Started a New IT Contract
A contractor who started a new IT Contract recently sent us this.
Dr. McLaughlin, I started a six-month contract about a month ago and was delighted to get it.
I have a specialist skill that pays £650 a day.
The manager who interviewed me took me round to meet everyone on the first day and when he took me to meet one guy at his desk he told me ‘You‘ll be helping X’.
Permanent Employee Not Pleased
I have to say that the guy didn‘t look delighted.
It looked as if it had come as news to him.
I went back to my desk expecting that someone would contact me to tell me what they wanted me to do.
However – nothing.
The manager is never there as he out and about and the guy he introduced me to has never come up to me in the month I‘ve been there.
Getting No Work
I have a PC at my desk but I‘ve never been even shown how to log in.
I bring my own PC with me.
Has this ever happened to you Dr. McLaughlin?
What should I do?
Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Contracting Advice
It‘s something that happens less and less now as permies are a lot more used to contractors now as most major companies and even smaller ones have had contractors.
I used to go into quite a few companies where I was the first ever contractor.
It usually wasn‘t great.
Some people were OK and others would ignore you entirely.
However, I‘ve never been in a company where it was as bad as at yours.
Paying a Contractor for Doing Nothing
However, the main problem is not yours.
They‘re paying a contractor for doing nothing.
It‘s their own fault as they haven‘t given you anything to do or any instructions.
I‘m sure that it was left to this other guy to organise things for you.
As he hasn‘t, that‘s his problem.
Cover Your Backside
However, you should at least cover yourself.
You should go over to this guy (I can almost picture him) and say something like ‘If you want anything I‘m just over there. Just give me a shout.’
He may ask you something.
Perhaps he is just shy.
Doesn’t Like IT Contractors
More likely though he doesn‘t like contractors and never wanted your help in the first place.
If he doesn‘t ask for your help that‘s his problem and he‘ll have to answer for it if he screws up.
If your boss ever comes back and asks you what has happened you can say that you went over to him and offered your help but that he had never got back to you.
It‘s not up to you to organise your own work.
Learning a New Skill
So, now that you‘ve done that, your time is your own.
You‘ve got your own PC.
Why not use it and the time to acquaint yourself with any skills they have there that you don‘t have.
As the skill is there at the company you can put it on your CV.
Started a New IT Contract – Getting Paid for Doing Nothing
Otherwise do what the hell you want.
As long as they keep paying you, that‘s the main thing.
You‘re unlikely to get a renewal but you will have plenty of time to look for a new contract.
IT Contracting From Home
If you feel a bit cheeky, why not ask this guy ‘Would it be OK if I worked from home occasionally.’
Knowing this type he‘ll probably just shrug his shoulders as if to say ‘Do what you like. I don‘t care’.
It‘s then up to you to decide how often occasionally is.
It can be a bit tiring going in every day and doing nothing.
You could have the occasional day off while still billing.
The less often you are there the less likely it is that people notice that you are doing nothing.
6 Months Contracting Money
The results you are looking for is 6 months contracting money.
I make it that you will ‘earn‘ £84,500 in that time.
You might even be able to get other clients on your ‘days off‘.
I bet that other guy has really knocked himself out to learn the skill that you were brought in to help him with, so that he wouldn‘t have to ask for your help or use you in any way at all.
Just don‘t take the p*ss and ask for a renewal – especially at a higher rate.
Have you ever started a new IT contract and found something like this?
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