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Contractor vs Permanent

 
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Unfortunatly for me, my company is going through some layovers right now, and as I have only been here for 5 months and my billable work is pretty low, plus I am doing mainly HTML work instead of the more advanced stuff that I know, I feel my job may be in jeapordy.
But not to worry to much as the market in my area is great, and I tend to interview pretty well. Interviewing is all a game, and after months of failing at it, I picked up a couple of good books and got pretty good at it.
Anyway, my question is this. Some of my friends only take temporary contracting postions and they are trying to get me into that side of the business. I have only done permanent placing. Does anyone have any advice as to which way they prefer or have had better experiences with.
I know that with permanent, you get all the medical/dental benefits, little more job security (however I am not even sure about that one now), holidays, lower taxes as you don't pay your own FICA, vacation, etc...
I also know that with contracting you can make a lot more money, and usually enough money to pay for your own holidays, taxes, medical/dental, etc.. and still end up netting more than with permanent positioning.
Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Your assessment of the pros and cons are valid.
I've done both.
It really depends on the persons preference. Some contractors I've worked with have done it for many years and plan to do nothing else. They have the right attitude for that type of work. Get the job done, do it right, get paid, move on. I did that for a while, but always felt like I was on the outside looking in. That was a negative for me, it also is what some contractors like about contracting... Not getting too involved. It depends on you.
I left contact programming and am a permanent employee and am very happy. Of course my experience here has been extraordinary. I started as a senior analyst, 3 months later I was a project manager and 1.5 years later, Director of Application Development, so of course I'm happy with my decision.
You have to decide what you want and where you want your career to go.
see a related thread for some additional thoughts http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000110.html
 
bill bozeman
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Thanks Ray. If it turns out that I do have to look, I will probably give freelancing a shot for a while. But I am probably more like you and like to be part of the team and not the outsider coming in and doing his job and leaving. But freelancing will give me the chance to learn a lot of different things and work with a lot of different people and see their styles and experiences, so I will probably try that for a little while.
Thanks for your input.
Bill
 
Ray Marsh
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You reminded me of the one BIG plus from contracting.
I did learn a lot.
 
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I have been contracting for over four years just in the US and I love it. Different places, different people, new and strange technologies, a lot of domain knowledge. In my four year tenure I have worked in industries such as Semiconductor, Insurance, Education, Chemical research & Pharmaceuticals and now finance.
Also checkout www.cpuniverse.com
Ajith
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