Leaving full time job for 1 year contract?

ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey all,


At a bit of an impasse here and could use some advice or guidance. I currently work as a network administrator for a small company but am underpaid for my current skill-set (38k/yr 4 years experience ) with decent benefits a 6% 401k match and short commute, I was recently offered a contract position for 60k/yr position for a large ISP but with no benefits and a 1hr commute.

Now I am weighing the pros/cons of the situation and from what I can tell my experience will not grow at my current position nor will my salary significantly except for COL raises, Taking the contract position is risky because of the lack of benefits and I am not sure if the contract is fixed period or AT-WILL, I am somewhat leaning toward the contract position to just get the experience then hopefully be in a better position next year to get a higher paying position. What would the intelligent folks here do in my situation?

I am 25 BTW and stay in the midwest
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Comments

  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Posts: 1,623Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well, it is tough to say. Have you been looking for other positions beyond this? Basically everything is "at will" with a few rare exceptions. I would say, take it... you seem like you want to. Then, start looking for your next job right away. That doesn't mean become super active in your search, but start building your network up, getting familiar with companies that hire a bit more frequently (larger companies) and see what positions are out there. Unless there is some contractual penalty for you if you leave the contract position early, I would be seriously looking with 6 months to go, but I would always have something on the burner (I try to do this all of the time, anyhow). Some places that decide to offer you a position can take a really long time. I remember one place, I applied in February and interviewers within a week. They offered the position to me... it took until mid-May before my start date. Other places will more will move more quickly.
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  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,031Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    What's your nest-egg look like? If you worked one day at the new place and they said "sorry, we lost the contract", how long can you go without a job? Jumping to contracting is fine but you have to be prepared for the worst as well.
  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    Take the contract. An opportunity like that only comes once every four years.
  • xxxkaliboyxxxxxxkaliboyxxx Posts: 466Member
    Remedymp wrote: »
    Take the contract. An opportunity like that only comes once every four years.

    Like Trump!!!!

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  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,235Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Get the contract, get the experience and move on to better biiger things in 1 year if the contract doesnt get extended. You are young, take chances now, it will be more difficult later on.

    You dont want to be 28 and go to a new position for 50k. You want to be 28 and go to a new position with 80-90k and this role will get you there.
    Make your moves to those stepping stones when you are young so you can have the stable big paying jobs when you get older and have a family to support.
  • xxxkaliboyxxxxxxkaliboyxxx Posts: 466Member
    So I won't be accused of not contributing.

    Is the contract position a level up in responsibility and title or a lateral move with a pay raise?

    I don't see nothing wrong risking it to go after a contract, but make sure you are on your grind when you get there aa far as job searches go. That contract could end at any moment so make sure you have back up plans. Start saving now because you might be out of a job for a little and let your current employer make you a counter-offer. Doesn't hurt to hear them out.
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  • CiscoASA2202CiscoASA2202 Posts: 51Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would do it, if its more money and more exposure to actual technology you're going to need to learn. You would advance father than staying in a current comfy role
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 945Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Like Trump!!!!
    Thanks everyone, i'll be here all week.
    Bwahahaha :]

    As for the original post:
    Current job = $38k
    New Job = $60k

    ~If you take the new job... it will take you 7.6 months to earn/match the initial $38k.
    Every day/dollar after that is GRAVY.
    (put it in the bank)

    As for your 6% match...
    that's actually only $2,280 annually (pre-tax).
    But your new job is gonna pay over $20k more...

    Lastly,
    you already admitted that you've hit the ceiling at your current gig.


    So...... what exactly is the question here??
    lol


    If you think you can make it (at least) 7.6 months... then TAKE the new job.
    LEARN as much as you can during your stay.

    When you get towards the end of the contract (T minus 90 days),
    start looking for a new Job.

    (preferably one with a SHORTER commute)
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project Posts: 2,444Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I personally would consider it if you are okay with the commute. I myself have issues driving long distance, so for me it would be a no go. When I was 25, I could easily handle that commute so under that assumption I would do it. I wouldn't make a decision based off of fear of losing the contract unless you have some really good intelligence in regards to this contract.

    Just recently I had the chance to take a 2 year contract for ~ 100, but the wife wasn't back at work yet, just had a child. Now that she is back at work full time (nurse) I am down for any contract work that is projected at 1 year or longer. I would even consider a 6 month contract if it paid REALLY good hourly relatively speaking.

