Full Time Vs Consulting

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Most H-1B people will be in a dilemma at some point of their career to choose between a Full Time and Consulting jobs. We ran a Facebook poll on H1B Wiki Fan Page  and here is the result of the poll.

Most of the H-1B wiki fans preferred Full Time to a Contract job but it varies from person to person.

We asked a few people who are working  full time as well as consulting to give their opinion on their job.  Here is what few people say about their jobs:

  • I am working as a full time employee since May 2010. I have a decent job with a good pay. Got promoted twice since 2 years, with a good pay hike. I love my job, the work I do and the place I live. I feel very happy and comfortable with my full time job.
  • I work as a contractor. I used to work as a full time employee, but moved to contracting. I am very satisfied with the step I took. I earn more, get to see different places, meet new people, and make new contacts, etc. I just love what I do.
  • I have been working full time since Feb 2011. I am working on my OPT and my employer wants to file my H-1B for the coming year. I am not highly paid. However, I work for more than 40 hours every day and I don’t feel my pay is worth my work. Planning to move to contracting or look for a new job before my employer will file my H-1B.
  • I have been working as a contractor since July 2011. I had a hard time with my job. I couldn’t get the work done within 40 hours and I had to spend time during weekends to learn the technology and also complete the work assigned. I always got short contracts and I had to move places each time I get a new job. This has been so troublesome. I plan to search for a full time job and move as soon as possible.

Here is a list of pros and cons, of both Consulting as well as Fulltime employment:

Consulting

Pros:

  • Exposure and experience with wider range of companies and projects
  • Scope for extensive networking
  • Flexibility in how one manages time
  • Higher pay rate as compared to a fulltime employee
  • Billable hours mean pay proportional to number of hours invested
  • Freedom to pick what to work on
  • You are selling yourself and your services, not merely advancing an employer’s interest

Cons:

  • H-1B visa stamping issues.
  • Extensive effort required in marketing self, by setting up website and cultivating contacts
  • Contractors are the first to get laid off if the company decides to cut down the costs.
  • No steady/guaranteed income
  • One needs extensive experience to start as a consultant
  • Must invest money on training from own pocket, to keep abreast with latest developments

Full Time:

Pros:

  • Steady and assured monthly income
  • No problems during H-1B visa stamping. (I`m a full time employee and My visa interview was just 30 secs!)
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Health insurance benefits
  • 401(k) benefits
  • Employer may pay to provide training
  • Scope for advancing in terms of designation and salary

Cons:

  • Less freedom as to what to work on, must do as told
  • Paid less compared to contracting jobs
  • Overtime hours may not always be billable

 It is difficult to say which one is best. Either to have a full time or a contracting job. This depends on person to person and on  their needs, comforts and interests. Comment here about your job and whether you prefer a full time or consulting.

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  • Raptorrules

    Like the author concluded it all depends on person to person. Most people especially singles consider contracting as a safe bet coz of the money involved in it and the freedom to not only leave the current job when ever they want but also to accept a new offer as soon as they get it. The best jobs out there are very well a. A very paid FT or b. A stable long-term contract.

  • Shinhmar

    I think till the time the person is on H1b, its very risky to work as contractor. You might earn much more than a full-time employee, but there’s always some tension going on back of your head. Job safety is one thing, but the risk of not getting Visa extension, H1B stamping etc is too much. Visa officials are getting stricter and stricter with contractors. I’ll suggest to get your Greencard 1st and then fly like a free bird.

    • Girish

      Perfect response Shinmar. I am a full-time employee and personally love the idea of consulting. Benefits include working at large corporations more often without having to go through rigorous multi-level interviews, work with different tech stacks at different clients, networking and not obliged to work for the boss.
      However dealing with the visa issues is a major set back.
      I recommend settling low in a full-time, get a Green Card and do what you want ..
      I ‘d go consulting and I ‘d ve about 7+ yrs of experience anyways by then ;)

  • Jhumki

    First of all, there is a difference between a consultant and a contractor. A contractor is a consultant but viceversa need not be true always. A contractor is someone who works on hourly basis and is paid only when he/she has a project. A consultant, on the other hand, can be a full time employee with a company in the real sense (not just for the sake of H-1B), entitled to paid vacation, benefits, 401K and bonus. I have worked as a full time employee as a consultant for one of the Big 4 consulting firms (like Ernst & Young, Deloitte etc) and my base salary was way more than my salary during a contract job! Also, I don’t agree with what the article says that you don’t have the freedom to do whatever you want in a full time job. In fact, I experienced the exact opposite of it.

    Ultimately, it really depends on what interests you and your capabilities. Traveling or a stationary job? I would pick a full time job (consulting or stationary) over a contract job any day!

  • Arvind_P

    woul like to add some points:
    1. Pros of Fulltime job :
    – Peace of mind and stability. People with families/kids would prefer it.
    Cons of Fulltime job :
    – Chances of layoff if company is not doing well.
    2. Pros of Consulting :
    – You get paid double compared to fulltimers salary but income is not stable and also depends upon your
    technology and billing.
    Cons of Consulting :
    – Stress full life, specially if you have family/kids. Travelling makes it more stressfull.

  • Ankit Sethiya

    1 thing that is missing in pros of contracting or cons of full time is: If you are laid off from a full time job, you have to get a new job in 15 days or even less or else fly back to your country. In contracting jobs, even if you are laid off, your H1B will still be active under your employer’s name and so you get more than enough time to find a new job!

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