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Thread: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

  1. #1
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    Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    In a few weeks, I will have finished my last two classes for the Summer semester and will have graduated. I am currently working part time doing Technical Support, but need to find some work that is more related to my field.

    Short Version: I'm young and still want to travel a lot, so, at the moment, I'm leaning more towards contract work, as that will give me the freedom to travel more. Plus I have few responsibilities and no wife/kids tying me down, so the lack of security isn't that big of a deal. I'm just wondering if it looks bad on my resume to only have contract work, as it will show that I have switched jobs every 3, 6, or 12 months.

    Long version: I'm 24 (25 in November), and really want to get some traveling done in the next 3-4 years before I start reaching the stage where I may want to settle down. Because of that, I think that maybe doing Contract work might better suite my lifestyle (at least for the next 3-4 years) as it will allow me to take a month or so off. I'm planning on attending the next World Cup (if I can) and trying to take a long trip to both Europe and somewhere in Asia. These are all fairly big vacations and I don't think I can do them as well, if I were to get a Full-time job. My only concern is I don't want to look unrealiable and uncommitted when I finally do decide to get a full time job, as my Resume will most likely be full of short term job experience.

  2. #2
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    I am kind of in the same situation, except that I graduated two months ago. My impression is that one can put own "freelance developer" as the job, so it is not a matter of having "switched jobs every 3, 6, or 12 months", but of having worked on different freelance projects "every 3, 6, or 12 months".
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  3. #3
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Yea.. I was thinking of putting them down as contract or freelance job, just wondering if that still looks unfavorable to someone looking to hire a full time employee.

  4. #4
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Working full time seems always better,

  5. #5
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    I hear that freelancers are experts of particular areas, but those contracts almost exists only in markets where free jobs are always available

  6. #6
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Meandering around and not really committing to a full time job will be seen as a negative by many companies. It could be seen as a lack of dedication. But then again, if you are confident in your skills and can do contract work regularly, then there is nothing wrong with being self employed. It just requires a bit more work on your part to keep money coming in....

    If you get a job where you can work remotely, then you could potentially work from the various locations you want to travel to. The big issue will be getting an employer to believe you would actually work while traveling. A lot of companies are more willing to higher remote/telecommuting coders, so this might be an even better route to go.

    As someone else stated - full time work is often better. The value of benefits and self employment tax (in US) are just some of the things that help make it a better option.

    Brad!

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    Thumbs up Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Jones View Post
    Meandering around and not really committing to a full time job will be seen as a negative by many companies. It could be seen as a lack of dedication. .........
    Brad!
    Regardless of culture, standards of morality, living, social welfare, security etc do exist, sometimes they are invisible heartbroken barriers, inessential judgments. Full time jobs help the young grow better, no parents would like to see their newly graduated children running around for a contract. In poor areas, contracts are for jobless people, which is not a correct evaluation to me. Even though one might find his income too little in a full-time position, but remember that unknown little things may bring him better joys and ease at times.

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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheComputer View Post
    but remember that unknown little things may bring him better joys and ease at times.
    The question centered on whether there would be a negative impact:

    Quote Originally Posted by dpatel304
    I'm just wondering if it looks bad on my resume to only have contract work, as it will show that I have switched jobs every 3, 6, or 12 months.
    To this, my answer was - most likely.

    As to enjoyment of life -- I don't disagree - travel when/while you can. Just know that it might make things harder later. The value of the travel and freedom now could outweigh any possible negative impacts later. It is for each person to way the impact of their actions. I think it is great that dpatel304 is evaluating the impact. That shows a level of wisdom that many people don't have.

    Brad!
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    LotsOfSoftware, LLC
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  9. #9
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Thank you for all the great responses. I'm still torn as to which route to take, but still found the input to be very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Jones View Post
    As to enjoyment of life -- I don't disagree - travel when/while you can. Just know that it might make things harder later. The value of the travel and freedom now could outweigh any possible negative impacts later. It is for each person to way the impact of their actions. I think it is great that dpatel304 is evaluating the impact. That shows a level of wisdom that many people don't have.
    Well put. I guess it explains why I'm still unsure of which route to take, as no one can really tell me which route is better. I guess I have to decide how important stability and freedom are going to be for me for the next four or five years. I'm kinda leaning towards a steady career now that I have thought about it. Although I may not have as much free time, I surely could manage to find enough time to travel where I want to.

