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Staying in full-time for contract or taking on both?

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  • Sep 17th, 2018 10:44 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 13, 2018
6 posts

Staying in full-time for contract or taking on both?

I have a full-time job in a toxic work environment tech. start-up which pays 100K / year + worthless stock options + benefits. For different reasons (nepotism, high turnover, no respect for dev. etc), I am not satisfied. A US-based startup contacted me 7 months ago, wanted me to work as a consultant remotely from Canada, and travel from time to time to the USA and Belgium to work with their customers. Since then, we were not able to reach a deal, mainly because I suspect they did not have a final agreement with their prospects, so every time they were backpedalling saying they are not ready yet, because of this or that. After 2 months of silence, the company is contacting me again, telling me that now they are ready, and I should work as a consultant 140k/year for 4 months and then they will hire me when they create a branch in Canada.

From my perspective, both situations are quite unstable, the only attractive thing about the job for the company based in the US, is that I would work from home.
Since the startup in the US is flaky, I have started to think that instead of resigning, it would probably better to work for both startups and see how it goes later...

Any advice or thoughts?

Thanks
Last edited by Thomzaa on Sep 14th, 2018 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
8 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2823 posts
641 upvotes
Edmonton
Definitely do it. You could even end up double dipping and would work real good.

At worst. You end up with one job when one of them falls through. Win win situation.

If they make you come down for a week to US just tell your other company your sick
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Member
Feb 20, 2017
267 posts
80 upvotes
Barrie, ON
I've done something similar before but at my main job I had 10+ weeks of vacation I would use when I would have to commute to the office for meetings, etc.
Edit: pressed enter to quickly, I waited till one of them became what I wanted and quit my original job.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
7481 posts
4351 upvotes
Edmonton
Thomzaa wrote:
Sep 14th, 2018 12:51 am
I have a full-time job in a toxic work environment tech. start-up which pays 100K / year + worthless stock options + benefits. For different reasons (nepotism, high turnover, no respect for dev. etc), I am not satisfied. A US-based startup contacted me 7 months ago, wanted me to work as a consultant remotely from Canada, and travel from time to time to the USA and Belgium to work with their customers. Since then, we were not able to reach a deal, mainly because I suspect they did not have a final agreement with their prospects, so every time they were backpedalling saying they are not ready yet, because of this or that. After 2 months of silence, the company is contacting me again, telling me that now they are ready, and I should work as a consultant 140k/year for 4 months and then they will hire me when they create a branch in Canada.

From my perspective, both situations are quite unstable, the only attractive thing about the job for the company based in the US, is that I would work from home.
Since the startup in the US is flaky, I have started to think that instead of resigning, it would probably better to work for both startups and see how it goes later...

Any advice or thoughts?

Thanks
Can you realistically put in 80 hours per week? Can you take time off your regular job to do the travel required? Will the US company allow you to not be available during the day when other employees/clients might want to talk to you?

Is the work for the US company as a contractor (i.e. they don't withhold any taxes, you get no benefits, no paid time off, etc)? Or is it as a employed consultant. Two entirely different things.

C
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 13, 2018
6 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 14th, 2018 10:22 am
Can you realistically put in 80 hours per week?
In my current position, I usually arrive at the office at 11:20 AM just before the stand-up meeting and 99% of the time I am the last person to leave and close the door.

I've never worked two jobs before, but technically I think I can work 80 hours/week. I am planning to work from 6 AM to 11:00 AM from home, 11:30AM-6:30 PM at the Canadian startup, then 9 PM to 11:30 PM + weekends to catch up,
Can you take time off your regular job to do the travel required?

It will depend, I hope there won't be many travels. Typically in my full-time position, I can work from home once a week and regularly I would work from another city for three days after a family weekend before coming back to Toronto. The only requirement is to be available for the stand-up at 11h30 AM either on Skype or in-person. If necessary, I could use my sick days...
Will the US company allow you to not be available during the day when other employees/clients might want to talk to you?
That's the tricky part, but at the same time I am supposed to work for a client in a different timezone (Brussels) 6 hours ahead of Toronto time, so my idea is to start very early in the morning. For the customers located in the US, it won't be easy at all, as I won't be available in the afternoon.
Is the work for the US company as a contractor (i.e. they don't withhold any taxes, you get no benefits, no paid time off, etc)? Or is it as a employed consultant. Two entirely different things.
This is still not clear, as it is my understanding that one can either be an employee or a small-business (freelance/contractor/consultant). What is an employed consultant?

My rationale is that if I am not an employee of the US company, then I should be allowed to behave like an actual consultant, which means I can define my own schedule, buy and use my own tools, hire, etc..

Thanks
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Mar 23, 2008
7481 posts
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Edmonton
Thomzaa wrote:
Sep 14th, 2018 9:50 pm
In my current position, I usually arrive at the office at 11:20 AM just before the stand-up meeting and 99% of the time I am the last person to leave and close the door.

I've never worked two jobs before, but technically I think I can work 80 hours/week. I am planning to work from 6 AM to 11:00 AM from home, 11:30AM-6:30 PM at the Canadian startup, then 9 PM to 11:30 PM + weekends to catch up,


It will depend, I hope there won't be many travels. Typically in my full-time position, I can work from home once a week and regularly I would work from another city for three days after a family weekend before coming back to Toronto. The only requirement is to be available for the stand-up at 11h30 AM either on Skype or in-person. If necessary, I could use my sick days...


That's the tricky part, but at the same time I am supposed to work for a client in a different timezone (Brussels) 6 hours ahead of Toronto time, so my idea is to start very early in the morning. For the customers located in the US, it won't be easy at all, as I won't be available in the afternoon.



