Re: Contract salary calculation question

Subject: Re: Contract salary calculation question
From: Andrew Plato <aplato -at- EASYSTREET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 14:33:55 -0700

Here's how to solve all your contract billing problems (in my humble,
cynical view):

Get as absolutely much as possible from the client and never count your
money until the end of the contract. If the client will pay you $200,000 an
hour -- then bill them that and be happy. We live in a capitalist market,
people. Your worth is as much a factor of your skills as it is what
companies are willing to pay for your services.

Secondly, if there is anything I have learned in my five years of
contracting it is to NEVER get my hopes up. Companies have little regard
for contractors and they will fire you at a moment's notice. Every time I
do the math and think "Wow, I'm going to make $XX,XXX this year" the client
reorganizes, revamps, or regurgitates and the contract positions are wiped
out. I'm left out beating the pavement again.

Moreover, most agencies (especially the big ones) do not care one iota about
you or your life. All they want is to scrape as absolutely much as possible
off your hourly rate for themselves. You can die in a corner naked and
stupid and just so long as you keep billing and they keep making money off
you. Sure, I know there are exceptions, but the grand, overwhelming
majority of agencies could care less about you. They are not in business to
help you find nirvana. They want to make money off you.

Lastly, Uncle Sam always gets his in the end. If you're independent
contracting, you had better pay quarterly estimated taxes. Otherwise,
you're going to get the royal ream from the G-men come April 15th.

Also, $20.00 and hour is a pretty sad rate. For an entry-level writer that
is okay -- but anyone with experience should not accept such a pathetic
rate. Remember, each time experienced writers take less then what they
should get -- it hurts the entire market. If companies think they can get a
good writer for $20.00 an hour -- guess what. They'll try.

Andrew Plato
Owner/Principal Consultant
Anitian Technology Services

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