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A big confusion -- pls help...

Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
This is my story.
I have 2 offers, one is from a big company which has a very good reputation, and another is a consulting offer with flexibility to work from home and as per my convenience. Big companies pay is slightly less but there is HUGE name attached to it, and here (India), a big name makes a big difference. But that should be true anywhere...
Paywise the consulting offer is more lucrative purely because of tax-benefits and I would love flexibility to work from home and devote some time to my other hobbies which I have not been able to do for quite some time now. But everyone is suggesting me to take up big companies offer, and this is a conventional way out. I am confused because the adulation this big company's name would bring me tickles me, but at the same time I am tempted to accept the consulting offer with more flexibility and better pay. The only risk with consulting offer is stability, the big company is more stable.
I thought, this would be the best place to ask because there are ppl from various backgrounds and huge experince and they've seen what it is like to be in these situations. I have not worked from home ever before, but idea sounds interesting to me. Your suggestions, experiences would help me greatly in arriving at a decision.
THANKS!!!
Carlisia Campos
sanitation engineer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 22, 2001
Posts: 135
There are so many things to take into account that we don't know about. Some that I can think of right now:
-will you like working at home, without the contact of other adults during the work hours?
-do you see yourself with enough flexibility in your career that if the consulting goes caput you will not have a problem waiting for another job?
-how concerned are you with professional growth, and which company best fif with your goals? Think about trainning, possibilities for transfering to other positions/locations, etc.
-what's the level of responsibilities you will have?
You should evaluate on the basis of what's best for your current AND long term goals.
Try not to let the fame of a big name lure you if it's not an ideal POSITION for YOU.


Carlisia Campos<br />--------------------------------<br />i blog here: carlisia.com
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
1. Well, I have no problems if I have no adults to interact with. I can interact with the ppl I have worked for so many years through internet.
In fact, I would welcome an opportunity to interact with ppl from other professions (s/w professionals suffer from tunnel vision, IMHO) and devote some more time to my family. Due to flexibility in timings I can even pursue my hobby by joining morning classes.
2. No really, if they do not honour their commitment, I'll be in trouble. Though financially, I can sustain myself for a year or so. But out of job status is a taboo here, they don't care if you spoof ur resume and show fake exp!!! In fact it's perhaps only the stability of bigger company that makes me confused!
3. I'll miss out on training from company, but then I havn't had any training for last 3 years in prev companies. As for professional growth, with contract I know what I would be doing. With bigger company, I'll have to do whatever they ask me to.
4. Lastly, one of my long term goals is to be on my own. However, for that I need to make some good money in next 2/3 years. The consulting job will give me good money for next 6 months at least. The company might give decent money for next 2/3 years if there are no major layoffs.
Don't know what exactly would help me get closer to my goal in the long run... There are quite a few uncertainities!
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
Why are you posted? It seems to me you are already have a good direction to your goal. It seems like you already create list of pros & cons somewhere on your desk.
Regards,
MCao
Carlisia Campos
sanitation engineer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 22, 2001
Posts: 135
Depending on what kind of biz you want to be in later on, the consulting gig might give you great experience for that.
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11

I am sort of aware of pros and cons, but that doesn't help me decide which ones to prefer. Need guidance of experiece...
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
What do you want to do in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Which job better prepares you for those goals with the guidance, experience, training and connections it provides?
--Mark
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
What do you want to do in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Which job better prepares you for those goals with the guidance, experience, training and connections it provides?
--Mark

