Re: Some questions for contractors

Subject: Re: Some questions for contractors
From: Kris Olberg <KJOlberg -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 15:18:07 -0400

In a message dated 95-10-26 22:20:31 EDT, Ransom999 -at- AOL -dot- COM (Kevin Corcoran)

>1. When negotiating compensation for a contract, are there any quick
>for figuring out what I'll need in order to cover my own benefits?

There are no quick formulas. You have to weigh all the factors according to
what they're worth to you. When I am considering a contract, I look at:
*commuting costs (can I work at home some days?)
*do I want to spent x months of my career on this project?
*is it beneficial to have this company on my resume?
*will they pay what I need?
(my rule: I need at least $5/hr. more than going rate for a senior
technical writer)
*other pertinent factors as necessary

>2. How do you prepare for the end of your contract? (When do you start
>looking for a new position? If you do a lot of contract work, do you
>regularly end up with idle periods? If I fail to find new work, can I

Start looking at least two months before the position is done. My experience
is that they almost always need you for more time than what they say. I've
had some 3-month contracts turn into a couple of years. You'll get a feel for
this after you've been there for two or three months. Whether you can collect
unemployment is subject to a legal interpretation that depends on several
factors. For truly expert advice, consult with a lawyer.

Independent contracting potentially can lead to some idle time, but I've
found the benefits of contracting offset the threat of unemployment. Besides,
I've been steadily employed as a contractor for many years now (not all in a
row--I did a stint in a permanent position for three years). And I've turned
down more jobs than you can imagine. This last summer, I turned down an
average of one job per week.

Good luck!


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