WOrking in IT?

brianetz1brianetz1 St. Louis, MOPosts: 4,135 ✭✭✭
Ok for my career in IT i have been a full time employee. I am kind of looking for a new job and a headhunter is big time after me to interview for a job, but it is conract work. 17 months+ is the length, but they assure me that this is a 24 month+ contract and if i am successful i would have the ability to stay there for as long as i like.

BUT

i am not used to this contract stufff. it would be a SIGNIFICANT pay increase, but the stability worries the crap out of me. Do any of you guys in IT go the contract route and if so, how do you like it?

Comments

  • cbuckcbuck Milford, CTPosts: 5,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My wife's cousin has been doing it in the DC area for years. When its good, its good. But he has had some scary times. In todays world though, sometimes its scary anyway! I think his opinion is the good outweighs the bad. Hope that helps. Charlie
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,555 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now this story is about locality. Here almost everything is iffy because it is rural and very expensive to bring in any new service. My stepson was offered a job for 6 months at a start up at a oil reclamation business (restaurants and fast food service oil). It lasted about 9 months. Then he did contract work for some music (big names) production companies and it lasted about 6 months. He made a lot of contacts and ended up with a dream job at the areas biggest hospital, and loves it (I think we get a discount on heart transplants). The point I think I am trying to make is I would hesitate to do contract work in really rural areas.
    Bill Whittle "Look It Up"

    "I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I usually trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.”

  • benhanksbenhanks Posts: 342
    Hey JD, I have been in the IT field for about 15 years now. It has always been with the same company so I don't have much personal experience with contract work. However, a couple of friends of mine do contract work and they really enjoy it. I think the bottom line is this, if you are a hard worker and you do a good job you will (almost) always be able to find work!

    On another note, you might want to tell Big Jim about the discount on heart transplants, it sounds like he is falling apart and he would probably trade a cooler full of cigars for some work on his broken parts.
  • brianetz1brianetz1 St. Louis, MOPosts: 4,135 ✭✭✭
    benhanks:
    Hey JD, I have been in the IT field for about 15 years now. It has always been with the same company so I don't have much personal experience with contract work. However, a couple of friends of mine do contract work and they really enjoy it. I think the bottom line is this, if you are a hard worker and you do a good job you will (almost) always be able to find work!

    On another note, you might want to tell Big Jim about the discount on heart transplants, it sounds like he is falling apart and he would probably trade a cooler full of cigars for some work on his broken parts.
    this is my problem. 16 years in IT and 14 of it with the same school. Looking to move and just kinda posted my resume on Dice and got a crapton of hits and a few jobs tossed my way. The most intriguing right now is a contract job.
  • The3StogiesThe3Stogies MainePosts: 2,653 ✭✭✭✭
    I say go for it. Change is scary but if you're good at what you do, good things will happen. A few years down the road you'll probably say,"what took me so long to do this". Leave your current job on good terms though, just in case.
  • rsherman24rsherman24 Scranton, PAPosts: 3,914 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is it private contract work or through a service? I have been in the IT world for 18 years with the same company, but I see a lot of contractors. The stability is something you will have to accept. Switching jobs possibly every year. Other big area which I am sure you have considered is benefits. Usually do not get with contract work so medical insurance, retirement, life and comp insurance can eat up the salary difference.
    In the end, it is a job. I would be very cautious signing on with a contractor service or agency though. They take a good percentage of salary off the top, and have a lot of control over your work. Some services have contracts in place with companies to never allow contractors to take a job with them full time. They don't want to lose their cut.
  • WaltBasilWaltBasil El Paso, TX Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭
    I see all kind of contract jobs come and go here at Fort Bliss. Everything from IT to janitorial services. Landscaping. Someone in my office is the one responsible for getting and maintaining these contract services. Here's what I see. I see the people working as a contractor. Contracts have to be modified along the way. Big changes. Then the contracts run out. Every other day there's a new contractor company out there underbidding the current company. Lowest bidder will win. This contract company won't even have the people to support mission when they win the contract. What they are betting is that the workers in the current contract will be forced to jump ship to their company. And they are correct in their assumptions from what I see. The other option is to simply not have a job. So the new company hires them, get this, for dollars an hour lower than what they were getting paid. I'm talking jumping from $17 down to $14 (in the case of our ID Cards clerks). Thats a huge cut. But they really have no choice most of the time. It's that or no job and job searching hassles. Lots of stress for these poor folks either way they go.

