Any $ Tips about going Contractor to Perm in Same Firm?
...ANY TIPS FROM VETS about negotiating a salary from contracting?
I recently went from contracting to full-time. The rule-of-thumb I used (which I obtained a few months ago, when things were more flush) was to multiply my hourly rate by $1,000 to obtain annual salary. Offers made to me by my contracting clients were at this rate.
I decided to go with a company I was not working for. However, the $1,000-per-$1 equation still worked for me (just recently) and since the hourly rate is adjusted for geography, the equation should be geographically-neutral.
In our negotiation, there was supposedly going to be a trade-off between stock options and salary. Since I've been a contractor for so long, stock options meant very little to me, and given the current economic situation, they mean even less.
So, for several weeks, I professed a (truthful) lack of understanding of what stock options are and skepticism about what they mean to me, and emphasized that salary and paid benefits were what I was interested in.
I ended up with as many stock options as were originally promised, plus the salary I wanted. (And a job I'm really enjoying, although boy does it make me nervous to have just one source of income!)
Here in California, salaries for the few API documentation writers listed with NWU are still at $70K - $100K. But there are fewer job postings, especially for contractors, than I've seen in the past.
To understand what's going on here on the Left Coast, just look at stock prices for companies like Cisco. I bought just a few shares of Cisco in maybe, December, when they were down from like $75 to $56. Current price of Cisco is under $20 a share. So, here are reputable companies, companies with reliable products, companies that will bounce back (I believe), whose stock prices are down to 1/4 of what they were just a few months ago. This lack of funding leads to hiring freezes, employee disillusionment, etc. etc. They just can't get done what they were hoping to get done just a few months before. Many, many of the smaller start-ups are going under. Many of my friends, people who earned (literally but on paper) millions on start-ups just recently have been laid off multiple times in just the past few months. And their million-dollar stock options are now worth 1/10 or 1/5 of what they were worth just a year ago.
As someone who has very little invested in stocks or stock options and doesn't own West Coast property (and is hoping that the "adjustment" will extend, eventually, to home prices), when I observe the impact of the recent economic downturn on other people's lives, I find it terrifying.
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