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Good-bye Contracting!

November 30, 2011 · 150 comments

in Personal Finance, Work

Today is my last day as a contract employee.  Tomorrow, I become an ‘actual’ employee at the company I work for. (Assuming I don’t really screw something up today…)

My job itself will not change (still part time, still working from home) except for some obnoxious things like my email address and internal IDs.  Hopefully, things will transition smoothly and tomorrow I will be able to access everything that I can today.

At first I didn’t think I would care if I was a contract employee or a ‘full-fledged’ employee.  However, now that I have officially been hired, I think my mind is changing.

Why I Am Glad I Won’t Be A Contract Employee Anymore

After going through the process of filling out forms and digging out my birth certificate to prove I am alive, I started thinking of reasons why I will prefer to be an actual employee, such as:

  1. Paid time off  (So happy about that!)
  2. Increase job stability.  (Maybe?  You never know)
  3. I won’t have to wonder if my contract will be renewed every six months or a year.
  4. No more thoughts about ‘opportunity cost‘.  Since I could work as many hours as I wanted, I always thought about how much it cost me in lost wages when I went out to lunch or ran errands.  Now, I can happily go out to lunch and not think about it.
  5. Increased career options.  As a contractor, I was pretty much stuck in the same job, and if that group didn’t need me anymore, my contract would just end.  As an employee, I will have the ability to apply for positions throughout the company if I chose to.

What I Will Miss About Being A Contract Employee

Of course, no situation is 100 percent perfect!  There are things I will miss about my contractor status:
  1. Getting paid for every hour I work.  My employment agreement is part time:  20 hours a week (my choice).  I am sure that I will be putting in more hours than that at times, and I will miss being compensated for those extra hours.
  2. Being left alone.  As a contractor, nobody cared about me.  I just did my work and the contract house would call every once in awhile and say hello.  I kind of liked that.  I know that it sounds terrible that I like to be left alone, but I really don’t want to go to mandatory training about things I have no interest in.
Overall, I think becoming an employee will be a great thing for me, even though I will still be doing the same job I have been doing on and off the last 20 years.  However, you never know what the future will bring, and I am excited that there may be more options available to me.
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{ 148 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy l November 30, 2011 at 6:12 am

I think it’s good too. Plus don’t you get other stuff too like 401k match etc.? In a few years, the kids will be out of the house and you may want to transition back to full time anyway. This will give you some Additional options.

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

There will be some positives for sure. I don’t know what my future will bring, but I do like the options I get from both a career standpoint and the financial independence standpoint. Just plan on saving the money and see what I do want to do when the kiddos are all moved out.

Reply

101 Centavos November 30, 2011 at 7:02 am

Congratulations! It probably means building up your network of contacts throughout the company. If you your work is half as good as your blog, then I expect you’ll have people offering you better opportunities within the company before too very long.

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

101- thank you so much! However, my work is actually 3.72 times BETTER than my blog! 🙂

I truly appreciate the kind words. I will say I totally have limited my own career. I guess taking many years off probably was just a ‘career accelerator’, but also saying I would work part time and from home may not have put me on the career fast track. However, I only have my kids at home for a certain amount of time, and I can focus on a career at any point I choose.

Reply

Financial Independence November 30, 2011 at 7:05 am

Congratulations! You achieved what you want! This is probably the most important thing – sense of achievement.
I have put additional 1000 hours over last two years at my “actual employee” job to get a promotion and a raise $2,000 a year : -). Now I have to stick for another 5-7 years to get any return on my investments.
Joking aside, the only thing you will be missing is opportunity to work more hours and being paid for it. But than, having 3 kids it is a job in itself. So you are very adventurous mom!

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

I am adventurous- the mom job is a great thing! 🙂

Your additional hours will definitely pay off. Even if you don’t ‘see it’, I am sure you learned a lot during those hours and can put that experience to great use in the future!

Reply

Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 30, 2011 at 8:50 am

Congratulations on the change! Overall, this does sound like a great opportunity that I’m happy you are able to take advantage of. I think in such situations, there’s a “grass is always greener…” aspect to contend with. Still, it sounds like this is the right decision for now. Cheers!

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thanks Shawn. I think it will work out fine since the work is the same. We will see though when things get crazy busy and I am working way too much!

Reply

Jacq November 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

YAY for you Kris! There’s always upsides and downsides to (almost) everything, so I’m very happy for you.

Here’s another few upsides: If you’re sick, you still get paid. Less year-end accounting to do. Easier tax return at the end of the year…

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

Thanks Jacq! Actually, taxes are the same for me regardless because I still got a W-2 from my contract house. (I was not an independent contractor.)

Great point about the sick days by the way. I sure could have used those a few times over the past few years. Can I take a ‘tired’ day today??

Reply

Little House November 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

Congratulations! It sounds like this is a great opportunity for future promotions and stability. Good luck tomorrow 😉 .

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thanks Little House. I am quite nervous that my access to the applications will be messed up, but who knows.

Reply

Financial Samurai November 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

Congrats on the full time gig! I assume that means full time health insurance too and stuff?

Now you can go on VACAY on the companies dime! That’s the real perk! lol

Sam

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

Oh, I am still a part time person, so no benefits for me!

However, the vacation part is fantastic!!!

Reply

Krantcents November 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

It is almost always better to be a regular employee unless you are a consultant. The hourly rate makes up for the differences. Congratulations.

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Thanks KC! I just backed up all my files in case I lose access tomorrow! 🙂

Reply

MoneyCone November 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Been there Kris! Contracting is great if you are single and have no or little commitments. But being an employee has its benefits. When things get tight, contractors are the first to go!

Congrats Kris!

Reply

Kris November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thank you Mr. Cone.

It seems that things almost go in waves. I have seen some companies let a bunch of ‘regular’ employees go and then bring in contractors. Then that may not work out, and then the contractors are booted and people are hired back again!

Reply

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager November 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Congrats! Hopefully you really will have a smooth transition!

Reply

Christa November 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Congrats! Sounds like many opportunities could open up based on this new status!

Reply

Marks@ Car Insurance November 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Most people resort to being a contract employee after loosing their permanent jobs. Some consider the changes subtle but others would probably disagree. Because many companies prefer to hire an employee for a certain talent, they also choose to have a contract employee for a clear and mutual understanding that they can do a certain job for as long as the job is still available or the individual still wishes to continue his/her job.

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Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter December 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Congrats on the job. I too have done contract work in the past and I can say there are definite perks to being an employee. I hope you like it.

Reply

Kris December 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thanks Miss T. So far so good- just one little access issue and everything else was great!

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