. After doing so, whatever column has more reasons more and write ups, then that's your compelling choice. :)

use2betrix

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Re: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 07:58:28 PM »
Would you have benefits as a contractor? Vacation?

You mention the new rate, but whatís your current? Would the contract position have a certain duration?

Over the last decade I have worked both contractor and as a full time employee. Iíve been a contractor now for about 4 years. 3 companies, 4 states, 5 cities.

If I had a dream job in my industry in a dream location, Iíd be willing to take a 50% paycut for it. Until that happens, Iím content with being a contractor. The higher savings rate means faster fire.

Freedomin5

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Re: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 08:22:05 PM »
I recently had to make the decision to move from a good, lucrative job that I liked (contract position, high rates, few benefits, more prestigious higher-ranking position), to another good, lucrative job that I liked (salaried employee position, little opportunity to climb corporate ladder, lower salary, more benefits).

My decision process went something like this:

1. Calculate value of current package -- salary + benefits.
2. Calculate value of new package -- salary + benefits.
3. Draw a pros/cons chart listing benefits that do not have a dollar value (ability to walk to work, flexibility to care for child if sick, amount of stress from job duties, work environment and colleagues, type of job duties, job security [if still several years from FIRE]).

Compare #1 and #2. If both package values are approximately the same, use #3 as the tie-breaker. If #1 and #2 are significantly different, decide which is more important to me, money or quality of life. If I am only a few years away from FIRE and am relatively healthy and not burnt out, I might take the money. If I am still quite a ways away from FIRE, I'd probably choose the quality of life job.

P.S. In my case, #1 and #2 were approximately the same, and I have no desire to climb any ladders and don't need other people or job titles to validate my worth, so I chose #2.

happyuk

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Re: Lucrative contract position or stick with a job I like
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 03:20:32 PM »
You just mention one particular criterion in joining the contracting club.

And it's just the "very attractive rate (£550 / ~$700 per DAY)". That's it.

For me, that's so shallow reason to think you are already enjoying you where you are now and with continuous growth.

Lastly, try this. Get a paper and pen. Put a line a long line on the middle. This will really help you to decide.

So there are 2 columns now.

On the left side, write the title "What's the worst thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club". Write whatever comes into your mind. Just brain dump everything no hold barred.

Now on the right side, write the title "What's the best thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club". Same process. Just brain dump everything.

Give your self time to do this. After doing so, whatever column has more reasons more and write ups, then that's your compelling choice. :)

Thanks Tidus your idea is quite powerful.

Here is my brain dump

"What's the BEST thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club"

Much improved financial situation
New skills and experience
New colleagues
Possible further opportunities, further work
New friends
Access to new knowledge

"What's the BEST thing that could ever happen if I join the contracting club"

No job after 6 months
Hateful environment / bad people
Don't like the drive, more wear + tear on car
No more employer pension (8%)
Miss old colleagues
Hit a blind alley / get stuck on a problem / failure