First of all, I got inspired for the header of this post from a header I saw in the Daily News (Dave Barry calls it ‘Sad ballad of a clueless idiot’, but that sounded a little bit harsh for the post).
Blanca, a clueless colleague and friend of mine (I’m sure she won’t get upset if I use the word ‘clueless’), worked as a contractor for many years. She was happy with the working hours, the fact that whenever she worked overtime she was paid for her work, usually worked on one project and not multiple, didn’t have to waste any time doing performance reviews, didn’t have to attend any company mandatory meetings, etc.
I ran into her the other day and had a few minutes to talk. I’ve asked her how she feels now that she is full time, if she likes it. She told me that…yeah, it’s OK, there many pros but one big con is the money. Or lack thereof. With a sad face, she told me that sometimes she feels like she doesn’t want to go to work. “When you think how much I was looking forward to this, Georgia! And now…” she told me.
I told her I knew what she was going through, I had this experience a few years ago, when I switched from contract to full time. I too was looking forward to it, lots of hopes, you know…being part of the place, settling down, making a difference in the company…all those things. I had nobody to tell me how much different it would be. When I got my first full timer cheque I almost cried. I was very depressed for a few weeks. I don’t know, maybe it was just the place, maybe if I had liked it over there, money would have been OK.
My advice to Blanca was to wait a few more months, see if she really likes the place, the people and if she can make it with the money she gets. After all, good companies, nice people are very hard to find nowadays! Peace of mind is worth more than money. What would be the point of getting sick because of the stress at work or bitching about your boss every day but making lots of money? None. And yet not making enough money to meet your needs is not good either, there has to be a balance.
What is your opinion? Have you ever been in the situation? Are you a full timer or a contractor? What do your friends tell you? Share some thoughts.