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bluto

Changing jobs during a pandemic

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About me: mid 30s, single, healthy, no debt (I'm frugal and then some) and money in the bank... damn I'm boring

I work in a generally stable financial service industry and have a secure position at a company making good money, especially for my needs. Been there for less than 2 years. However, the personal future prospects aren't great - not even a 401k offered and no shot at ever having an equity stake. Plus private equity has their claws in us  despite them having zero prior experience in our industry. It's a bitch of a job overall workload wise with minimal support staff and, besides some coworkers/job security, it has minimal redeeming attributes. 

A household name company approached me recently as they are in desperate need for what I do immediately. Interviews and conversations have been great and they want me on board. Issue is that they are under a hiring freeze with this whole pandemic thing. In case the hiring freeze doesn't thaw soon, they are wanting/preparing to bring me on as a 1099 while accounting for COBRA coverage and what I would have to pay out of pocket for taxes as a 1099. This would be a career/life changing move having this company and this role on my resume and they have a very good retirement/benefits, support system, leadership etc etc.

 

Questions:

Am I an idiot for even considering this jump during these times?

What's a reasonable % bump over my current comp plan considering my personal risk (1099 factor, leaving a secure position, and likely burning the bridge)? Yea, I know it's my call on what I think it's worth ultimately. 

Most importantly, what the hell should I make sure to cover for protection in the 1099 contract in case shit really hits the fan (dogs and cats living together level) with COVID besides tax/cobra coverage? Some type of clause that if they decide to scrap the position before bringing me on full time they owe me an obscene lump sum?

Edited by bluto

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If the new gig is what you want to do and is a better prospect than your current deal, go for it.  You are in your 30's and single -- what's not to like about that?  Comp?  Do some research. If the #'s are in the range of reasonableness, ask for a 50-75% pay bump.  All they can do is say no or negotiate down.  They want you.  You are in the driver's seat.  Good luck.

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You have to pay 15% in self employment taxes. Also, you can only be on COBRA for 18 months before having to go to the much higher cost Obama exchange. I bet if you pressed them a bit on a full-time role, they might go high enough to approve it if you can bring revenue with you. Also being the last guy in the door could mean first guy out of it gets worse for them over the coming months. They could cut-off that 1099 at any time by Oud want a contract for a significant payment if they were to do that.

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Great question and to be honest, we're in uncharted territory here especially given that we don't know much about the exact job and demand.

I think your choice might be more than demanding W2 (regular employee) vs 1099. You can ask if they work with a staffing company that will provide you with W2 status and benefits. You still should want a higher hourly rate (for you) than the normal salary but you don't have to worry about factoring in the cost of benefits or other taxes.

If the money and job are worth it, I say go for it. Taking risks in an uncertain world can have huge payoffs. Sure you could be out on your ass but it doesn't sound like unemployment would hurt you much in that scenario. 

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Bad idea jeans right now.  Seriously, it’s way too unpredictable.  I’d sit tight until things normalize just a little bit.

Issue is my industry has an annual busy season and then is borderline dormant until it ramps back up the next year so that’s the reason for the time crunch on it all.

Thanks a lot for the feedback from everybody. Generally agree with the sentiment of me being in a good position to roll the dice. And this all could be a “moo” point if their offer is trash, but I’m expecting it to be worthwhile.

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9 hours ago, bluto said:

... Most importantly, what the hell should I make sure to cover for protection in the 1099 contract in case shit really hits the fan (dogs and cats living together level) with COVID ...

Read and understand whatever language the contract has related to force majure / acts of God. 

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if THEY approached you, and things have progressed positively, you are in the driver seat for the compensation. 

 

i say shoot the J

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Aren't you under contract on a house right now?  If so, you definitely need to hang tight

Selling yes. Option period expires Sat. Even with current income my expenses are low enough to carry it plus rent. Worst case is the deal falls thru and I slash & run or toss a tenant in to cover non principal carrying costs.

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16 hours ago, Parliament said:

You can always find a reason for, "It's not the right time." If it's the right opportunity, you should do it.

I normally subscribe to this train of thought, but "pandemic" would be one of those reasons to think about.

I don't know enough about 1099 employment to give a reasonable estimate on how much of a pay bump you should be looking for; though, in general, if they need you immediately, are a big company with significant resources, and are asking you to take a huge risk the answer is something in the ballpark of "a really fucking big one."

You mentioned your current job is controlled by private equity. It may not be as stable as you think. Those guys are genuine scum and will be the first to trim fat (or even muscle or bone) for short term gain, even at the expense of long term business health. Add to it that you say they aren't experienced in your field and I am not sure I would feel the current position is so secure.

I wouldn't write it off all together, but they absolutely need to make it worth your while.

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Before I can give you an opinion, I need to know length (flaccid/hard), circumference,  and whether you're cut or uncut.

 

EDIT: OH SHIT, WRONG BOARD

Edited by Gil Bang

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I normally subscribe to this train of thought, but "pandemic" would be one of those reasons to think about.
I don't know enough about 1099 employment to give a reasonable estimate on how much of a pay bump you should be looking for; though, in general, if they need you immediately, are a big company with significant resources, and are asking you to take a huge risk the answer is something in the ballpark of "a really fucking big one."
You mentioned your current job is controlled by private equity. It may not be as stable as you think. Those guys are genuine scum and will be the first to trim fat (or even muscle or bone) for short term gain, even at the expense of long term business health. Add to it that you say they aren't experienced in your field and I am not sure I would feel the current position is so secure.
I wouldn't write it off all together, but they absolutely need to make it worth your while.

Thanks you all for the perspective

The PE aspect is something I’m very familiar with unfortunately. I had a ~front row seat to watch a past employer of mine go through a few PE churns until one got left holding the severely over levered bag... shit got ugly reallllly quickly. 10% of the head count cut loose on a Friday afternoon. 70-80% turnover within a few years. Bonuses trimmed to nil and delayed payment by many months. Just a nightmare culture, completely ruined a lot of people.

The PE angle was a concern when I signed up ‘here’ but they blew smoke up my ass about it (not dishonest but not exactly forthcoming) and simply money whipped me to the tune of a 60% bump.

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Tangent:

If you can answer, how large is your current company? I'm quite surprised any decent sized company, esp in a financial industry, doesn't offer a 401k in this day and age.

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Tangent:
If you can answer, how large is your current company? I'm quite surprised any decent sized company, esp in a financial industry, doesn't offer a 401k in this day and age.

Less than 100.

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Update: offer came in early this morning, base bump about 30% plus signing bonus and promotion/bump on deck for next year. Overall total is approx a 15% bump for this yr .... but I’ve come to realize that I damn well shouldn’t be calculating anything more than base salary/sign bonus into these figures for this year no matter where I work, and be damn happy I’m not having to take a cut or worse.

 

We’re going to finalize things early next week.

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