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Changes on the Work Front

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Lots of change on the work front this past week. It’s a long convoluted story, but if you are new here, read this post and this post first before starting here.  It will just make more sense.

The week before Christmas, my boss made a comment that thru me for a loop, especially since I was considering myself jobless as of February 16. As I was telling him things we needed to consider for some of the development I am doing, specifically since someone else would be supporting it and he says: “well, that might be you.”

I think my jaw must have dropped to the floor. I walked off feeling very confused.

Moving Forward

I will not drag out the story or share the gory details which might have involved me crying, me saying I wasn’t coming in anymore and so on. (I was very emotional after the 7 weeks of thinking I was being fired especially with it being over the holidays.)

But it is official…I was let go as an EMPLOYEE this past Friday. And I was REHIRED on Saturday as a contract worker at the same salary, a stipend to hire some part time help and the ability to work from home on all but one day per week.

I am SO THRILLED!!!!

We are starting with a 7 week contract, which automatically renews unless either party gives 2 weeks notice.

This is My Wheelhouse

I have been a contract worker for 11 years, it’s where I’m most comfortable. I worked from home for 13 years, it’s where I’m most comfortable. And now that the kids are in school, I feel completely out of touch. This flexibility will allow me to find some way to be involved with their schooling, ie volunteer.

This truly is a better outcome then I could have ever hoped.

Financial

My salary will essentially remain the same. But I will get a small boon in that I will be paid out for the 1 week of PTO I have earned. Can you say debt payment!!! Yeah.

I must find a replacement for our vision and dental insurance which I carried through this job. But it’s paid through the end of the month and we all just got exams, cleanings, fillings, and new glasses, so I have a little time on that.

I must also create a plan for retirement savings since my 401K and match goes away. Let’s talk about that soon.

The contract is signed, I’ve already started work. Rather, I never left work. Let me know your thoughts!

One more tidbit, while I have been looking for a new job, I picked up a couple of new part time clients…so all in all, I am really happy with my job situation and loving that I get to continue to do work I really enjoy.

Meanwhile, on the more serious side of things:


28 Comments

  • Reply Stephanie |

    Such fantastic news! What you lost (insurance and 401k) are things you can easily pick up elsewhere. So happy for you!

  • Reply Walnut |

    Were you equalized for taxes? Are you able to invoice for all hours worked or is the contract capped?

    • Reply Walnut |

      Also, I meant to ask if moving to a contract position will allow you to work from home 100%? If so, hopefully that saves you some cash on fuel costs and also saves you hours wasted on the commute.

      • Reply Hope |

        I will work from home 80%, I will go into the office on Wednesdays. It really couldn’t be any better in my opinion.

    • Reply Hope |

      I was not equalized, and the contract is “salaried” but I do have an additional monthly stipend outside of my monthly salary to contract out some work.

      • Reply Walnut |

        That’s great. If I were in your situation, I’d continue to consider this an arrangement that could end at any time. I would keep job searching and hustling for additional contract work. See if you can knock out a couple more quick wins on the debt front so you can continue to skinny up your monthly cash needs.

  • Reply Consuelo |

    Hope–it sounds to me as though your total compensation has actually dropped. It is NOT easy to replicate the benefits of a matched 401(k) elsewhere and vision and dental insurance are generally more expensive when purchased outside of an employer group. I am very glad that the job is continuing (albeit in a different form) as this should remove a great deal of financial stress for you. However, I think your employer is actually getting your same services for a lower total cost. Keep this in mind as you go forward. You appear to be a hardworking and decent person–I am rooting for you every step of the way…be sure to always approach your employer (and all other financial decisions you face) with a clear sense of what is really going on.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Consuelo,

      You are right, they are getting the same services for less in that they are no longer contributing to benefits, taxes and 401K match. On the flip side, I have a nominal monthly stipend for contracting out some of the work (in addition to my salary) AND more important to me complete schedule control and the ability to stay home all but 1 day a week. That is well worth the trade off to this extreme introvert.

  • Reply Jessica |

    Hope, I would also urge you to be very cautious here. You only have a 7 week contract – be sure your employer isn’t just using your skills to complete the project before letting you go. Know the worth of your skill set- it never hurts to continue looking for a new job while you work under this new contract

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Jessica,
      Definitely noted. I am continuing to build up my client list, even the part time clients add up. This new work arrangement arranges itself to that very well.

  • Reply Ruby |

    Congrats! This is great news! But I do agree with the others, to be cautious. They have already pulled some sketchy stuff before. I’m wondering if this can help with the 1 car situation? Are you able to let Sea Cadet take the car some days, since you will be at home?

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Ruby,
      YES! I will still go to the office on Wednesdays so those will still be crazy days, but otherwise, this will give us a bit of ease with the car situation. Now I just need Sea Cadet’s new glasses to arrive so he can drive again. (He broke them in November and they are required for him to drive.)

  • Reply Deborah |

    My salary will essentially remain the same. But I will get a small boon in that I will be paid out for the 1 week of PTO I have earned. Can you say debt payment!!! Yeah.

