Since getting laid off in February 2009 (damn you Great Recession!), I’ve been doing contract work and getting unemployment between gigs to make ends meet. I’ve been a contractor at my current plantation since last July. Working contract is great in one way because the money is normally very nice if you have a good hourly rate. The downside is that if you don’t work you don’t get paid, so there’s no vacation or sick time. My 401K is still at my old employer and I haven’t made any contributions to it at all. And of course contractors get no benefits, and if they are offered through your agency, they are HELLA expensive and bare bones policies at best. While no job is EVER truly permanent, there are some benefits to being a full time employee. And right about now, my priorities and thought processes have definitely shifted from where I was as single woman to where I am now as a wife and hopefully, a mother.
My manager came to me yesterday with an offer to come aboard full time, but it was several thousand dollars less than my annualized contract rate. She mentioned that she’d love to have me come on full time but wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay contract based on what she was able to offer me. The single me would have probably gotten an anxiety attack trying to make the best decision so that I could pay the bills. The married me was able to call her husband and walk through the pros and cons and run down the hard dollar figures related to going permanent vs staying as a contractor. It’s a wonderful, fabulous, marvelous thing to have someone by your side to help you make important life decisions.
After I talked to hubs, I floated the scenario to my Twitter peeps and the majority of the responses were in favor of taking the lower base salary permanent job as opposed to staying contract. Apparently, stability, vacation, benefits and 401Ks are what’s hot in these employment streets right about now! LMAO!!!! And many thanks to The Travel Diva for this informative post that helped me do an apples to apples comparison. Ya’ll know I’m an accountant so I had to work it out!
So I’m curious as to what ya’ll would say: contract gig at higher rate but no benefits or full time job that pays pretty decently (but less than a contract gig) with benefits/vacation time/ holidays/401K??