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View Full Version : I finally have a job opportunity, but I have reservations. Advice please.



underthecity
02-10-2010, 04:38 AM
After over a year of hunting for a job, someone finally called me and asked me to fill out an application for a job I applied to over a month ago.

It's doing what I really want to do: writing and editing. It's for the Department of Energy, a government job.

BUT, there are issues.

The job pays $17 an hour. Not bad, I'd take it. BUT it's strictly a contract job. The contract might last a few months to a few years.

No taxes or anything are taken out.

Assuming I would have to personally deduct at least 30% each paycheck for taxes, that brings it down to about $12 an hour.

I'm currently earning about $9 an hour with unemployment after taxes. Combined with my wife's paycheck, this is enough to keep our heads above water. Barely.

If I get this job, that means day care. Currently my wife's cousin watches our baby (she already has a 2 year old while her husband works) when we need her to, in exchange for my previous car. We traded the car for babysitting. Problem is, she lives really far out of the way from this job.

Oddly enough, this job is in the same part of town as my wife's. So we could almost car pool, if it weren't for the baby.

We have no one who could come watch the baby at our house. If we hired someone, there would go my $12/hour paycheck. It's almost a catch 22.

(I asked if I could work from home, she said they won't do that.)

Also, if I take this job, since there are no benefits, I would not get any unemployment insurance built up. So when I lose the job, I will not get unemployment.

So, although it seems like a good opportunity, it's almost a lose-lose situation.

I decided not to fill out the application or do the online assessment test until I figure this out.

Advice?

semilargeintestine
02-10-2010, 05:00 AM
Doesn't sound worth it to me. Keep looking.

Smish
02-10-2010, 05:02 AM
If it's a job with the state, there's probably a strict deadline. Why not go ahead and fill out the application and do the assessment, and then make a decision? Even if there's no deadline, with state employment, it can be a lengthy process. (I'm a state employee and had to go through three interviews before being hired. They also checked references, requested writing samples, required a criminal background check, reviewed all the information related to my professional license, etc. The process took a few months).

Is there a possibility of the contract position leading to state employment? If so, I'd take the job. State employment equals good benefits and a good degree of job security.

It sounds like a job you'd enjoy, and if nothing else, it would be something on your resume, lead to good references, and possibly provide networking opportunities.

Also, I don't know much about collecting unemployment, but aren't there requirements about seeking/accepting available employment?

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts. I hope everything works out for the best!

:)Smish

Silver King
02-10-2010, 05:33 AM
That's a damn tough spot to be in, when taking that job offer will almost surely leave you worse off than you are now, at least in the short term.

Unless they offer on site day care for your child, free of charge or for a pittance, you're better off staying home with her than accepting that gig.

ad_lucem
02-10-2010, 05:41 AM
That's a damn tough spot to be in, when taking that job offer will almost surely leave you worse off than you are now, at least in the short term.

Unless they offer on site day care for your child, free of charge or for a pittance, you're better off staying home with her than accepting that gig.

Probably. I'd keep looking. I understand being in that boat. With three kids and one on the way, work out of the home is something I'd end up paying to do rather than being paid to do.

BTDT. Maybe shift work? Freelance?

I feel for you, though. We've been through layoffs and contract work here.

Definitely, though, I'm of the mind that you shouldn't have to PAY to work. And if that's what ends up happening, it just isn't worth it.

:Hug2: I hope something better comes along for you both.

Ken
02-10-2010, 05:55 AM
... I'd take Smish's advice. G'luck in whatever route you choose.

Wayne K
02-10-2010, 05:58 AM
I've always found work while working. If you can put up with this job, it puts your face out there. That's a good thing

Silver King
02-10-2010, 06:05 AM
This thread reminds me of how much we sacrifice for our children. And it never stops, or so it seems.

Damn kids! If we weren't predisposed to love 'em, they'd be in a heap of trouble. :)

ad_lucem
02-10-2010, 06:14 AM
This thread reminds me of how much we sacrifice for our children. And it never stops, or so it seems.

Damn kids! If we weren't predisposed to love 'em, they'd be in a heap of trouble. :)

You know, after sitting down and thinking about the reasons I want to work so badly... most of them actually don't have much to do with my own issues.

Mostly, I view work as a way of having more money to spend on the kids needs and maybe do something that will make them proud of me.

LOL

It's all about them in the end. Dang it. :D

Wayne K
02-10-2010, 06:16 AM
That's why I didn't have kids. Cats are hard enough to deal with.

Rowan
02-10-2010, 06:31 AM
I also agree with Smish... fill out the pw and take whatever tests so you don't lose out should you decide to go for it. Plus, speaking as a fed employee --- there is a tendency to hire a lot of individuals (full time/fed employment) who started out as contractors. Get your foot in the door and if it doesn't work out, keep looking!
And the bonus--- you might get a background check out of it (great for the resume). Not sure if DoE does them though...or for what positions. (????)

Silver King
02-10-2010, 06:49 AM
That's why I didn't have kids. Cats are hard enough to deal with.
Kids are worse because they learn how to talk eventually. Little fuckers. And they must formulate their impressions early on, which suddenly comes spewing forth in their mid-teens or so when their parents can't seem to do anything right and the teen knows the answers to everything, damn straight.

