Bad Thing About IT Contracting
There’s only one bad thing about IT Contracting.
One Issue About IT Contracting
I have been IT contracting (software) for a long time. For me, there is really only one issue about contracting. Everything about contracting is easy except this one issue.
It is that I am almost always get contracts at a time when the client‘s project is in a state of extreme distress. In my experience clients only seem to recruit contractors when they are desperate. More than anything else this has huge implications for my employment experience.
Clients don‘t seem to recruit contractors for any reason other that they think that they absolutely have to if they are going to have any chance of saving their projects.
Generally speaking, their projects are not saveable. Often they are aware of that at the outset but they are in denial of it.
When I arrive at a client – whatever I‘m told at interview – I find that the team is always under extreme pressure, that relationships within the team are very strained and often that the project manager is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This does vary a little bit.
Sometimes it‘s not immediately obvious and sometimes from the outset it‘s its like working for Basil Fawlty.
One occasion when I got a contract everything seemed fine. Interviews were all quite pleasant, everything seemed positive and nobody had said anything to me that made me at all suspicious.
I joined the team and they introduced me – the project manager came into address us all and began a ten minute rant about how crap the team was, why the team had to ‘buck its ideas up’ and what terrible consequences there would be if it didn‘t.
He was obviously way out of his depth. The only thing he didn‘t do was run out into the car park and start beating his car with a stick.
Unpleasant Project Manager
The project manager was really unpleasant about things, although the permies didn‘t seem all that bothered. They didn‘t seem to care much about his project – even the terrible consequences he‘d threatened – and this was obviously because of his attitude. Anyway, as you can imagine, that project failed.
In general I find that being a contractor on a project is to be a symbol of that project‘s difficulties. Every time managers look at you they are looking at an expensive consequence of their problems.
My presence as a contractor on a project has never been welcomed, only tolerated because it has to be.
And then, after all that, agents ask me for references.
One bad thing about IT Contracting is that agents don‘t really understand the business at all!
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