Wow, I’ve been out of it for a while…
I’ve failed to mention my new job at TQL as Web Team Supervisor (best described as “all things web”). Well, 2yrs ago isn’t “new” anymore, though. The job was both a break for me and also an experiment to try A) being not a consultant, B) working for a non-IT organization, and C) working with bigger stuff. The break/experiments are over now — my questions are answered and I’m back to working on Slingshot Solutions full-time (never actually stopped, but it was only for a few clients).
Enough background. Going into this, I wanted to start a “consultant-vs-corporate drone” comparison . Coming back out, I do again. So here it is. I’ll just sketch it here and fill it in as I think of it. Consider this in progress:
Working For The Man: Regular and Separate.
But too many, and for no extra reward but sacrifice to my own quest for perfection.
Working For The Me: Free and Easy.
“Working for the man” can mean “I’m the man!” But sometimes it’s too free. I often found/find myself working at odd hours I shouldn’t. And often my boss was a jerk — time off doesn’t pay the bills, so no vacation and no sick time. Chalk this up to I’m just a nincompoop.
Sense of Ownership
The Man: Good-ish.
Unfortunately, a strong sense of ownership without enough discretion = lousy follow-through and perpetual frustration. Not my bag baby.
The Me: Great.
The only limit is my own capacity. Time tends to be the biggest limit for me (I often suspect this is more a bachelor’s game).
The Man: High.
An uptight organization’s expections often venture outside of performance. Uptight sucks.
The Me: High.
Remember that bit about Ownership? It’s not all healthy. While it’s great to own your own business, it really sucks when it owns you. (works of my own hands … otherwise known as idolatry, I’d say).
OTOH, I noticed I smile, sing and play music, and play with my kids a lot more lately (at least when I’m not swamped).
The Man: Great.
It’s wonderful to let HR, Accounting, DBAs and Network Admins just do their thing, so I don’t have to.
The Me: Sucks.
Yes, I use good subcontractors, but everything is still ultimately my problem.
The Man: Consistent.
There’s always someone else watching (or at least the sense that there is), which keeps me on my game.
The Me: Variable.
As a lone consultant, motivation is more easily affected by other influences like mood or weather (these snow days are killing me!)
The Man: Convoluted.
When politics/red tape get in the way,
it’s sometimes hard to tell if I’m fighting for project’s success or just
my own ego.
The Me: Clear.
Simple: My customers’ success is my success.