    There was a point in time where we thought she was going to remain at home longer so the stability of a corporate job was a huge requirement, but now since we decided she head back (weekend nights) option and makes just as much as me with excellent benefits (nursing union) I am going to get a lot more aggressive with my work efforts.

    Some items I am curious about:

    From your understanding will you be taking on additional duties and building up your skill sets?
    Will you get an elevated title?
    How will you secure health insurance? Go through a broker?
    How long have you been at your current job? You mention 4 years of experience. Is that 4 at your current gig as a network administrator or some other IT just like help desk etc?

    Obviously they can let you go on a contract, but a large enterprise can rift a position and get rid of someone as well in most states.

    Kali provided some financials that are telling as well.

    I think your thought about 1 year makes sense, I would be willing to bet if you do even a decent job they will keep you for longer than 1 year so you should be safe. At 60 you aren't exactly killing the budget for most decent companies. For a lot of companies 60 is what college graduates who can negotiate well are getting paid.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Benefits are expensive. If you include the benefits, you're making less money with the contract position.
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    I was thinking the same as dave330i. Add in the long commute and I'd pass it up for sure personally.
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  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,031Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    There isn't enough information to say if the benefits are worth the difference or not. How many vacation days wasn't mentioned. Health insurance for a single 25 year old is worth less than it is for a married 25 year-old with three kids. 401k matching is worth more when you contribute than when you don't, etc.
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 CCNA R/S, CCNA Sec, Net+, Sec+, MTA Posts: 564Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess it depends on your finances. I would love an opportunity like that but with a family I need a bit more of an incentive to walk away from a stable job- even one that didn't pay well. Couple that with wear and tear on your car and overall lack of benefits and you're almost back where you are now. I left a a full time job to take a 1YR contract but it was 3x my salary at the time AND it had benefits. In your case you may want to stay put and look elsewhere. Just my thoughts.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,232Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    EANx wrote: »
    There isn't enough information to say if the benefits are worth the difference or not. How many vacation days wasn't mentioned. Health insurance for a single 25 year old is worth less than it is for a married 25 year-old with three kids. 401k matching is worth more when you contribute than when you don't, etc.
    Agreed. The new job might also be a specialty the OP is trying to get into, which sometimes you have to flex to get your foot in the door. Also, would they be a W2 to a contracting company who deals with their side of the taxes or a straight 1099, a lot of things to consider. FWIW, I took a contract role with a longer commute after a nice cozy place with a walk-able commute to specialize. Within 2 years I had a better schedule, hired as a full employee and have almost doubled my old salary with benefits. It's not always a bad deal.
  • ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    So I will be getting an elevated title as network engineer with more responsibilities, I currently have 2.5 weeks vacation and contribute 6% to my 401k. I hope that a large ISP will give me more experience than working with 4 routers and a few switches at my current position lol.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,235Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would take the contract, on your next job you can contribute more to your 401k if you want to catch up any missing contributions. You need to increase your skills and take chances when you are young.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,013Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    I hope that a large ISP will give me more experience than working with 4 routers and a few switches at my current position lol.
    If part of your goal is to get more experience - it sounds like a good opportunity. But I would echo what others said - there are other intangibles. It sounds like you may have already made up your mind - icon_smile.gif For me - I probably would pass at this stage in my family life. But from the tidbits that you shared, if I was at a different stage - I would jump at it.

    Good luck.
  • RemedympRemedymp Posts: 834Member
    OP: Do you have a degree or certs you're in pursuit of?icon_confused.gif:
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Posts: 532Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Things I'd consider:

    38K vs. 60K after taxes - increase in commute expenses, vehicle maintenance, health costs (have to have healthcare now... thanks obama), & continuing your 401k (are you?)

    I'm not thinking you'll come out too much more ahead doing this, maybe 10K after taxes. Which is big, don't get me wrong, for being 25 without a family to look after.

    The shiney new title & opportunities are the main reason to consider driving an extra hour one way, but I've done it and it gives you a great opportunity to listen to pod-casts that are tech-related, or nuggets on your phone. Use this time wisely. Plus, being a contractor, I think you get to deduct vehicle maintenance on your taxes so...

    Are you after any certs or continued education? Will they give you the opportunity to be hired on after or before the end of the year's timeframe?

    If you do it right, and take the gig, make extra scratch and put the time and money towards certs or furthering your education, you could use this contractor gig to really vault yourself into a whole other atmosphere in terms of your professional orbit.
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  • ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am currently after my CEH and Associates in cyber security.
  • xxxkaliboyxxxxxxkaliboyxxx Posts: 466Member
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    I am currently after my CEH and Associates in cyber security.

