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Employment Situation in 2015
Old 01-05-2015, 07:20 AM   #1
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Employment Situation in 2015

I have a dilemma. I'll try to be as brief. I'm rounding numbers to make this as clear as possible.

For 10 years I worked for megacorp. Salary increases lagged the CPI each year. The benefits were good, but not extraordinary. In the past two years I was laid off, and the last one was permanent. I've been out of there for almost a year.

I'll use an hourly rate to simplify. I made $40/hour. (401k + Vacation + Holidays and other things probably added 15% value to the hourly number.)

To return, the initial offer is approximately 20-25% less, per hour. There is no stipulation of hours to be worked, meaning there might be 0 or 40 hours in a given week. The job would no longer be a salary, but some type of on-call relationship. There are no benefits.

It is difficult for me to consider this objectively. The situation has been evolving for some time, so I've been chewing on possible outcomes for a while. This is not the best outcome, obviously. In the coming year I may be able to earn this amount of money in a few months of contract work.

I believe what is best for me is to simply say I am available for $40/hour. I'm thinking ahead, knowing this bunch of wolves, and preparing myself to say no when they reject the $40/hour.

My tentative plan is to work 1/4 to 1/2 the coming year. I did that in 2014, and it worked well. I did not have to tap any retirement money. So in some sense this employment offer has something for me, but it is difficult medicine to swallow!

But I want to hear other opinions. Am I too focused on the hourly wage and unspecified periods to be worked? What would your response be?

Thank you for listening.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:29 AM   #2
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Do you need job at $30/hour? Or will you be able to pay your bills and live without it? Many people would jump at the chance to earn that.

However, if I was I your position and didn't need the job. I would play hardball just on principle. It was costing them more than $40 /hour when you were on salary. If you are going back to do the same job, a fair hourly rate would be $50-60 per hour. Remember that if you go back as a contractor you will have to pay all of the wage taxes out of that rate.


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Old 01-05-2015, 07:37 AM   #3
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If $30 an hour is your best option do it.....only until it isn't your best option. You have to decide between looking for another mega corp job with benefits, contract work or working at former mega corp for $30. The goal would be to take the emotion out of your decision and make the best decision for you and your family. Same type of event happened to DS a few years ago. He found new job, in new city and now makes more money than he did then. Good Luck.....just do what's best for you and family.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:35 AM   #4
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Do you need job at $30/hour? Or will you be able to pay your bills and live without it? Many people would jump at the chance to earn that.

However, if I was I your position and didn't need the job. I would play hardball just on principle. It was costing them more than $40 /hour when you were on salary. If you are going back to do the same job, a fair hourly rate would be $50-60 per hour. Remember that if you go back as a contractor you will have to pay all of the wage taxes out of that rate.
I appreciate the way you said that. To clarify, it's not a full-time or part-time job. But I wouldn't turn down a $30/hour job if it were 3 months or some other known duration. One aspect to this is the uncertainty of how much work there would be. I know the maximum would be $30K, but realistically I can see the employer providing maybe $20K total.

You mentioned working as a contractor, but the employer would actually be megacorp, so it would be W2 basis.

Thanks for your words. I appreciate it very much.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:51 AM   #5
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Depends on how much you don't mind the work. In my semi-retirement, I make about a third of what I made during my career job (on an hourly basis) but do it for a bit of extra cash and something to do that I somewhat enjoy/keep busy during dog days of winter. Only three months of year also.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:07 AM   #6
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It depends on what you do, but it sounds like you should take it. Then keep looking. It's much easier to find a better job when you are already working.

Additionally, it sounds like you will still have some free time, so perhaps some additional training for yourself will help you get a better work situation.


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Old 01-05-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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It sounds like you would officially become a serf of Megacorp. Your total compensation would be cut almost in half for doing your old job. It soulnds like you would be permanently on-call. You could be working random hours and wouldn't be able to contract for other people.

Why rewards such jerks unless you really want to sign up for their deal.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:13 AM   #8
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Since you've been gone for a year and they are now reaching out to you, there might be some leverage for you to request $40 or more to offset the benefits/FICA. You can certainly float that balloon and see what happens, otherwise I would agree with Jerome's advice.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:20 AM   #9
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I would ask yourself the question "what is it you really want to do?"

Do you still need to work, and for how much longer? Is the work at the old megacorp something you like doing? Sounds like your old bosses think they have you over the barrel (to put it in nicer terms). Are you set in your location or open to move?

Once you can answer the questions, then you can figure out your plan forward. You can most likely get a new job for better salary and benefits - but it may require relocation. The choice is yours.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jerome len View Post
If $30 an hour is your best option do it.....only until it isn't your best option. You have to decide between looking for another mega corp job with benefits, contract work or working at former mega corp for $30. The goal would be to take the emotion out of your decision and make the best decision for you and your family. Same type of event happened to DS a few years ago. He found new job, in new city and now makes more money than he did then. Good Luck.....just do what's best for you and family.
+1

I agree - - try to take emotion out of your decision and make the decision as objectively as you can.

It might (or might not) be your best option given how hard it is to find a good job these days.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:59 AM   #11
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If you are really looking for another permanent salaried job it is usually easier to find employment if employed. From that standpoint, it might make sense to take the offer planning to find something else as soon as you can.

If it was me, I would ask for a higher hourly rate and see what happens.

If I didn't like the unstructured scheduling of the work and its hourly nature then I would keep looking for something else.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #12
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It sounds like you would officially become a serf of Megacorp. Your total compensation would be cut almost in half for doing your old job. It soulnds like you would be permanently on-call. You could be working random hours and wouldn't be able to contract for other people.

