Friday, April 18, 2008

What do you do?

It’s Tuesday night at the café. Two professional looking women walk in and orders two teas and a piece carrot cake. They both have their wallets out. Lady A actually have a $5 bill in her hand to pay. As I’m making the teas, Lady A asks what Lady B is doing these days. B is doing consulting. Actually, she points to A’s $5 bill and says:" That would be about a minute of my time."

With that kind of money I hope she’s treating. But I ask if they are paying separately anyway. B gets the bill and they keep talking as they walk towards an empty table.

I wonder what B does and if it’s a career I’m interested in. Of course there is a lot of the story I don’t know. She might not get $300/hr of consistent work year round. But she’ll make my annual salary in a few months of steady work and be free to do whatever else she wants. That is freedom I wish I had.

Also being able to command $300/hr means her skills are in demand and marketable. That is something I want for myself one day.

So really it’s not the amount, but what that amount means that impressed me.

Happy Friday! I'm working on a related (career) post, but Friday is a happy-end-of-the-workweek day I don't want to spoil.


Anonymous said...

That is kind of depressing. That is like half and hour or more of my time. It is kind of amazing what people can make a lot of money doing.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the high charge out rates are just for internal cost accounting at larger consulting firms. Also, the high charge out rates has little correlation as to what the person doing the work will take home on their paycheque. I'm in a similar field and have a rate of several hundred per hour - but my salary equates to about 1/10th of that amount, and even less when you consider overtime hours worked. I suspect the consultant in the coffee shop was in a similar situation!

Esme said...

That's true. My company certainly bills more for what I get paid. This women is independent though. Which also means she's got the contacts. How nice.