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Consulting for former company?

By leela626 ·
A few months ago I worked full-time as a helpdesk assistant for a small company. There were only two of us in the department and my manager (the director) was hired after me, so from day one he came to me with questions about how things ran, where things were, what passwords were, etc. Being new, and being fairly inexperienced myself, I let this go on for a few months before I realized that my once helpdesk job had grown to encompass nearly everything ? network and sys administration, security, off-hours monitoring and maintenance, etc (as I?m sure many of you are familiar with), and of course without the pay or recognition to go with it. I brought this up to the director several times with no result, and in the end I left for another job with less responsibility and higher pay. I still occasionally consult on the side for my former company, generally doing hardware maintenance and the like, but my manager continues to email me constantly with questions about how to do things, what passwords are, how various things are configured, things that as the director, he really should have known in the first place. It has been about two months since I left, and I am still getting several emails a day. I do not mind answering these, but how long should I let this go on? My question is this: do I owe it to my former company to continue to answer these questions, or can/should I start charging him for my answers? (I currently do not.) If I am to start billing the company, what kind of a rate should I charge? I?ve never been in a situation like this before and would appreciate any advice ? thanks!

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by ldsibert In reply to Consulting for former com ...

I would kindly explain to him that you do not work there anymore, and that he cannot expect you to "still help him out" he should know by now what he's doing, which he does not evidently. I would explain to him your going to have to bill him for your time, suggest to him a service agreement contract. If he's hesitant to go that way, and tries to keep getting answers from you for free, poiltely tell him "No, I cannot help you" and if he persists, hang up the phone. Fee wise, you would have to be consistant to the going IT rate in your locality.

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Actually it should be

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

The going Consulting Rate in your area not the going IT rate as these are different things and require different responsibilities.

By continuing to answer his questions you may conceivably be held responsible if there is a major incursion to the companies network or other breakdown in Sys Admin.

What you will have to look at is not only the going Consulting rate in your area but the Consulting Rate for the actual job you are being asked to perform which sounds very much like some sought of "Security Consulting." There are quite large differences in these consulting rates and you should charge accordingly.

Personally I'd avoid a fixed retainer as if you go down that route you'll have this guy on the phone all the time it would be better to charge on a per call basis and hopefully eventually the calls/e-mails will stop. Of course if you want the work you can always charge a monthly rate but from experience you'll end up doing a lot more work than required.

Col

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Why buy the cow...

by gralfus In reply to Consulting for former com ...

...when you can get the milk for free? As long as you don't require a standard fee for his questions, you will be seen as a free resource. You have the power to make money off of this, since they trust you as a resource. Lay it out in black and white, exactly what it will cost them to continue to get help. You are a professional and should be treated as one.

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I have been through the same thing

by zlitocook In reply to Consulting for former com ...

Both answers are right but you should make your own consultant contract (I have several if you need them) and send it registered mail to the director of that company. They will ask why they need your services, you will reply that you are helping (add your person) by email, phone ect. And can not do so any more with out Compensation. If they ask why that person should need your help, he/she is doing a great job. You now need to send them the email or how you helped them over the phone. Oh and do not respond to any emails from this person until you hear from the director! I have been through this two times and both times the person I was helping looked like a god and I was made to look like I getting his/her help. I now save emails and record what I help others with. IT was alot easyer a few years ago, we all just helped each other and had fun!

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