Why rewards such jerks unless you really want to sign up for their deal.
While I understand this sentiment, I think this puts the emotion back into a decision that should be non-emotional. The old job is gone and is no longer an option, so comparing anything else to it isn't very helpful. Instead, the OP has to make a decision based on what's best right now and going forward.

It is a good point that you may be on call and doing nearly as much work but with fewer hours and lower pay/benefits. When I was laid off, I had a similar option. I had a pretty strong feeling I would only get called in when there was a hot customer issue so I'd be working the hardest part of the job under the most stress and not during the slack time. I passed, but I was FI and ready to add the RE part. Had I not been FI, I probably would've taken it but actively looked for another job.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:26 AM   #13
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Depends on how much you don't mind the work. In my semi-retirement, I make about a third of what I made during my career job (on an hourly basis) but do it for a bit of extra cash and something to do that I somewhat enjoy/keep busy during dog days of winter. Only three months of year also.
Thanks for responding. Having your situation for just three months sounds similar to the ideal situation for me.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:36 AM   #14
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It depends on what you do, but it sounds like you should take it. Then keep looking. It's much easier to find a better job when you are already working.

Additionally, it sounds like you will still have some free time, so perhaps some additional training for yourself will help you get a better work situation.
Very pragmatic--take the job and keep looking. I like the simplicity.

In my profession, I think full-time and contract worker split the available work. So it is probably true that I could enhance my future contracting chances by learning more about a hot new technology.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #15
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It sounds like you would officially become a serf of Megacorp. Your total compensation would be cut almost in half for doing your old job. It soulnds like you would be permanently on-call. You could be working random hours and wouldn't be able to contract for other people.

Why rewards such jerks unless you really want to sign up for their deal.
You've summed up the emotional side of things really well. It is how I feel. The specifics on the rational side that you highlight could be true. There is uncertainty, but I believe being available and ready for a contract is an important piece.
  • Total compensation, at best, would be about one-third of my last full year's salary. It could be much less, though.
  • Being on-call like that would definitely hamper my ability to land another contract.
  • I could find myself busy with the lower hourly wage when more desirable work comes along.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #16
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I would ask yourself the question "what is it you really want to do?"

Do you still need to work, and for how much longer? Is the work at the old megacorp something you like doing? Sounds like your old bosses think they have you over the barrel (to put it in nicer terms). Are you set in your location or open to move?

Once you can answer the questions, then you can figure out your plan forward. You can most likely get a new job for better salary and benefits - but it may require relocation. The choice is yours.
I have technical skills in several areas, and I do enjoy working in wll run projects. As an example, I was able to land a contract for 3 months last year. I have reasonable expectations that similar will happen in 2015.

How much longer? I'm looking at numbers that allow me to say goodbye to the foolish working world in one more year. My plan is to leave the retirement accounts untapped until 2016. Part-time work will enhance the success of the plan.

I think the old bosses have evolved over the last year. What started out as part-time work, has become something more one-sided.

I don't have to relocate, and have responsibilities in this area for the next few years at least.

Thanks for pointing out these things. It helps.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:10 PM   #17
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+1

I agree - - try to take emotion out of your decision and make the decision as objectively as you can.

It might (or might not) be your best option given how hard it is to find a good job these days.
It is true that finding a replacement job is difficult. I'm not trying to do that, as I realize what factors are not in my favor.

I'm definitely in part-time mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
If you are really looking for another permanent salaried job it is usually easier to find employment if employed. From that standpoint, it might make sense to take the offer planning to find something else as soon as you can.

If it was me, I would ask for a higher hourly rate and see what happens.

If I didn't like the unstructured scheduling of the work and its hourly nature then I would keep looking for something else.
It is true that being employed is the best prerequisite for finding other employment.

I'm asking for something above the old rate, and will see what happens.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:55 PM   #18
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I've given the employer a few chances to come up from the initial low-ball offer, but they won't budge. I left the door open.

I have a phone interview in an hour. Also found some leads in last couple of days.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:12 PM   #19
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I've given the employer a few chances to come up from the initial low-ball offer, but they won't budge. I left the door open.

I have a phone interview in an hour. Also found some leads in last couple of days.
If you truly have alternatives and only want to work part of the year, you can let them know what your hourly rate is and that you may not be available if on another assignment. Why let them dictate the terms if you aren't deperate.

I may have misunderstood your situation. I thought you wanted to work but only when you wanted to. I believed you had some alternatives. Being continuously on call for peanuts didn't seem to be anything you wanted.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:54 PM   #20
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If you truly have alternatives and only want to work part of the year, you can let them know what your hourly rate is and that you may not be available if on another assignment. Why let them dictate the terms if you aren't deperate.

I may have misunderstood your situation. I thought you wanted to work but only when you wanted to. I believed you had some alternatives. Being continuously on call for peanuts didn't seem to be anything you wanted.
BTW, the interview is with a competitor of megacorp.

It isn't on call for peanuts, really, but I would feel constrained, and would probably feel resentful. As someone else mentioned in this thread, there are others who would jump for $30. But given my longish history there, it does feel like a pretty poor offer.

I think you have the essentials correct. It really would be for a large cut in hourly rate, and the hours to be worked would be unknown. But I do know that I would end up with much less as total dollars than previous.

It is really a situation where you're in, or your not. So I am just following up on other work as it comes up.
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