Never go back to a Client’s Site a Second Time

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Never Go Back
Never Go Back

Never Go Back

Never Go Back is by Paranoid Pete.

It is never better the second time around at a site where you have worked before. I will explain why.

Applies to Contracting

It should not surprise you that the old cliche ‘Never go back‘ should also apply to contracting. I have worked for four different companies on two or more separate occasions, the gaps being a number of years.

I cannot think of any occasion where the second time round went better. There are of course reasons for this.

First of all, there‘s not the interest involved in seeing a new company‘s culture with new people, new practices and even a different locality to explore. The methods and standards they use, the way they program is the same so you won‘t really learn so much.

Everything and everyone seems the same apart from looking a bit fatter, older and more baldy.

The men are just as bad!

Major Pitfall – Never Go Back

A major pitfall to look out for is that your previous team will have given you a good reference – otherwise you wouldn‘t be working there again.

Usually they will take you on again without an interview. However, you‘ll probably be working for a different supervisor who might feel that the powers that be foisted you on him/her.

You won‘t have come through the stressful technical tests that the other contractors did. Your glowing reference may have come via your ability in an area of software that you‘re strong in.

This post might involve stuff that you‘re less knowledgeable about. You might also feel that having proved yourself previously, 90% of commitment will do.

The Upshot

The upshot is that you could be like this chap I worked with. He had spent five years on contract at this firm and rejoined after a two year gap to a different section.

He saw all his old mates, strutted down the corridors like a Wild West gunslinger and ended up being sacked one month into the project.

Talking about pals, they can also cause problems. I‘ll never forget the first day back in a repeat contract where the manager was giving me an overview of the system.

An old mucker came past my desk at which I was looking suitably serious and trying not to catch his eye. This friend did a double take and burst out laughing when he saw me.

He said he never saw me look so interested in anything work-related. He did apologise for it later and the manager saw the funny side of it but that may not always be the case.

Looked Good on CV

I used to think that a repeat contract looked well on the CV. Now, I‘ve been told various reasons for my selection but that was never one of them.

Of course, there are advantages in going back. You‘ll know people to socialise with. You‘ll know the best way to get there and the set up with pubs, shops, leisure centres etc.

In fact, if you‘re outside the South East, it can be the only way of avoiding having to stay away during the week.

For me, though, that‘s not enough. I still like the shock of the new. The only thing is, at what company am I at now? You‘ve guessed it with the way the contract market is – somewhere I worked five years ago!

Never go back is my advice.

For more good advice on Contracting click on Contracting.

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