5-10 years from now - On my own, working with multiple clients and contributing technically. I don't want to be project manager working for a single company and copleting MS Project or MS excel sheets. I would rather come up with a unique solution for a tech problem. Would love to do some teaching at some point of time.
20 years from now - Frankly, I don't know. I am unable to see how software industry will shape up then. But if I manage to do well with my 10 years plan, I might have a small company of my own with some reputation. Dunno!!!
Well, this is what I would want to do in next X years, but I am unable to decide what decision will get me closer to my goal, somehow I lack that perspective or insight. And this is where I need help...
As of now I am single, so I can afford to take risk, I wont be able to do it once I get married. In that case I think I would have to follow the usual PM path. I sense that my inclnation is towards consuting at this point, but would like to know from ppl who have worked like this for some time what precautions I need to take while going for it. How do you typically manage interactions and what back-up plans do you have? How is it to be on your own? Esp in those "in-between" periods?
THANKS!!!
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
BTW, after working out details I have found that big companies pay is almost at par with the consulting offer. (Just sliiiightly less...). So...
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
No further inputs??? Pleaaaaaaaase!!!
D. Rose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2003
Posts: 215
Nikhil,
I understand your dilemma well. In India there are lot of factors (and taboos) which play a role shaping you up.
IMHO if you want to take a risk,you can take it now when you do not have any family responsibilities.
First make sure what type of person you really are. It may sound silly but you have to keep aside your dreams for a minute and take a real stock of your capabilities.
1. Do you have right attitude to be on your own? In India it means a lot of networking and being in touch with 'right' people etc.
2. Can you sell youself well? You will need to do it when you are on your own.
If you take up consulting job, using free time ,try to upgrade yourself in the direction where you want to be, like doing certifications etc.
I think then you can again join some big company ( as a technical person)and develop contacts etc before you start on your own.
As long as you are not out of stream and you have right experince you can get a job easily whether it is big company or consulting job. Only you have to be smart enough to move on before somebody moves your cheese! Are you?
[ November 27, 2003: Message edited by: Rei Damle ]
Varun Khanna
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
Originally posted by Nikhil Deshpande:
[QB]This is my story.
QB]


Since it is a Big Indian company, you are going to get free time , (I can't think of any big indian company where late night pattern is followed), Chances of getting a long term client end oportunity is high ... so you don't need to worry about Indian salary thing as you might be getting salary at the client end.
Moreover, there are several companies in India, which gives 125-150% weightage to the experience in Big companies, and around 50-65% weightage to experience in smaller, lesser known company (irrespective of what you work upon)hence after leaving the bigger company you can gain better on salary and role.
But the chance of getting a good work in bigger company is low whereas in smaller you can learn more things. Flexibility will be there.You will get chance to implement things from scratch (wherever in bigger companies things are now streamlined more or less).
So find out your priorities, there is no hard and fast rule like big is better and small is bad or vice versa.
Its all your decision, take your time & make it and importantly prove it to be a right one
[ November 28, 2003: Message edited by: V�r�n Kha�n� ]

- Varun
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
Just a small clarification. The small company is not Indian, I'd be working from India for this foreign company on a fixed remuneration. Thanks for your inputs, awaiting more...
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
in 2000, even early 2001, I'd have said take the smaller company if the work looks more interesting.
At the moment, because of the current economic climate, I say go for the bigger more stable company.
When you loose a job now you're likely to be without employment for an extended period and in this line of work that means you might never get a job in IT again (you'll be seen as outdated because you lack experience with the latest tools).


42
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
Guys,
I would still like to know from ppl who have worked like this (independent contractors) for some time what precautions I need to take while going for it. How do you typically manage interactions and what back-up plans do you have? How is it to be on your own? Esp in those "in-between" periods?
Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
I have done both and these are some of my impressions.
You normally get paid more with consulting. The companies i talk to give me the free hand for as long as i work within the agreed budget. If i hire another programmer that means i split the cash - so at the moment i work solo. (Of course the company thinks i am working with two other programmers). In the first few months i really enjoyed this freedom. The hours were mine. I worked at night and slept by day - or worked when i felt inspired. No more managers to answer to, no more junior programmers to coach. No more 1 hour commute, no traffic, no parking, less gas expense.
After a month or so ... these are some of the things i don't like. I miss people around me. I miss the 10 minute coffee break. I miss the lunch in a group. I (sometimes) miss waking up early to be at work at 9. (I get up at 12).
During the dry period when there are no projects - do what you want. Take another cert. Take your masters. Trade stocks, options, bonds, currencies. My worst trades were due to my 9 to 5pm job.
You will also have to seriously look at the downside. These days companies can change their mind in an instant. The five companies that really sound interested may be reduced to none. It is a good idea to get a downpayment before starting any project. I ask for 50% down.
In the next ten years i see myself moving more into education. If I lose my trading stake i will really have to get a 9 to 5 again. If all goes well i think i can retire into teaching before 45. Now to find something i can short.
Nikhil Deshpande
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 11
Sam that was indeed very useful. Unfortunately gaps here are not taken as casually as they are taken in US or so. So the only worry is stability.
[ December 05, 2003: Message edited by: Nikhil Deshpande ]
 
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