After almost exactly one year being fully on my own after shutting down Brightbit, I have decided to stop doing contract work, and accept a full-time position at NetSuite. I debated a lot about either staying on my own, or getting a full time job, and in the end, the job won out.
Why Go Back To Working For The Man?
In a nutshell: I needed a break from the responsibilities of running a company to reset my focus and priorities. Working for myself was amazing, and it’s something that I will probably go back to at some point in the future – just not for a while, and it will be under different terms.
Running, and subsequently shutting down Brightbit was the most stressful experience I have ever been through. Doing contract work on my own after Brightbit was a breath of fresh air, and a huge reduction in stress, but I still found myself worrying about all the same things (sales pipeline, invoicing, payments, performance, client communication, etc.), just on a smaller scale (only myself this time).
Time Was Money
Perhaps the largest contributing factor to me choosing to quit contract work was that I constantly found myself thinking (and valuing) my own time in terms of money. I was resistant to taking time off, and it was always a struggle in my mind, because I would always think of what the time off was costing me in lost work. This mentality affected my family life and marriage, and made me feel like I always needed to be working. If I did take time off, I needed to make it up sometime later – like on nights or on the weekend. This also affected my own time as well – it was hard to justify working on my own projects when there was always plenty of billable work to be done.
There are other ways to break this mentality besides quitting and taking a “normal job” for a while, but taking a job is the fastest and most frictionless ways to do it. I am still trading time for money, but the typical job arrangement means that I can relax a bit and no longer obsess over billable hours.
Benefits & Time Off
Ah, benefits. It’s nice to have them again. It’s also nice to not be paying both sides of the social security and medicare tax again. But the largest benefit I wanted? Paid vacation. I can’t tell you how nice it was to just take a week off inbetween quitting contract work and starting full time at NetSuite. It’s also nice being able to plan a future vacation for the summer and look forward to it without worry because I know I have plenty of paid time off.
Working with a team was another huge plus I that I was looking forward to. Working on my own was fun, but sometimes it felt a bit isolating. It’s nice to work with a good team again with lots of smart and talented people on it who are all working together towards the same goal.
Additionally, the pay and benefits are very good (mostly covered above), they allow and support remote workers, and the working pace is relaxed and low stress. It’s a good combination for employee happiness, and I hope to do some good high-impact work during my time with them.