This is a short story from my book, A Survival Guide for New Consultants:
A long time ago -- 1991 to be exact -- a friend of mine named Joe was a contractor for the aerospace company I worked at. Just like a consultant, Joe was paid by the hour.
At some point Joe decided he was going to leave that company to take a permanent job elsewhere, as he had a medical problem and wanted to get better insurance. When he told our employer of his plans, the employer came back and asked, "What if we make you a full-time employee here?"
So they proceeded down the road to make Joe a full-time employee, but the process hit a snag. Because of his medical problem, my employer's insurance wouldn't pick him up.
At this point something very interesting happened.
When Joe went back to talk to my employer about his new salary, he assumed he was still talking about a full-time position, but the employer knew that the insurance company wouldn’t pick Joe up, so they thought they were talking about trying to keep him on as an hourly contractor.
During the salary discussion the employer asked, "Joe, how much would you like?", to which Joe only replied "80." (Like Clint Eastwood, Joe was a man of few words.) Fortunately for him he didn't say what he really meant, which was $80K per year.
Sitting on the other side of the table, the employer thought they were talking about a contracting rate, and they were stunned that he had the balls to ask for $80 per hour -- remember, this was 1991. But since he was very good at what he did, they said, "We'll have to get back to you." Eventually they did get back to him -- giving him the $80 per hour they thought he asked for!
Yes, that's $160,000 in 1991 money for the 2,000 work-hours in a typical year, not to mention the extra pay for overtime we always pulled, which was up to 20 hours per week. Working the math in my head, if you assume a cost of living increase of 4% per year, that "80" in 1991 would be worth over $320,000 in salary in 2012 -- without considering the overtime. Adding in the usual twenty hours per week of overtime we worked then, Joe would have made about $240,000 -- a salary of nearly $500,000 per year in 2012 money.
This story is continued in my eBook, A Survival Guide for New Consultants, which is only $2.99 on Amazon.com:
With many more stories like this, I hope you enjoy my book, and more than that, I hope it helps you have a very profitable and rewarding career.