    Take it from me, you may want to stay a little longer at your current position if you have ample time to study and pursuit certifications.

    I went from desktop support where I only worked 4 days a week (2 on weekends) to managment where I have no time for anything. While in desktop support I was going to college full time and studying for my C|EH. Now in management I had to drop my classes and i'm lucky if I get 7 hours a week of studying for the C|EH.

    Don't be hasty to jump if you are currently close to your cert, you might not have time in your new job. That 2 hour commute time will cut into your studying and college classes.
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  • ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I should've mentioned I am a CCNP RS
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project Posts: 2,444Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I did some research on security certifications ~6 months ago.

    As you can imagine the CISSP was number 1 at ~38% of all security jobs either required or preferred. C|EH was number two at ~10% of all security jobs required or preferred. The only exception I could fine was the OSCP was ~45% for pen tester and senior pen tester position along with the CISSP for pen testers / seniors nearly at the same percentage

    Long story short, CISSP is a must for most security positions, it just makes a lot of sense. C|EH while ~28 % less sought after, it's still pretty dang robust. 10% is a lot!
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Posts: 532Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    I should've mentioned I am a CCNP RS

    PSH! Oh yeah, I bet you're dying to be challenged. How you a CCNP making only 38k with 4 years experience? You get complacent?
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  • ThexzenoThexzeno Posts: 44Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have grown somewhat complacent, The short commute was easily one of the top reasons I really wanted to stay at my current position, The other half being that most jobs now don't have any mid-level network engineer positions so for a good 2 years everything I looked for desired a bachelors degree regardless of experience or certifications.So now I'm stuck with having to go back to school for 4 years while not gaining any more experience in my current position or take a chance like the one I mentioned above.
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Posts: 532Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You definitely have a head-start. Most of the CCNP's I've known were in their mid-thirties at least. You might look at WGU after you finish your associates. I'm sure with your experience you could breeze right through a considerable portion of their stuff for the BS of IT Sec. That's what I plan to do. Going to work on getting certs now while saving for the tuition so I can kill it quick.
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  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Posts: 1,860Member
    Yeah, I'm confused by a lot of this, with a CCNP and experience, you should be way past 38k. I think 60k sounds about right. I would also highly recommend working for an ISP in Networking. That is a very unique experience that most network guys do not have. My experience at a Wireless provider really sets me apart.

    I would give that commute a LOT of thought. It sounds ok at first, but it can get old REAL quick.
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  • joshmadakorjoshmadakor Posts: 495Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    Hey all,


    At a bit of an impasse here and could use some advice or guidance. I currently work as a network administrator for a small company but am underpaid for my current skill-set (38k/yr 4 years experience ) with decent benefits a 6% 401k match and short commute, I was recently offered a contract position for 60k/yr position for a large ISP but with no benefits and a 1hr commute.

    Now I am weighing the pros/cons of the situation and from what I can tell my experience will not grow at my current position nor will my salary significantly except for COL raises, Taking the contract position is risky because of the lack of benefits and I am not sure if the contract is fixed period or AT-WILL, I am somewhat leaning toward the contract position to just get the experience then hopefully be in a better position next year to get a higher paying position. What would the intelligent folks here do in my situation?

    I am 25 BTW and stay in the midwest

    What's your commute now? Less than 1 hour? Commuting really sucks and no benefits is a red flag to me. Don't do it IMO
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  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 945Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Thexzeno wrote: »
    I have grown somewhat complacent, The short commute was easily one of the top reasons I really wanted to stay at my current position, The other half being that most jobs now don't have any mid-level network engineer positions so for a good 2 years everything I looked for desired a bachelors degree regardless of experience or certifications.So now I'm stuck with having to go back to school for 4 years while not gaining any more experience in my current position or take a chance like the one I mentioned above.

    Complacency is the Phantom Menace of Life.
    (i just made that up. lol)

    How close (credits) are you to completing your Associates degree?
    The only way i'd stay put is if i'm actively taking 2-3 classes per semester AND my employer is giving me decent flexibility with my schedule.

    But if you're not even enrolled.... then get the hell outta there.

    TAkE the Job... DON'T take the job... it doesn't really matter.
    You need to move-on from your current employer, regardless.

    Complacency is getting the best of you right now :\
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCPosts: 889Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    W2 or 1099? If 1099, you're going to be on the hook for all the taxes, and then your pay won't really be all that much more. But if W2, it's a great opportunity to expand your skills and grow.
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