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John has done an excellent job of capturing the reason some of us go
from perm to contract to perm to contract with some deliberation. The
job we took was the best *job* available at the time, given where we
wanted to go next in our careers. Not the best contract job, or the best
permanent job. The best job.
Sometimes the sector one is in dictates more contract work and
change-over. I tend to work on installations of enterprise-type
back-office business software (payroll, HR, etc.) Those projects are
finite and then they go into maintenance mode. The employer may actually
want to have different people for the maintenance phase because the
workers who pulled off the project may be unhappy with the slower pace
of maintaining the software. So you hire contractors for the first phase
because you only need them for a finite period of time. [For an
interesting discussion about this in a broader sense, Geoffrey Moore
describes very well how different phases of a business lifecycle, too,
may require different personalities (I can't recall if he does this in
"Crossing the Chasm" or "Inside the Tornado." I recommend both.)] But,
no matter which phase you're hiring for, the important thing is to fit
your people to the project. If you have a dynamic employee who likes to
get things done, should you put him/her on one of these maintenance
projects, just because of employment status? Probably not.
On Behalf Of jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 6:17 AM
Subject: RE: Serious Q
At the time I took the contract, it was the most interesting and
challenging option available. ...As for why I want to come 'inside' now,
the answer is much the same: an opportunity to join a dynamic, growing,
and interesting organization, to build a group within that organization,
and a challenge to develop a world-class product.
In my experience at least, what drives me is what drives me, and
sometimes the best vehicle available is a contract, at other times it's
a salaried position.
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