Re: Early contracting experiences? Learning the haard way! (Part 2 of 2...)

Subject: Re: Early contracting experiences? Learning the haard way! (Part 2 of 2...)
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 11:59:30 -0700 (PDT)

"Charles E Vermette" <cvermette -at- juno -dot- com> wrote in message
news:167128 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-

> Good news Sue (and I'm serious) you'll have the material for a book when
> you're done. Write it. Again, I'm serious. I can tell from your writing
> style and tone that you'll be OK, that you have your act together, and
> that you'll learn from this. (By the way: there's a career track for
> people who get burned and can warn others off... it's called training or
> consulting <vbg>...)

No its called burger flipping. Nobody likes a sour "they always screw me and I am
going to screw them first" type of consultant.

99.9% of all contracting mishaps happen because of poor communication and
misunderstanding. This is usually closely associated with stubbornness and
inability to see the larger picture.

You have to remember the power balance in a contracting relationship. They have
the money. That gives them (the employer) the final say in just about everything.
Therefore, you can approach this in a few ways.

1) You show up loaded for war and demand they change everything to suit your
needs. This will most often result in spectacular flame outs and sometimes even
lawsuits! If the company has a clue, they won't even hire you in the first place.
But sometimes they mistake this assholish attitude for enthusiasm.

2) You show up meek and oppressed and glumly do your job while constantly angry
that you have to "do it their way." This results in a lame contracting engagement
and never being asked back.

3) You do a half-assed job, go along with everybody, put up with everything. They
ask you to come on full-time for their management fast-track.

4) You slowly and steadily adapt and melt yourself and your habits into their
environment. Quietly and subtly you help improve things. You do things slowly and
carefully such that improvements are subtle and the people in power do not
perceive you as a threat. Then after a while, everybody is looking to you for
support and help because they have slowly come to realize your expertise is
valuable. This results in continued contracts and millions in revenue.

Take your pick. Rant and rave and demand everything change - get fired. Learn
diplomacy and improve slowly - be a hero.

Andrew Plato

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