RE: Looks like I'll be freelancing again

Subject: RE: Looks like I'll be freelancing again
From: "Swallow, William" <WSwallow -at- courion -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 08:50:09 -0400

:: I was called into my boss's office this afternoon. RTE "has
:: re-evaluated the way it handles documentation, in the light of the
:: current economic situation, and has decided that it would be in the
:: company's best interest to continue our relationship on a freelance
:: basis".

Ugh. Well, at least they still want you around. ;)

:: In two weeks I get my last paycheck as a full-time
:: employee. No firm
:: commitment to how many freelance projects they plan on, of
:: course, or
:: to a specific pay rate.

Name your price, and name it well. They probably cut your position to
freelance to save money, as most companies pay out roughly twice an
employee's salary to keep them there - equipment, benefits, insurance, and
of course salary. If I were you, I'd figure out what your salary (before
taxes) is per hour and don't settle for that number or anything below it.
After all, now YOU are in charge of your health and so forth (even if you're
piggybacking your spouse's, it still counts). See what the market average
for your area is (STC site?) for freelancing/contracting and also aim above
that, as you already have familiarity with their product, employees and so
forth. Don't let them talk you into a sweet deal for them. If they still
want you around, they damn well better pay you nicely.

:: <sigh> It isn't clear whether I'll be
:: eligible for unemployment benefits, either, since I haven't
:: actually
:: been laid off, just 'reclassified as an external resource'
:: (whatever
:: that means).

No benies, unless it's in your freelance contract, but that's rare.

Also remember that you will most-likely be responsible for your own taxes,
which means you need to put roughly 1/3 of that freelance money aside for
the government and be accountable for it next year. That is, unless your
company agrees to a W-2 relationship (temporary/part-time employee). Then
your taxes will be deducted as usual.

So think hard about this. You have a lot to consider when trying to
determine a rate. And remember, your rate is your call, not theirs. Name
your price and name it well.

My $0.02

Technical Writer
1881 Worcester Road
Framingham, Mass. 01701
T E L * 508-879-8400 x316
F A X * 508-879-8500


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