This is still not clear, as it is my understanding that one can either be an employee or a small-business (freelance/contractor/consultant). What is an employed consultant?

My rationale is that if I am not an employee of the US company, then I should be allowed to behave like an actual consultant, which means I can define my own schedule, buy and use my own tools, hire, etc..

Thanks
I can easily work 80 hours a week (with the right incentive... :) ). But the trick would be that most employer's seem to expect you to be available during THEIR business hours. If that's not the case for you, then you might be ok. Still sounds like it will a stressful situation, trying to juggle things and keep everyone happy.

I started off my consulting career as an employee of a consulting company. Think "IBM", but much smaller. I got paid holidays, benefits, etc. I was an employee who went and consulted with the clients to build them applications.

Now, I'm a contractor. My end client has a contract with a vendor, who subcontracts it out to me. In the end, I'm doing about the same job as I was before, but without benefits, and if I'm not doing billable work, I'm not getting paid. No holidays, paid vacations, benefits, and I don't get paid if I take a long lunch or go on a team building exercise (if I don't make it up at another time). However... That doesn't mean I can pick and chose my hours. Typically, I follow the rules of the client site with regards to hours. Most of my clients have been somewhat flexible, but there's no way I'd be able to swing your proposed schedule with two clients. The fact that my clients are all in the same time zone greatly affects that, though, and that wouldn't always be the case for you.

Different companies have different rules when it comes to contractors. Schedules, using your own computer(s) to access their systems, and even the hiring of someone (i.e. sub-contract) to do your work for you if you wanted to may all be controlled with your contract. The last one I signed was specific that only people identified in the contract could perform work for the client. I could have requested a change to the contract to remove that clause or added a name to the contract, but that would be part of the negotiations. As is, I didn't have say on that.

My point is that you shouldn't make assumptions of what you can make happen, and you should figure out what your priorities are. Is your employment with the startup your key focus? Or are you willing to get fired if you get caught taking sick days for personal use like that? Or if the startup figures you're not being productive at home anymore, so you lose your work from home privileges.

I think you need to be upfront with the US company at least, and make sure they're ok with working around your "base" schedule. Trying to keep both of them in the dark would be like dating two girls at once... It might be fun for awhile, but when it blows up, it won't be pretty. You could end up with nothing.

C
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 13, 2018
6 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Sep 14th, 2018 10:12 pm
I can easily work 80 hours a week (with the right incentive... :) ). But the trick would be that most employer's seem to expect you to be available during THEIR business hours. If that's not the case for you, then you might be ok. Still sounds like it will a stressful situation, trying to juggle things and keep everyone happy.

I started off my consulting career as an employee of a consulting company. Think "IBM", but much smaller. I got paid holidays, benefits, etc. I was an employee who went and consulted with the clients to build them applications.

Now, I'm a contractor. My end client has a contract with a vendor, who subcontracts it out to me. In the end, I'm doing about the same job as I was before, but without benefits, and if I'm not doing billable work, I'm not getting paid. No holidays, paid vacations, benefits, and I don't get paid if I take a long lunch or go on a team building exercise (if I don't make it up at another time). However... That doesn't mean I can pick and chose my hours. Typically, I follow the rules of the client site with regards to hours. Most of my clients have been somewhat flexible, but there's no way I'd be able to swing your proposed schedule with two clients. The fact that my clients are all in the same time zone greatly affects that, though, and that wouldn't always be the case for you.

Different companies have different rules when it comes to contractors. Schedules, using your own computer(s) to access their systems, and even the hiring of someone (i.e. sub-contract) to do your work for you if you wanted to may all be controlled with your contract. The last one I signed was specific that only people identified in the contract could perform work for the client. I could have requested a change to the contract to remove that clause or added a name to the contract, but that would be part of the negotiations. As is, I didn't have say on that.

My point is that you shouldn't make assumptions of what you can make happen, and you should figure out what your priorities are. Is your employment with the startup your key focus? Or are you willing to get fired if you get caught taking sick days for personal use like that? Or if the startup figures you're not being productive at home anymore, so you lose your work from home privileges.

I think you need to be upfront with the US company at least, and make sure they're ok with working around your "base" schedule. Trying to keep both of them in the dark would be like dating two girls at once... It might be fun for awhile, but when it blows up, it won't be pretty. You could end up with nothing.

C
Ok, I see what you mean by the term "employed consultant".
You are right; I should not make any assumptions about what I can do or not.

Since I am not happy with the Canadian start-up, I thought that it could be an excellent opportunity to start a consulting career. The idea is to stop being an employee at some point to become a full-time consultant.

Now, I guess I will have to choose my words wisely, to explain to the US company that, I will not be entirely dedicated and I would only be available during certain periods of the day. Following your analogy, It would be like telling your new girlfriend, that you are still going to see your ex every day after work, just before coming home for dinner... :rolleyes:

Being upfront can be tough sometimes.

Thanks
Deal Addict
May 16, 2005
2734 posts
135 upvotes
You'll also want to check the employment contracts you have with both companies. A lot of times, there is a clause put in that you may not work a 'second' job in the same industry, or some other form of non-compete clause.
This is important if it sounds like both companies are in the very small niche industry, and if they ever compete for the same customers, you may get yourself into some legal issues.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 13, 2018
6 posts
Good thinking!

I just finished reading the contract for the full-time job and did not see anything that prevents an employee from working a second job. In my case, the 2 startups operate in two different domains; something like banking Vs entertainment.
For the US startup, the contract is pretty basic (I don't know what such contracts are supposed to mention anyway), it only contains the following sections: Compensation, Confidential detail, intellectual property ownership, Services provided... no mention of my working hours and the fact that the so-called "consultant" cannot work elsewhere.

Thanks.

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