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I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

Employee or 1099?

My friend Wes Dumey does a lot of work in the business intelligence sector as a contract employee and has a post worth reading called The Great Debate - Employee vs. Consulting. I don't agree with all of his points, but it's an interesting conversation to have. I do agree that too many of us seem overly focused on benefits, rather than just looking at the dollar value of the benefits and adjusting the wage accordingly. For example, I pay about $6k a year for health insurance for my family. It doesn't matter if I make $100k and get free insurance, or make $106k and pay my own, I net the same (assuming benefits are comparable/reasonable). The challenge is that employers have to put everyone in the insurance pool to get the rate, and so as an employee you can't negotiate for that extra $6k easily (and the same for the 401k match). But as a contractor, all doors are open - you just have to understand your own costs, financial goals, market value, and then ask!

I don't want to comment much until Wes does part 2, but I'll finish with this; most of us prefer to be employees for three reasons:

  • We don't like any level of uncertainty in our lives and are willing to trade some percentage of salary for stability - human!
  • We like being part of a team - human!
  • We were never taught to be entreprenuerial - human perhaps, but a bigger failing in the education/mentoring picture

Wes has posted Part 2 before I get could this posted, so I'll wait on his Part 3 to finish my thoughts.


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