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What's your preference?

  • Consulting

    Votes: 10 45.5%
  • FTE

    Votes: 12 54.5%
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

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TMS
Joined
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9,288 Posts
I don't travel well, nor do I enjoy wearing a game face _all_ the time. Being an employee is for me.

edit: I should probably note that I resigned a consulting position more than 8 years ago and joined my current employer after a short period of unemployment - the small consulting company I worked for lacked a coherent vision. I've had assignments in 3 different areas within our IT organization since joining my current employer. Hours are whatever they need to be, but at least I can work from home when pulling the (thankfully) rare all-nighter. My personal situation prohibits anything but occasional travel.
 

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Registered
Joined
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3,249 Posts
I've been in consulting for 10 years. Yes, the travel can wear on you and I work lots of hours but I just couldn't go park in the same spot, sit at the same desk, and interact with the same people day after day after day as full-time employee at a single company. I am energized by new clients, new projects and new locations.....it always keeps me on my toes and I'm always learning something new.
 

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swinging a big stick
Joined
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3,940 Posts
There should be a choice for unemployment, which aside from the money, rocks :thumbup:
 

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call me darkcloud
Joined
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42,920 Posts
LA525iT said:
There should be a choice for unemployment, which aside from the money, rocks :thumbup:
:stupid:
 

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Token Canadian
Joined
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970 Posts
the_s_rabbit said:
Do you prefer consulting or full-time employment?
Interesting question.......I work as a consultant for a engineering company, but it's full time employment (with incentive for billable hours)

Best (or worst) of both worlds I guess :p

With my recent health problems it proved very advantageous to have disability and full health insurance, and a job to go back to.
 

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Needs more cowbell
Joined
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4,516 Posts
FTE gets you benefits, paid vacations, and paid holidays, usually. In the IT industry, consultants can't always get enough money above an FTE's salary for the same job to offset the costs of individual health insurance and the lost money due to time off.
 

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meh
Joined
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2,941 Posts
Both?

I'm a FTE of a consulting company. I'm salary + OT, have vacation and benefits... Very happy with this setup.

The money shouldn't be the deciding factor. Consultants need better people skills, and in my experience seem to do better if they specialize in something. For example, java developers are common, but enterprise content management specialists for weblogic portal are worth their weight in gold.

Also, do you like a nice stable enviroment where you see the same people every day, or do you prefer a new office with new people and new problems every month?

I voted consultant.
 

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Registered
Joined
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1,620 Posts
With so many variables you need to look at each on a case by case basis.
If you are a SME in a particular area then consulting will often yield the highest income regardless of how much benefits cost you out of pocket. If your skills are no greater than any FTE in the field then it may be more of an advantage to go the FTE route.

I prefer the consulting gig simply because when we work with clients we offer them something not offered by anyone else out there. Why? Don't know but I hope our competitors don't figure it out :)
 

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Oh yeah, she's my baby...
Joined
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6,629 Posts
I voted consulting. Having done both as a FTE and as an independent I would also add that I prefer being an independent consultant. The upside is it's usually better dough, not having to deal with the company politics for the most part. The downside is that you can get whacked at the drop of a hat. Fortunately I have been pretty stable for the past four years. The contract I'm on now is open ended and since the system they are using has so many problems I think I could ride this out for quite a while.
 

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Outbacker
Joined
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571 Posts
I have been a contractor for almost a year and a half. Kind of a unique situation. Same client/account the whole time, I am really 1 Engineer on a team of ~20 locally and ~40 nationwide, all but 2 are FTE. I just accepted a new full time position at another company because my contract only got renewed for 6 more months, I'm tired of not getting paid for time off, and paying 100% of medical/dental insurance premiums for my family & I. Plus the client (huge global company) recently offered full time positions to the other 2 contractors (there were 4) but couldn't find headcount for all 4 of us, so I am dissapointed in them for not seeing the value of the people they have, especially since we are specialized in security and external connections.
 

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Grumpy and Cynical
Joined
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7,642 Posts
FTE for a consulting company is best.

As others have mentioned the health and other benefits of FTE outweights the marginally higher pay of contract work.

I also hate having always be looking for the next contract.

Ed
 

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Registered
Joined
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141 Posts
FTE with a little consulting on the side is nice.
 

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Oh yeah, she's my baby...
Joined
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6,629 Posts
Ed328Ci said:
FTE for a consulting company is best.

As others have mentioned the health and other benefits of FTE outweights the marginally higher pay of contract work.

I also hate having always be looking for the next contract.

Ed
That's why it's best for your significant other to have FTE with all the bennies :thumbup: .

I agree that looking for the next gig can suck. I went seven months between gigs once. Thankfully on my prior gig I worked so much and banked so much dough I was able to survive.
 

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Registered
Joined
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2,868 Posts
If I had the luxury of a trust fund that would be my pick:rofl: Until that day arrives,employment:thumbup:
 

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Bimmer back, Bimmer back
Joined
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1,603 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Interesting responses...thanks guys.

The reason I ask is because I've always been an FTE, and of course I wonder if the grass is greener. I really liked some of the companies I worked for in the past, but the company I work for now is heading in the wrong direction IMO. It is a large corporate giant and politics and poor management are making it less than ideal. I believe this is a trend that will only get worse in the future. It is seriously turning into Initech. That's no joke.

One of our better engineers just left to join a new consulting company. He's an FTE and then gets a percentage of the billable hours. The benefits aren't as great as he'd like...I guess he said the medical is pretty skimpy, but the owner hopes to improve that as the company grows. The overall pay is much better, outweighing his previous salary + benefits.

I also interviewed for a different consulting firm (FTE position + percentage of billed hours) before I took the job I have now.

So, the opportunities are there and I have a lot of varied experience. The other thing is that my wife works as well, and she gets great benefits, so we could always use her's for healthcare.

I think I'd do well in consulting because I love new and exciting challenges. I also tend to get bored with things rather quickly. I pretty much start to hate a project after 6 months. I really hate dealing with corporate BS and all that. And I don't like having 5 different bosses talk to me about something. The twin cities market has a lot of opportunities. So I think working as a consultant could be fairly stable here.

What I wouldn't really like is having to interview a lot. I guess with practice I will become better at it, but sometimes I don't think so fast on my feet. I don't know if I really have the salesman skills to sell myself better than 'the other guy'. I do have a lot of buzzwords on my resume though, and I actually have experience with them, they are not BS.

I think I would be more motivated if I always had something to look forward to. In the job I have now, I think I could look forward to a whopping 2-4% raise every year, and pretty much just doing the same things that I'm doing now...only more and more mundane tasks...like tech specs. I also get really sick of driving to the same cube farm day after day.

I think I'm really talking myself into consulting now. Sorry for the long post :D
 
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