Reader Case Study: A $20,000 raise and a 5 minute commute

A reader recently sent an update on how his 1099 efforts were going and I wanted to share it with you. While he hasn't successfully made the transition to 1099, he did improve his work situation quite a bit!

When you read this, pay attention to how he

  • Assessed his own value with the client and the market
  • Assessed his relationship with the client
  • Managed his risk
  • Created leverage
  • Dealt with a non-responsive program manager
  • Negotiated a better compensation package

Very cool story and I'm sure he'll get a 1099 gig soon.

CB's Story

Hi Dale,

I actually owe you an email and an apology. I bought your book a while back and then immediately after my wife and I had our first child so I’ve been busy to say the least.

Anyways, I know you emailed me and asked that I give some feedback on the book. I thought the book was great and really informative. I think it gives a lot of us government contractors the confidence to act like we know what we’re doing and enough tools to make that happen. I honestly don’t have any negative feedback on it besides the small change in DUNS registration/ which I think happened right before I was about to start that process.

After I read your book I immediately started working towards getting a 1099 contract BUT unfortunately I haven’t quite gotten there. Little background on me and my efforts so far. I am a government contractor obviously and I work in the Cyber Security sector, specializing in auditing and compliance. In my opinion the job is a perfect candidate for 1099 work due to a shortage in available personnel nationwide and even more so in auditing and compliance b/c it is one of the less “sexier” cyber security fields of study.

I took your advice and made sure of a couple of things before I told my current company that I wanted to go to 1099.

  • Made sure my job was a good fit for 1099 work.
  • Made sure my current customer would be outraged if I quit
  • I was currently already filling a top tier management role (however I am a lead) *I evaluated myself as honestly as possible to make sure my skills, experience, and resume stacked up against others in the field.
  • Made sure I had 3 months savings to fall back on if I got canned.

So long story short, I told my company that I wanted to go 1099 and that I’d like to do it with them if possible but understood if it wasn’t. Additionally, I told them (them being the deputy PM) that if it wasn’t I would be looking to do it elsewhere shortly after. Deputy PM discussed it with the PM and basically told me to call the PM b/c the PM had some advice that he wanted to pass on or some other bullshit. So I played the game and called (no answer), emailed (no answer).

I’m not one to waste time so I applied for another job immediately after and got a really nice offer.

At the time I was getting 160k, 22 days vacation (not including holidays), 30 min commute to customer site. My new offer was 165k, 23 days (not including holidays)), 5 min commute. I put my resignation in on a Friday around 4 pm. My supervisor at the time called me on a Saturday and said what do you need in order to stay? I said 1099 at 160 hr rate OR 180k salary plus an office in Chantilly (5 min from home).

I didn’t get 1099 but I did get a 20k pay increase and an office I can walk to. Obviously, it would’ve been nice to make 160 hr but I was happy with the increase in pay and no additional work.

So in terms of your book at the very least it has been beneficial in getting a damn good raise and helping me negotiate. The best part for me is the short commute which is a novelty in the DMV area. In the meantime I still have my LLC and I am locked and loaded for 1099 work if/when that time comes. Cheers!

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