Powerbuilder Jobs…..Learning About Consulting vs. Contracting

I worked as a powerbuilder consultant for a small firm in New York City. Depending on the day, I’d go to various places and program their systems. Some places, I’d stay for several months, to the point that I felt like I was more of an employee of their place than mine.

This was my first real job out of college. I sent my resume to a number of places listed in Jobtrak and they called and after a few interviews, offered me a job. I always liked the idea of working for a small firm, plus I needed a job.

I learned a lot in that job. I learned that my school hadn’t taught me many real life skills. They taught me Powerbuilder which basically set me up for my career as once you have a ‘hot’ skill, you can write your own ticket. My boss was fairly understanding and they did a good job of praising me.

I also learned a lot of things about the business world, which eventually led me to leave and try contracting. Consulting is based on hourly billing, so they were constantly trying to get more hours out of you. And when I resisted, I could sense the change in attitudes…

At the risk of bragging, I was really good at my job, but unfortunately, consulting companies don’t care so much about that. An hours work is an hours work no matter what gets done. And you can often impress clients by looking and talking the part more than you can by actual work.

So I left to become a contractor. I don’t have to fight with anyone about hours or vacation. It all comes out of my pocket…but I get paid a whole lot more. Before, I made perhaps 25% of the billable rate and now I clear about 80% (20% goes to an agency which does the red tape as I work abroad).

Still, computers aren’t my calling and I hope to do something else some day. But it is a good way to get paid well with not too much experience. I’ll live with that for now.