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Consultant Opportunity: Seeking advice
Old 06-26-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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Consultant Opportunity: Seeking advice

Well, after just over a year of blissful retirement... my old account has approached me directly to do some consulting on a project for them.

I still need to find out more regarding the project, but since I have no experience as an independent consultant... I thought I'd ask for some general advice from the forum on the pro's/con's of doing this kind of work.

This is what I've come up with so far...

Pro's
- The project could be interesting.
- I might have the opportunity to work with some old friends.

Cons
- I'm not sure how well I would adjust to a Schedule/Boss after being free for a year.
- The project would kill my summer.
- I might have to work for/with people I didn't like when I WAS there.

Neutral
- Don't really need the work or money.
- Not sure how to place a value on my service.
- Not sure if a contract is involved for work/performance... or how to safeguard my interests if there is.
- Not sure how this would effect my overall tax situation. (I fear that it may be more trouble than it's worth - after taxes.)

Any thoughts
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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If retirement is blissful why are you considering working?
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Just some quick thoughts:

Tax question - could you arrive at a total $ amount for consultation rather than hourly? $ rather than time. Decide at what amount you would say yes.

Would you be able to some/most of the effort from home?

Know all the details before deciding.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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If it were me, I would insist on a contract to make clear liability and other expectations/obligations of each party; would expect to be paid at typical consulting rates for my particular specialty (probably something like $130-$150/hr for me); and make sure you understand the tax implications for you as an independent contractor (eg FICA, SS impact, etc).
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
If retirement is blissful why are you considering working?
You know?!?... YOU'RE RIGHT!!!

I just needed to write it down - and have someone else point out the obvious.

I guess I struggled with it only because I was flattered that they asked... my natural reaction was to "serve" them with a smile.

This is especially unsettling, since they treated me like a steaming pile of poo while I worked there.

Now I know why abused spouses return... yikes!

I'll do my best to respectfully and politely turn them down.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
This is especially unsettling, since they treated me like a steaming pile of poo while I worked there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
I'll do my best to respectfully and politely turn them down.
I'd say the former makes the "respectfully and politely" portion of the latter entirely optional...
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I just needed to write it down - and have someone else point out the obvious.

I guess I struggled with it only because I was flattered that they asked... my natural reaction was to "serve" them with a smile.
This is probably more common than you realize, and your reaction was normal IMHO. Feeling wanted and having your positive attributes acknowledged is a great feeling. As someone once said to me, you need to keep in mind that this is their problem and your retirement...

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I'd say the former makes the "respectfully and politely" portion of the latter entirely optional...
Being nice usually works out best...
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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Good decision. Your time is yours, now, and you have earned it. There is no reason to consult if you don't want to, since you do not need the money.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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Being nice usually works out best...
Yes, but it's often so lacking in personal satisfaction!!!

One option would be to not get back to them with a reply - and be unavailable when they called.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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I did a few projects after I retired and had about the same pros and cons you did. I quickly discovered that I retired for a reason - I didn't really want to work anymore. Bye bye projects.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #11
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;-)

But I understand that you might get a kick out of doing it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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Even if you wanted to work again, sounds like a poor deal. Gigs with people you don't like working with have a way of going south.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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I enjoyed my consulting, but it was on my own schedule with a boss I liked. I started a Solo 401k and was able to stuff everything in there (<$30k) so there was no immediate tax consequence. That was a consideration since DW still works. It's been a while since then, so I'm not sure I'd do it again.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
Pro's
- The project could be interesting.
- I might have the opportunity to work with some old friends.
Cons
- I'm not sure how well I would adjust to a Schedule/Boss after being free for a year.
- The project would kill my summer.
- I might have to work for/with people I didn't like when I WAS there.
Neutral
- Don't really need the work or money.
Any thoughts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
You know?!?... YOU'RE RIGHT!!!
I just needed to write it down - and have someone else point out the obvious.
This is especially unsettling, since they treated me like a steaming pile of poo while I worked there.
I'll do my best to respectfully and politely turn them down.
Better yet, tell them that you'll let them buy you lunch and gossip with you about the project. You'll be a "work for food" consultant. That way you'll accomplish the pros without having to put up with the cons.

Of course considering the way they used to treat you, I'd hate to see what's on the lunch menu...
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:22 PM   #15
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Work always "kills my summer" too, good reason not to do it, IMO.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #16
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You mentioned that one of the pros would be the possibility of working with some old friends. Every once in a while, I find myself thinking that one of the few things I miss from my old j*b was the social interaction with some of my favorite co-workers. I try to fix this by periodically meeting them for lunch. For me, it works wonders!
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #17
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Is there someone else that you could refer them to? It would be a win/win then and you wouldn't have to lose your summer.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:19 AM   #18
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Update...

Well I spoke to the VP who is heading up the project and I tried to (politely) turn down the opportunity. At which point I was asked by him to take a little time to think it over.

I told him that I would... and I suggested that I would get back to him by the end of the week.

I wish I could think of someone else to recommend... but I'm drawing a blank. They run such a lean operation that everyone else has either left or is currently overworked (except for management, that is).

My mind hasn't really changed... but I'll have lunch with an unbiased director within the company today - just to talk it over with them & hear their opinion.

Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #19
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It doesn't seem to me as if you're really ready to retire (nothing wrong with that). You might "still be there".
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
Update...

Well I spoke to the VP who is heading up the project and I tried to (politely) turn down the opportunity. At which point I was asked by him to take a little time to think it over.

I told him that I would... and I suggested that I would get back to him by the end of the week.
Careful: Don't allow flattery to make you lose sight of the facts:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeking Hobbes View Post
I guess I struggled with it only because I was flattered that they asked... my natural reaction was to "serve" them with a smile.

This is especially unsettling, since they treated me like a steaming pile of poo while I worked there.
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