  10. #10
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    I can't define my understanding that you travel then...work. This is trivial that you must work, travel for what ?
    Why does it last without clear statement from.the.start of your travel purpose ?

    You already graduated, not a kid of 12
    Last edited by Ledidas; August 9th, 2010 at 02:59 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpatel304 View Post
    Thank you for all the great responses. I'm still torn as to which route to take, but still found the input to be very helpful.



    Well put. I guess it explains why I'm still unsure of which route to take, as no one can really tell me which route is better. I guess I have to decide how important stability and freedom are going to be for me for the next four or five years. I'm kinda leaning towards a steady career now that I have thought about it. Although I may not have as much free time, I surely could manage to find enough time to travel where I want to.
    Are you planning a marriage too ? girls searching men prefer them to have skills and jobs, if you marry someone, your income will be doubled, then you can travel as you wish ???

  12. #12
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheComputer View Post
    Are you planning a marriage too ? girls searching men prefer them to have skills and jobs, if you marry someone, your income will be doubled, then you can travel as you wish ???
    In most Asian countries, parents have binoculars, so they look up men for their kids. you know what i mean ?

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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    As you are a beginner, you should do a full time job and train yourself well, doing contracts is for people who specialize in the type of work and that's how they can keep getting good money out the contracts even after not working full time. Your goal in the beginning should be to learn more and more than anything else, why ? cause the learning doesn't much happen in later phase of life, there you keep on applying your knowledge/experience, also the just out of school guys can do wonders in fast learning.
    Regards,
    Ramkrishna Pawar

  14. #14
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpatel304 View Post
    In a few weeks, I will have finished my last two classes for the Summer semester and will have graduated. I am currently working part time doing Technical Support, but need to find some work that is more related to my field.

    Short Version: I'm young and still want to travel a lot, so, at the moment, I'm leaning more towards contract work, as that will give me the freedom to travel more. Plus I have few responsibilities and no wife/kids tying me down, so the lack of security isn't that big of a deal. I'm just wondering if it looks bad on my resume to only have contract work, as it will show that I have switched jobs every 3, 6, or 12 months.

    Long version: I'm 24 (25 in November), and really want to get some traveling done in the next 3-4 years before I start reaching the stage where I may want to settle down. Because of that, I think that maybe doing Contract work might better suite my lifestyle (at least for the next 3-4 years) as it will allow me to take a month or so off. I'm planning on attending the next World Cup (if I can) and trying to take a long trip to both Europe and somewhere in Asia. These are all fairly big vacations and I don't think I can do them as well, if I were to get a Full-time job. My only concern is I don't want to look unrealiable and uncommitted when I finally do decide to get a full time job, as my Resume will most likely be full of short term job experience.
    Instead of treveling, you don't want to continue PhD, then expand into post PhD. Many people I guess I know have several PhDs at the same time.

    From master, expanding yourself into further studies is a cool thing, I don't know if that's what you might wish! (Hopefully I amnot/wasn't making up extra bullsh*ts)
    hi,,,

  15. #15
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    Re: Recent CS Grad: Is it better to find a steady career or contract work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Jones View Post
    Meandering around and not really committing to a full time job will be seen as a negative by many companies. It could be seen as a lack of dedication. But then again, if you are confident in your skills and can do contract work regularly, then there is nothing wrong with being self employed. It just requires a bit more work on your part to keep money coming in....

    Brad!
    Dedication? Admittedly this is my first time to hear of how American companies evaluate employees. I am surprised as it seems contradictory to what is in my mind.
    I always think an interviewee right in front of me might need to show that he knows how to do the job not that he thinks he can do it within a given timing framework. I never think the American people are more punctual than the Japanese. It seems to break the freedom of time usage. Does US society still preserve social and moral values in businesses ? On a competitive level, are US companies going to employ such theoretical performance to complete their business transactions instead ?
    hi,,,

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