- to pay the mortgage;
- money in my pocket;
- technical/mental challenges;
- paid vacation
- RRSP contribution matching;
- Year-end bonus of ~8%;
- EFA (aka Siëmens Yearly Evaluation) feedback from my manager.
Some things stay the same but as a contractor I get paid the same regardless of the outcome of the project I work for.
Take a minute to think about that... Did you think "slacker"? Think again.Most of the time I do not take on contracts/projects in which I have no intellectual interested. I still need to pay the mortgage.
A contractor should be very good at what he (or she) [assume "he" henceforth] is doing and driven to deliver the goods on time. Or he should be canned quickly [doesn't always work this way, alas]. That's why they hire an expert for $$ more than an employee.
(In the US of A IMHO contractors are preferred to full timers because that offloads the healthcare costs from the company to the contractor. Just my 2¢.)
But things in the Software industry
don't alwaysrarely come with a happy ending... the custom RF hardware your super-perfect software runs on is terminally buggy and the project gets cancelled in disgust... the division of the BigCorporeshion just got axed and took all your year's work with it... or the project just got shelved.
I find that I take less vacation as-such than when I was a fulltimer. But I also work less hours... I do not have to warm up a chair 9-5 every day.
Yet there is no stick [not living any more from paycheque to paycheque takes that edge off]. A non-positive evaluation means early termination of my contract and that hasn't happened yet.
Sometimes I linger on a contract past its due date [I do not want to leave money on the table] and it gets extended and my tasks shift into swampy territory where a) the work derails violently outside of my area of focus, b) my work depends on too many externalities, c) the code becomes to complex [how about a 5-tier logic?] and d) it's been too long.
The most precious thing about being a frëelancer is that with contracts the end is always in sight.