Sometimes I miss that heavy baby head on my shoulder while I dreamed about the future of my progeny. At the time, nothing seemed too outlandish to hope for. Then they grew up.

thothguard51
02-10-2010, 06:54 AM
I would go with the job, you know, a bird in hand type thing. The trouble is, in this economy, you never know when the next opportunity is going to come along, especially doing somethint you like.

There is also a plus to this...gets you out of the house...

LOG
02-10-2010, 07:06 AM
That's why I didn't have kids. Cats are hard enough to deal with.
I'm debating even cats.

bettielee
02-10-2010, 10:41 AM
Well, you could do all the assessing and whatnot... and if after all the hoops and whistles they want to hire you and it doesn't look at all like you'll be in a better situation, you could tell them why you can't take the job. If they like you, they might offer you more, or keep you in mind for a better paying position.

That is a tremulous situation to get into, to work yourself out of unemployment benefits and daycare!

Best of luck to you!

Shakesbear
02-10-2010, 12:16 PM
Isn't is supposed to be easier to find a job when you are employed? You make contacts that you other wise would not make - and as some one has already already said, it looks better on your CV.

tjwriter
02-10-2010, 07:03 PM
The job pays $17 an hour. Not bad, I'd take it. BUT it's strictly a contract job. The contract might last a few months to a few years.

No taxes or anything are taken out.

Assuming I would have to personally deduct at least 30% each paycheck for taxes, that brings it down to about $12 an hour.



You're calculating the taxes and approximate wage reduction wrong.

I make a little more than you are quoting on the hour in a regular employment scenario and I have approximately 15% of each check taken out for taxes.

So you are only out the additional 15% it takes to get to 30% because if you were working a regular position that was not a contract position, the employer would take the 15% out of your check and then pay out the additional 15% in employer taxes.

That puts you closer to $14.50 per hour.

ETA: Your net pay would still be about $12/hr if you took out all the taxes you have to pay, just to be clear.

lucidzfl
02-10-2010, 07:10 PM
Hiring managers are often wary about someone who's been out of work for a long time. (I know because I am one)

I'm not saying its YOUR personal issue, but a lot of times, when I see someone who's been out of work for 6 months, it means they really just didn't have a desire to work. Most people will usually take ANYTHING when they're out of work, and that shows a desire TO work.

Just my 2 cents. You could always try it for a few months and keep applying to other places.

Also, like several others have said, city jobs and jobs that work with the city almost always start out as contract positions. In most states it is because its easier to get rid of or simply "not renew" the contract if the employee doesn't work out.

Little Red Barn
02-10-2010, 07:16 PM
I'm studying this. First it intrigues me that a govt. job doen't pay benefits. As in most govt. jobs, the gold comes from the benefits. Cars, insurance, pay reserve and matching funds etc.

Second: I'd sure take it hoping it could lead you to a more lucrative postion and better pay down the road. le tradeoff.

my 2 center.

CaroGirl
02-10-2010, 07:27 PM
As others have said, you could make contacts in this job that might lead to another, even permanent, position there or elsewhere. Unless you feel it really is too risky, I'd take the job. It plugs a hole in your resume, gives you further experience, and has the potential of turning into longer term employment.

Cathy C
02-10-2010, 08:22 PM
Here's my .02 :

If it was a W-2 job, instead of a 1099 job for $17/hour, you would STILL be making $12/hour after taxes.

If you start your own sole proprietorship to manage the 1099 income, you can deduct your heath insurance as an expense of the business. Being a sole proprietorship will mean you have to pay self-employment tax, but that's pretty cheap in the long run. You can also deduct other things that writing alone can't justify.

My personal opinion would be to take the job, meet as many people as possible by email, phone and in person and try to leverage it into a full-time gig once you get to know people.

From the "been there, done that" files. :)

underthecity
02-10-2010, 10:37 PM
Hiring managers are often wary about someone who's been out of work for a long time. (I know because I am one)

I'm not saying its YOUR personal issue, but a lot of times, when I see someone who's been out of work for 6 months, it means they really just didn't have a desire to work. Most people will usually take ANYTHING when they're out of work, and that shows a desire TO work.

It wasn't like I wasn't trying. I was and am still looking every week. I can't numerate how many resumes I've sent out. Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing. Nothing. Ever.

However, I had to consider my baby daughter.

We decided to have a baby back when I was still working full time. She was six months pregnant when I lost my job. I went on unemployment and said that if I didn't get a job, I would have to stay home and raise the baby.

If I found a job, it would have to pay at least $11 (before taxes) because that was what I was earning in Unemployment. What was the point of taking a $10/hour job, finding babysitting (that could cost $10-20 an hour) and working?

So, my job would have to pay at minimum $15 to $20 an hour. And I looked and looked and looked.

So, this is my first opportunity in over a year. Based on the generous responses in this thread, I have decided to pursue it, fill out the application, take the online skills test because what do I have to lose?

To tell you the truth, before I posted I was leaning the other way. Disregard it and move on. But, it could lead to full time (But there are no guarantees! My previous job "could have lead to full time" but instead I was laid off.) and I could make contacts, and I could gain some valuable experience.

Thanks everyone for your responses.