Contract Work vs Permanent Work

 
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Hello All,

I was hoping to get advice from senior technology career professionals. I graduated from Graduate School 2 years ago. While going to school and for about 1.5 years after school I was working for an awesome company and loved my work but was paid poorly (probably justified due to my experience). The company was acquired and in the midst of it, I had my first recruiter hit me up to change jobs. They convenienced me change was coming and offering me more money than I ever made. So I made the change and I am not happy with my job because of my lack of research. I have only been there 6 months and the pay is great but I am just not excited about the work. Lately, because of the first company I worked for and what has happened with them, there have been several contract jobs pop up ranging from 3 months to 1yr+. I have been contacted by handful of recruiters again trying to convience me to do contract work and I am a little hesitant because of my current situation. That being said, I have never done a contract job in this respect. I have built small businesses websites and developed custom applications for companies on the side but nothing major. I don't expect contract work for large corporations to be the same as these were. So that being said, my questions are:

1) Do you charge more per hour for contract work with large corporations. If I make $40/hr for a permanent job, can I charge $50/hr or $60/hr for a 3 month contract job. (I know this depends on experience but assuming I have the experience that justifies me getting the job, do I charge more?)
2) If I leave my current job after 6 months and do contract work, so several temp jobs over the next few years, does that look bad on your resume if I decide to go back to a permanent job?
3) Do I need to setup an LLC to protect myself?
4) Forgetting about contract work for a second, is it wrong to start looking for a permanent job at another company after only six months with my current job?

Thanks in advance.

 
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I work for a consulting firm rather than freelance, but technically the work is still contract. So....

  1. We charge the same base hourly rate across the board, with business and after hours charges for support.
  2. Work is work. As long as you can show a steady stream of contracts as opposed to sporadic contracts, I wouldn't look down on a span of contract work.
  3. This is outside of my experience, but I wouldn't imagine that being a sole proprietor would be terribly risky as long as you have a lawyer draw up or review your contracts. The important part of liability is knowing when to take the reigns/make decisions and when to step back and allow others to take the risks.
  4. Prospective employers should understand that there may be a poor fit in the mix. The real red flag is a lot of short term permanent jobs on your resume. This suggests a job hopper who's more of a drain on the company's resources.
 
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Thank you for the feedback.

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