Author Topic: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job  (Read 1161 times)

Valvore

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Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« on: February 04, 2019, 09:22:11 AM »
Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job

Sorry for long post. Feel free to skip the additional info below and enter your own thoughts and opinions.

Background - DH was let go from dream job last year after (big huge successful) company was forced to stop operations in AZ.  He only worked there for 6 months but it had everything you could want (great benefits, flexible schedule, engaging work, right amount of travel). Only issue was that the pay wasn't excellent at 50K, but we were A-OK with that because of the unlimited PTO(!) and other amazing perks.

Current job - DH took another job a month after being let go for less pay and a lower title/less responsibility. Decent company with meh benefits. He had to strongly negotiate for 48K. Strongly dislikes the actual work he does (it is below his skills and aptitude) but really loves his coworkers. Low stress job overall. The company mislead him to believe that he could easily move up in a short amount of time at the company. Quickly found out that you cannot be promoted until at least 1 year with company. He has been there 6 months and they wont even allow him to interview for the position that has had 3 openings in his time there. (Open position is same work at previous company and exactly in DH capabilities). Not only that, if he were to get the new position he cannot receive more that a 10% raise (and I highly doubt they would even do that much). Let's say for arguments sake in 6 months, if he got the new job, he would be making 52K.

New Offer - As I said, DH had DREAM JOB last year and misses it oh so much. A contract agency reached out to him for the same type of job at a competing company. Both companies are big and wonderful companies to work for, though this one may actually be better than old company (more established, less controversy, better policies/practices). He wouldn't be working directly for new company, but for the contracting firm. It is a one-year contract but the interviewers at the new company said most contractors (>90%) are hired on directly after their contract expires. Therefore there is a good chance that this time next year, DH could be working directly for new fabulous company at much higher salary with amazing benefits.

Dilemma - Contracting agency is offering (32/hr) 67K plus time and a half of over time (48/hr). Poor benefits, expensive medical, no 401K match. ZERO PTO for first 6 months and then only 6 holidays after that. I assume there is required sick PTO because of federal law but they said nothing of other vacation of personal PTO. The work hours should be flexible but min 40/hr per week required.

Our decision - We have made a decision but I wanted to get this community's opinions on this situation. We decided DH would take the new job for the following reasons 1) Savings rate in 2018 was not our best (too much travel). New salary could help us achieve our 2019 goals AND make up for 2018 shortfall. 2)This is his only opportunity to get in with new amazing stellar company. It isn't 100% that he will get hired on after, but we would likely regret passing up opportunity. 3) We took too many vacations last year so we need to buckle down anyway and start saving for adoption and genetic offspring (flexible plan to start trying for baby in Summer 2020, and would like to adopt by 2023[$$] ) 4) DH was out of the workforce for school and has been unable to regain his salary from the military which was ~55K five years ago. This is a big chance to get him to (and above) the salary he should be making (which I estimate to be around 62K)

I'm afraid because - 1) We cherish our vacation time above all else. We usually do one big (2 week) and ~3 long weekend (3-4 days) vacations per year. (Please resist face punches. We do these cheap with travel points, budgeting, planning, etc. I am comfortable with amount spent on travel, excluding last year where we double our travel because job changes/special circumstances). DH says he can go a year without a vacay but I know him and he will be a stress ball around month five. 2) If DH isn't offered a permanent position with new fab company, he will be on the hunt again looking for job #4 in two years. And we may be forced again to accept a meh offer just so he can start working 3) DH could be trading a low stress (albeit unfulfilling job) for a high stress/risky high paying job. 4) We may be opening ourselves up to lifestyle inflation. We are DINK household and could meet our 2019 goals if we just don't repeat last year's vacation craziness. I have noticed that our savings rate was actually much better when we made less. Possibility this raise hurt us more than help us. #Firstworldproblems



bacchi

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 10:20:31 AM »
First, don't believe anything the recruiter says unless it's written down. This may be a one-off project and the 90% hire rate may be total bunk.

Second, this sounds like a W2 job with the agency. Correct?

Third, DH can always take off vacay, unpaid.

neo von retorch

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 10:26:20 AM »
When comparing two jobs with salary/hourly wage, benefits (health insurance premiums, 401k, etc) you need a spreadsheet to make a decision. Of course, the real difference in quality-of-life will probably depend more on commute and how you feel about the work you're doing and the people you're working with.

For what it's worth - I switched from 1099 to W2 at my current job, taking a big pay-cut, but getting benefits -- including 30 PTO / year. I had such a hard time taking off work when it meant "not getting paid." It wasn't the best financial decision; it was more psychological. But given the numbers you're putting up, I would think 48K -> 67K would be worth it. If the benefits/PTO becomes a problem, start up a job hunt. But in the short-term, it should work out.

mm1970

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 10:39:22 AM »
When comparing two jobs with salary/hourly wage, benefits (health insurance premiums, 401k, etc) you need a spreadsheet to make a decision. Of course, the real difference in quality-of-life will probably depend more on commute and how you feel about the work you're doing and the people you're working with.

For what it's worth - I switched from 1099 to W2 at my current job, taking a big pay-cut, but getting benefits -- including 30 PTO / year. I had such a hard time taking off work when it meant "not getting paid." It wasn't the best financial decision; it was more psychological. But given the numbers you're putting up, I would think 48K -> 67K would be worth it. If the benefits/PTO becomes a problem, start up a job hunt. But in the short-term, it should work out.

