This is a series of posts on Contractor Life. The others are:
1. Life as a Contractor
2. Show Me The Money!
3. Office Politics
4. Admin Overhead
5. Time is Money
I've been a project manager for many years now, and a good part of that time has been as a contractor. It took me a long time to make the decision to become a contractor, and I weighed up a lot of the pros and cons. Unfortunately, we're now in an economic climate which means many of you may be thinking of contracting because you are being forced into it - times are tough, and people are finding themselves without a job.
But being pushed into making a decision doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad one! This series is going to look at what I have found to be the differences between being a contractor, and being a permanent employee. It'll look at the things I enjoy about being a contractor, and yes, the things I miss about being a permie. Hope you enjoy it!
In this first installment, I am looking at what initially attracted me to contracting: Variety
I love working on projects. It always feel great to me to be brought into a new environment, with a new problem to solve, a new puzzle to put together. To me, the sense of the new is one of the things that attracted me not only to contracting, but to project management itself.
Let's face it, there is no better way to see different parts of your organisation than by being a project manager. Not only are you likely to work on projects from different areas of your business, but you will also need to work across departments and functions, and so get an exposure to them.
This works well within an organisation, but the possibilities as a contractor are so much wider. As a contractor, with the very marketable and transferable skill of project management, you can start to work not only across one company, but across the whole of that industry, and even across more industries.
This is something that really gets me excited. I know it sounds a bit, well, nerdy, but finding out about whole new industries is fascinating. In just my last few roles, I have learnt about the inner workings of the telecoms market, computer support for blind and deaf users, and the process of gaining planning permission for a listed building!
This one is going to have to go down as a definite plus for contracting, at least as far as I am concerned. It has broadened my horizons and given me exposure to industries, companies, and most importantly, to people that I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. And that's got to be a plus.
Next week, I'll be looking at the root of all evil, money. See you then!
Trevor Roberts blogs at Project Management Guide (www.projectmanagementguide.org) about all aspects of project management. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/trev_roberts.