Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Working For A Living

I'm an IT Professional and number cruncher - this cartoon speaks to me.
I like to keep this blog focused on bike related topics. But I’ve been preoccupied lately by work; which is tied into motorcycling. No work, no money, no riding. Been there done that. I don’t have a “real” job. I’m a contractor – but not an “independent” contractor. What does this mean? It means I’m an employee with few benefits, who is subject to the whimsy of budget more than a “real” employee. I work for company X, which is owned by company Y. It looks like I work for company Y until it’s time to pass out the benefits, bonus and vacation time. Company Y is reorganizing; “all” of the company X contracts are being terminated. Thanks for the good work, here is the door. I’ve been here 18 months.

I signed up for such an arrangement because I wanted to go riding. The number one reason people give for not realizing a riding dream is their inability to take enough time off from work. Contracting was my solution to this dilemma. I took the position, did good work, became a valuable team member, and got my contract renewed every quarter. Then I let them know that I wouldn’t be here for 5 weeks in the summer. Not much they can do, if I’m not here they are not paying me. An employee would never have pulled it off. I was prepared to leave all together had someone said no, but I was lucky that they anxiously awaited my return.

I accomplished my goal, but the negative side to such freedom is the insecurity of facing another period of unemployment until I can pick up another contract. I am considering perm positions as well, but really, the idea of being locked in makes my wanderlust soul cringe. If I was better at networking maybe I could work freelance, the best of all worlds. Maybe that should be my next goal.

1 comment:

Less said...

I was in the same boat of sorts...

Well, except that I don't ride a motorcycle anymore. Primarily I need more flexibility so that I could visit "the wife" 3 hours away, next state over, because she decided to go back to school.

My "solution" was to start my own company; it sort of works. YMMV. On the positive side, I don't have to be somewhere at set hours, on the minus side, I work minimum 10 hour days, sometimes as much as 20.

I program a whole lot... Company is small, just 4 of us, and if I don't do the heavy lifting, nobody will and we go under.

Good luck!