I would do this.

Yes to the leave without pay.

That's only about $4000, if he took 3 weeks off without pay.

But the different benefits may change the equation.

Valvore

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 11:06:00 AM »
This job would be a W-2 job with the contracting company. I love unpaid vacation, but it seems the contract "requires" 40hr/week so I'm not sure if there is flexibility since that is the agreement the contracting firm has with the super great company. Quality of life is such a difficult thing to judge. I guess the main question here is do you sacrifice quality of life for one year if it means a big pay bump and opportunity for better quality of life in the future. Sacrifice one year now to make the rest of our FIRE journey (8 more years) a breeze?

@bacchi - The 90%+ hire rate came from the super great company who interviewed DH directly. 

@neo von retorch - Thanks for the insight. Benefits comparison isn't that important to us since both jobs don't have great options. DH would decline medical since he has coverage from the VA. Which isn't great but free. He already regularly use the VA and we used secondary medical to cover important things like secondary opinions on important medical issues. We could deal with only VA for a year and then put him on my insurance.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 11:26:56 AM »
Third, DH can always take off vacay, unpaid.

I wouldn't make any assumptions. Some places don't allow unpaid leave. It's the same as resigning.

(Same thing with the OP's "I assume there is sick time."- I wouldn't assume anything. I'd find out the policy.  I've worked places where there was no paid sick time, and if you didn't find a sub for your shift you could lose your job. It was insane. I quit as soon as I could.)

bacchi

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 11:27:50 AM »
I love unpaid vacation, but it seems the contract "requires" 40hr/week so I'm not sure if there is flexibility since that is the agreement the contracting firm has with the super great company.

All of my "full time" contracts required 40/week but I often billed fewer and took weeks of vacation. If the client is ok with it, the agency won't say anything, and the manager at the client will/should recognize that people need vacation time.

(It depends on the type of work, of course. Working for UPS in December and expecting a vacation before the 25th is a dream.)

Of course, if the client manager doesn't let DH take any vacation over a year, it's a good thing to know that before transitioning to a full-time employee.



tl;dr I wouldn't worry about it. The agency is interested in maximizing hours. The client wants the work done with as little pay as possible. Follow the client's lead -- get the work done and ask for vacation.

robartsd

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 11:56:51 AM »
I'd take the contract agency job. Due to the high costs of hiring bad employees, plenty of firms choose to use contracting agencies for most of their hiring. The conversion rate may well be real if the client has an ongoing need. There is also a good chance that the client would allow unpaid leave if it can be taken without jeopardizing getting their work done. Best case: client is great to work for, compensates well, and hires directly after contract. Worst case: looking for a job again in a year with a nice boost to previous salary that could be useful in negotiating future compensation (plus all that extra savings over the year).

Valvore

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 01:16:24 PM »
Thank you all for the insight! Contracting is a new and strange world to us. As I said in my OP, we already made our decision to take the contract job, but what's been added here has been helpful in alleviating some of our concerns. We can survive worst case scenario, but it sounds like there is a good chance there might be a middle ground between best case/worst case. DH has orientation on 2/25. I'll try to check back in with an update after that.

One day I hope we can start with awesome new company benefits and recieve 15 days of PTO (20 days after 3 years and 25 days after 5 years) + unlimited sick. Not to mention paternity leave which is so hard to come by.

lhamo

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 01:26:30 PM »
If he has some autonomy over his schedule he could always consider doing 4-10s (at least a couple of weeks in a row a few times a year) -- that would give you some 3-4 day weekends off to work with.

I think it is worth the risk -- his current company sounds really sucky to work for.  I mean who doesn't promote from within when they have people who fit the bill?  WAAAAY too rigid/bureacratic for my tastes....

Jesstache

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 05:02:13 PM »
I've done contracting through an agency as a W2 employee.  They actually paid "one week" vacation but we'd usually cash it out as soon as we'd hit 40 hours and then take all vacations as unpaid leave, it all comes out in the wash.  You just factor that your vacation is going to cost X more due to loss of pay.  My husband and I were both working for a place like this when we got married and were able to get a 6 week honeymoon approved.  Don't regret that one for a second.  Plus, one HUGE perk you don't seem as excited about as you should be is time and a half OT, take as much advantage of that as you can before kids come into the picture.  It really adds up.  If the hours are flexible, you can easily do lots of long weekend trips that aren't unpaid by working 10 hour days M-TH, take off Fri-Mon and then work 10 hour days Tues-Fri.  Best of luck!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Would you take a 19K raise for no vacation? 1 year contract job
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 07:48:06 AM »
If he has some autonomy over his schedule he could always consider doing 4-10s (at least a couple of weeks in a row a few times a year) -- that would give you some 3-4 day weekends off to work with.

I think it is worth the risk -- his current company sounds really sucky to work for.  I mean who doesn't promote from within when they have people who fit the bill?  WAAAAY too rigid/bureaucratic for my tastes....

This is what I do all the time, to get extra long weekends in addition to normal vacation time. I work on average 1-1,5 hour extra a day and can sometimes take extra days off.

It sounds like his current company is only taking advantage of him, by preventing him from applying for another role internally.