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Burning Question - Leaving Perm for Contract

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by techgeekwill, May 16, 2010.

  1. May 16, 2010 at 7:52 AM
    #1
    techgeekwill

    techgeekwill [OP] Captain Funk

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    Got a tough decision to make.

    Right now, I'm working for a County Agency. Stable job, decent benefits, company truck, easy. Problem is, I am underpaid, and underemployed.

    I've been here since December, before that, I was unemployed for 5 months. Its a decent job, but it's a step back for me. However, it's stable. Unless I thoroughly screw up, I'll be here forever. Although, I'm barely making ends meet. I must work 50 hours a week to break even, and the overtime isn't always there.

    Now, ever since I started, i've been approached monthly about other positions. Finally I bit the bullet and interviewed for one for craps and giggles. Lo and Behold, I got an offer. And it's for $20k more a year, not including OT.

    Problem is, it's a long term contract. 6-12 months, W2. It's also with a company that is about to merge with another company. However, the reason for the merger is for the segment where I would be working. The contract agency has multiple other contractors that have been there for a long time, and are slowing converting, so it seems stable. Although it's still a contract job, and there are always layoffs during a merger.

    Benefits aren't a big issue, we can purchase them through my spouses company for the same as what I'm paying anyway. I will lose the retirement benefits for now (I'm only 25 anyway). The only thing I'll really lose is the stability (And the free truck/gas :) ).

    Really at a loss as to what I should do. Right now, we get by, although I'm going to have to let go of my Tacoma. It's tough, and we can't save, or really work on paying down debt. This other job would let me save, pay off debt and keep the Taco. But, the stability is questionable.

    There is a twist however. Two new positions where I am now have opened up. I'll be interviewing for them tomorrow. Problem is, there will likely be numerous other people with more tenure going for the same positions. Chances of getting one are low, but it would get me back on track and equal a pay raise. The other thing I'm planning to do is ask for a raise.

    I don't want to leave, I like it (Mostly), but my hand is being forced financially.
     
  2. May 16, 2010 at 8:15 AM
    #2
    AeroCooper

    AeroCooper Half the strength of ten (microscopic men)

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    I also work IT for a county. It doesn't pay much, but truthfully, I've never had a 'great' paying job. For me, it pays the bills and leaves enough for the toys I want, so I'm happy. It's an easy job, and secure.
    For me, the extra money wouldn't offset the security of a 'real' job in this economy. I've read too many horror stories of people being out of work for years at a time, with good educations. Again, for me, it's an easy choice, because the potential money lost between jobs, plus the stress of wondering where the next check is coming from just wouldn't be worth the extra money made at a temp job.

    Now if I could find a stable full time job with better pay, I'd be all over that! :D
    And then again, you live in TX, while I am in VT. Big difference there as far as available IT jobs.
     
  3. May 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM
    #3
    techgeekwill

    techgeekwill [OP] Captain Funk

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    The job I was laid off of paid $10k more than what I have now. Of course, there is overtime, but it's hard to come by, then there's a mandatory 7% out of your check for retirement. After paying the mortgage, car payments, insurance and other bills, it doesn't leave much. I can't save, or start paying down debt.

    Where I am now, the only time someone has left is either by their own will, or by royally screwing up. It's government work, but it's funded by FEMA and 911 service charges, so we aren't subject to "Budget Cuts" either. I can see myself staying here until I retire with a very nice retirement.

    On the other hand. Career wise, it's kind of killing it. Hardly able to get my hands on anything I have experience with. I am learning more telco/network stuff, but not enough to be a network engineer or something. And the money.

    This other offer would let me get back into a field I've got experience with, and expand my career faster. I could be in a number of places in 5 years vs same place if I stay.

    But, it all comes down to stability. I've worked two contract jobs before. The first didn't have a concrete convert date, and the second was a 90-day. This one is 12 months tops.

    I'm kind of leaning to the higher one. I'd be working with specialized software that only two other guys have experience with. Would seem pointless to hire and train someone on it, only to let them go.

    Still up in the air. Need to give them an answer tomorrow.
     
  4. May 20, 2010 at 9:48 AM
    #4
    techgeekwill

    techgeekwill [OP] Captain Funk

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    Took the job. First purchase with new found money - Muffler.
     
  5. May 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM
    #5
    thebigk

    thebigk 6 Double 5 3 2 1

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    I've been in FT IT for going on 7yrs. I get contract offers all the time from 6mos to 2 yrs.

    But I'm a chicken LOL Hard for me to give up my retirement, great insurance, and accrued sick time and vacation to make a little more $$$$
     
  6. May 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM
    #6
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    Good luck and hope it works for you!
     
  7. May 20, 2010 at 2:03 PM
    #7
    techgeekwill

    techgeekwill [OP] Captain Funk

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    I have age on my side when it comes to making the move, although I've still got to feed/cloth/house a family. I can pickup retirement in a year or so and be OK.

    I'm making sure I don't burn my bridges here though.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2010 at 12:34 PM
    #8
    scottri

    scottri Well-Known Member

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    I've been in IT for 15 years both FTE and contract, you can make a lot more money on the contract side, just make sure you go through a good agency, I use TekSystems here in Portland and they have been really good. There are some limitations with being a contractor but the money outweighs them. It's a great way to get a lot of experience with a lot of different technology and envioronments. Oregon is an "at will" state so being an FTE doesn't really have any benefit. I make about 30 or 40% more than most FTE's do for the same job. I get benefits through my wife's employer. I also had OT written into my contract after having worked some 80 and 100 hour weeks. Now I love when OT is offered, it's not normally paid at time and a half on white collar contracts. They say we make too much to have to pay OT.
     
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