Episode 10 - That Contractor Life

Episode 10 – That Contractor Life

In this episode we explore different types of contract employment and career implications of taking these kinds of roles.

1:27 – “Sharpening the Tools”

Erin – A bit overloaded with learning business and development processes at her new job, and helping out building a website on the side, Erin has dipped her toes into a data analysis course on Treehouse.

Dave – planning a presentation on Selenium, an automation testing tool for browsers, to coworkers.


3:49 – “Opening the Toolbox”

4:15 – Types of employment: Freelancers / Consultants / Independent contractors, straight contract, contract to hire, and full-time employment

Hire a really good accountant, and factor that cost in.

There’s a lot of things to consider when working for yourself, especially as a 1099 employee and being responsible for withholding your own taxes and paying yourself.

Pros: You can set your own rates, set your own schedule, and have a lot of control over what kind of projects you take on.

Cons: Steady work can be inconsistent if you’re just starting out and depending on the economy and the market.


7:48 – Straight Contract

  • Usually have a set timeline (6 months, 1 year, etc.)
  • Possibility for extension or conversion but not guaranteed and not usually the intent
  • Sometimes the situation is an “open-ended” contract
  • Often a higher hourly rate can be expected, but the employee usually covers their own health benefits and doesn’t typically have PTO or holiday pay
  • There’s often either a real or perceived divide between contractors and full-time employees, in regards to what contractors do or do not have access to or are included in (trainings, employee events, etc.).


14:13 – Contract-to-Hire

  • Intent to convert the contractor to a full time employee with the company (client) after the specified time period has elapsed (usually 3 months to 1 year) or when other requirements are met (certain number of hours worked, a position opens up, etc.)
  • Contract period is often used as a trial period for the employer and/or employee to see if the employee is a good fit and vice versa.
  • Recruiting firms sometimes offer benefits of some sort for the duration of the contract period
  • Contract hourly rates and conversion rates are often “locked-in” when you’re submitted for a position, which typically leaves little to no room for negotiation for salary, time off, etc. upon conversion to FTE


18:37 – Full Time Employment (FTE)

  • Most traditional style of employment (salaried vs. hourly), and typically the most “secure”
  • Paid Time Off, holidays pay, health benefits

23:58 – Should YOU take a contract role?

27:32 – More reasons companies offer contract roles

30:18 – Career Builder jobs forecast report – outlook for 2018 hiring trends

32:03 – How contract roles reflect on your resume


Thanks for listening, see you next time!

Posted by Junior Developer

Leave a Reply