I just upgraded my blog a new version and found this old draft from October 19th 2011. I’m not sure why I never published it but I am now. It is not particularly interesting or inciting but enjoy my thoughts.
This past Monday I started a new job, well sort-of new anyway. I find myself at a former employer of mine again, this time as a contractor. “Always move forward, never back” is my philosophy when it comes to jobs. Vesting in my work is part of my method and it is difficult to untangle business from this investment. It’s just easier to keep moving forward, never mind the tangential concept of being able to follow opportunities that otherwise may have not come your way.
Opportunities seem to work in a very subtle way. I find I am much more likely to spot an opportunity when I need an opportunity. I bet they are everywhere and I simply do not see them, or fail to act.
The story starts at our annual Weenie Roast this past summer. A good friend of mine is there and I mention my concerns with my contract at the time. The job was great, the people were great, the commute was awesome! Unfortunately their standard contract term of 2 months at a time was proving difficult.
If you’ve never spent a few years as a contractor, you may not know. The most difficult time to get a new gig is the last two-thirds of the 4th quarter. There is a small burst near the end as any remaining budget surpluses are used to avoid being allocated less next year.
I mentioned my fears to my buddy and he told me to polish up the resume and he would put it in the process; an opening was in the pipe. In the interest of permanent employ, I did exactly that.
This was mid summer and was squarely in a contract with plenty of projects and budget on the horizon and the time was right to lay some groundwork . I fully wanted to and expected to stay where I was. A good team is hard to come by and special in my industry, and worth hanging on to.
Tick-tock, time passes and mid September comes along and my team lead voices some concerns about project and budget showed some signs of beginning to lag. He used to be a contractor and appreciated the need to move light and maintain your reputation. This daddy’s got bills to pay!
I gave my recruiter at the contracting company I work for and gave her the heads up. And I will say this, I really appreciate the way that this place has handled me and my career. Very professional and made me feel like a person and not just contractor number QQ3984.
In the meantime, my buddy’s organization had contacted me and I had a few phone screens and had to fly out to Oklahoma (beautiful state, I wish I had been able to take in some sights.) I really liked everyone I spoke with and met, truly a great group of guys and gals! The one thing that worried me was that primary management was in California, and was a marketing company. This, in and of itself is not a big deal but if you’re in IT goals for a marketing company differ from those of a systems or business company. Goal alignment may mismatch. This has been my experience, mileage may vary.
The day after the trip to OK, my recruiter called with an opportunity from a former employer of mine. I’ll be honest, I was at this place for 4 years and I truly enjoyed every second of the people I worked with. The politics, I was not so fond of. But, the culture was great as well so, which I find I appreciate more the older I get. I have earnestly been trying to get back in there since I left. Their HR department is a hard nut to crack. So I quickly accepted and then had a phone screen.
Now here’s where the story begins to get weird, at least for me. I ended up receiving an offer from both my buddy’s place, and my former employer, and it looked like my current employer would be able to renew me for two or three more terms based on what was pending. Three options, I am never that guy with options.