    The one week of PTO can be put to good use to pay off one of the debts you have incurred or can be put into savings. The vision and dental insurance are often employer benefits and I was curious to see how you were going to finance these two health premiums along with copayments and deductibles.
    Are you going to roll over your 401K into an IRA? I wouldn’t recommend cashing out the 401K since you will be taxed up to 30 percent which is almost half of anyone’s retirement money.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Deborah,
      Yes, I am going to have to seek a solution for vision and dental. In the past we have had all our dental work done at a dental school which was a steal at $60 for the whole family. I know there is a dental school within an hour or two of here, may be worth exploring.

      As for vision, we will not need exams or glasses again for 2 years. So I have a while to consider that.

  • Reply Kerry |

    Hope, I think you need to consider this relationship with your employer as abusive, and do some digging into how many of your relationships have aspects of emotional and financial abuse in them. Your employer has essentially cut your salary by 30-40% by reclassifying you as a contractor and getting rid of your benefits. This was just after you transitioned your kids to school, which was a big change for you and them that you made assuming you’d have to find different work. They didn’t start a dialogue about this months ago when they said that you’d only have work through this project in February. They just jerked you around with a 60 hour week and being salary but threatening to take away your flexibility. And now great, you can hire some help with their savings on your salary, taxes, Social Security, and benefits. Do you like these people that much to let them take advantage of you?

    This is red flag city. And you should talk to your Department of Labor about whether you are or have been misclassified as a salary vs per hour employee and now as a contractor. This is not a beneficial situation for you.

    • Reply Laura |

      Good points. Hope, I would also encourage you to look for another full time job with benefits. As a single parent you especially need that stability. Your current employers have already shown they aren’t good people to work for.

  • Reply shanna |

    Super exciting that you will have the flexibility you need and prefer. And it may be worth the financial loss, but the above posters are correct, you should have received a decent bump up in pay to offset the fact that they no longer carry your 401K, benefits, etc. They are saving thousands of dollars a month on this arrangement and some of that should filter down to you. In our industry we often have people change to contract vs employee because it saves a lot for us as employers. But we pay them a much higher rate for the same job. Usually people who want to do it have benefits through a spouses job so they want the higher pay rate and don’t need the benefits. PS-LOVE Sea Cadets shirt! LOL! PSS-Good grief do NOT buy another car right now!! Accidents stay on insurance for 5 years. The insurance alone would go up exponentially!

  • Reply Reece |

    Kerry has a very interesting viewpoint about the employer and their integrity. Worth thinking about and exploring…..I also agree this arrangement is more beneficial to the employer because your personal compensation is not increasing, benefits through your employer will cease and any stipend you get to contract out help goes to whomever you contract to do the work. Also, what about medical insurance? I don’t see that this expense was addressed either. Good that you guys got exams, etc. for vision and dental before this change.

  • Reply Megan |

    Hope, I share the others’ concerns about fair compensation and your bad dynamic with this company, but I do hope this works out for you. Does this mean no more crazy hours for product launches and such? That seems like an important key to your quality of life.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I’m happy to hear the good news. Since it is a 7 week contract continue to work on paying down that debt as if you only have 7 weeks left. You have covered Amazon, you have paid the computers, next up getting that credit card and car paid all the way down. You have this!

  • Reply Been There Done That |

    Something is rotten in Denmark as several of the above posters have stated, so I won’t rehash it .Keep looking for a new job.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Not just 401k and benefits – they are also saving on Medicare and Social Security contributions. Hope pays all of it rather than just half of it now.

  • Reply drmaddog2020 |

    That must be a relief! My first thought was also, wow this employer really jerked you around. but the extended income has to be just huge. I would not depend on them though. and, yes, this employer has decreased their costs in you and cut your overall compensation by eliminating you as a salaried employee and rehiring you as a contractor. Unfortunately, that has become very common throughout the country, especially since the great recession. Companies do it because they can. What, are you not going to eat?? Keep working on other leads and jobs but in the meantime, this should help you out a lot, being at home.

  • Reply Malady |

    What worries me is that its 18 January and your job was due to finish on 16 February, and we hadn’t heard anything at all about what you were planning to do when the job finished.

    Its great that the job didn’t finish – some income is better than no income – but I’m so disappointed for you that they are taking advantage of you by not increasing your pay commensurate with the personal risk you now face with no insurance or 401k.

    I hope you are working to find full time, ongoing, secure work Hope. Its going to be key to you getting back on top of things.

    • Reply Hope |

      I thought I had mentioned several times that I was picking up additional contract work, and that my goal was to rebuild my contract clientele rather than search for a corporate client. But I am continuing to seek contract work on various platforms.

  • Reply csdx |

    While your pay may have remained the same you’ve taken an effective pay cut by losing out on benefits (vacation, insurance) and having to pay additional self-employment taxes. I’m not disputing that changing to contracting work may be the right move for your lifestyle and goals, but it’s important to remember that you are effectively making less and to adjust your budget properly and be setting aside money for the additional taxes.

So, what do you think ?