    Most recent was our janitorial services. Contract ran out. We didn't have any janitorial services for about a month and a half while we modified another contract with that same company to pick up the slack for this expired contract. When we did, that contract expired about a month later. Now there is an entirely different contract company for the new one - but the same people working. Just wearing a different uniform. Getting paid less.

    This is the worst example, I'm sure. Maybe someone has some better experiences. All of our higher tech contracts are a bit more stable because of more stringent security clearance requirements. Our IT falls into that. The operators that run the ID cards section aren't as strict when it comes to the security clearances. What I see with our IT contractors is kind of the opposite. There is much better pay in the civil service or private sector side so we see a high turn over rate for those contractor positions.

    Our statistics here are probably off kilter a bit from the norm because of our large military retirement population. I see people with masters degrees who are contract employees, and they are making $35-45k/year, even though we are paying the contractor the equivalent of $60-80k per position. I think its because most of these people are already retired from some other career in law enforcement or military, and are willing to take these much lower than usual salaries because it's not their only source of income. Folks like me are just making up for the windfall that is the difference between what they were paid full time while active duty, and what retirement and/or VA compensation brings them now. As a perfect example, my wife and I have enough income coming in from our military service to have enough money to survive. But who wants to just survive? Our jobs bring in that above and beyond money.
  • MorganGeoMorganGeo Brandon, MSPosts: 2,147 ✭✭✭✭
    From my experience this past year, it is was scary to take a leap into the unknown from what I was so use to doing. I worked 10 years in public accounting and decided to go with a company into the private sector. SO glad I took the leap of faith.

    I've heard the saying that the only person that likes a change is a baby in a wet diaper. Having said that, I think if you don't take that leap of faith you will always wonder 'what if'. With risks come rewards. Just trust in yourself and you will be fine.
  • brianetz1brianetz1 St. Louis, MOPosts: 4,135 ✭✭✭
    rsherman24:
    Is it private contract work or through a service? I have been in the IT world for 18 years with the same company, but I see a lot of contractors. The stability is something you will have to accept. Switching jobs possibly every year. Other big area which I am sure you have considered is benefits. Usually do not get with contract work so medical insurance, retirement, life and comp insurance can eat up the salary difference.
    In the end, it is a job. I would be very cautious signing on with a contractor service or agency though. They take a good percentage of salary off the top, and have a lot of control over your work. Some services have contracts in place with companies to never allow contractors to take a job with them full time. They don't want to lose their cut.
    It is through a service. If the contracted rate is what i take home then i could care less what work I am doing. it is a 50% raise over what i am currently making. They offer the insurance package and the 401 is non matching, but it would lower my rate by $3 per hour if i take it. I currently am under my wife's insurance and would assume it would stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks for the last paragraph. That gives me a few things that i never really thought to ask. I assumed that the rate they were offering me was what i took home and from they way she explained it to me she gave the impression that i could sign on with them full time. Regardless those are questions that i am goign to have to ask.
  • Big''nBall''nBig''nBall''n Lincoln, NEPosts: 789 ✭✭✭✭
    Life begin at the end of your comfort zone!
    The Names Ball'n.... Big'nBall'n! 
  • camgfscamgfs Posts: 968
    Lots of good advice has already been offered.
    My brother-in-law worked in IT a long time, and eventually started his own business and is doing well. I also work in IT, but the area has so few jobs that I had to sell the house and move to another city to stay in the IT field. As for contract work, I have done some but the pay was horrible. There really isn't much for good IT jobs in my area. The full time job is a regular pay check, and that does count for something.
    I would take the contract work if I could support being out of work for short periods of time between contracts. If being out of work for a few weeks/months between contracts is not something you can't afford, then don't do it. If you can afford the down times, then go for it. You will be well rewarded and have a lot of opportunities to change things up stay interested in what you are doing.

    Best of luck to you in whatever way you go with this.
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