I’m finding some interesting challenges with my work lately. Being a manager is definitely what I thought it would be, but so much more too.
When you’re a contractor, the security of your employment is dependent upon your ability to do the job that you’re hired to do. If you are underperforming, it’s in the interests of the employer to cut their losses and look for someone else to do the job they want. The ‘safeguards’ that are in place to protect permanent staff don’t exist in the contracting world. Your contract can be terminated for any reason – or even no reason at all – at any time, without notice.
A lot of people can’t handle it, and so they decide to avoid contracting, preferring to stay with the security of a ‘safe’, permanent job.
However, contractors (in Australia) usually earn double what a permanent employee does, and this has its obvious benefits. But while a contractor is earning double what his permanent colleague might be earning, he’s also expected to know more and work harder than that permanent colleague.
There’s no on-the-job training, as contractors are expected to skill themselves in their chosen line of work, and keep themselves upskilled where necessary. There’s no sick leave or holiday leave, as that’s supposed to be factored into the increased income.
There’s often a lot of stress on contractors to come in and get the job done that they were employed for. If they do a great job, their contract might be extended for as long as they’re required. If they do an ok job, their contract might not be extended. If they do a shitty job, their contract may be terminated immediately.
This is the world of contracting, and it encourages contractors to do a GREAT job.
I’m in an entirely new world now to what I’ve ever been. Not only do I have to be the best employee that I can be, I have to be the best manager I can be. I have to be on top of the game so much that my entire team of staff are the best they can be. I’m being paid a lot of money to do this, so I have absolutely no problems with it.
It’s all good experience for me. I’m learning to be more pro-active and responsible, which is just fantastic for me.
It’s also fantastic that my direct input is shaping the future of the organisation I’m working for. I was involved in creating some documentation today which will help drive some initiatives for the next year or so, which I imagine I’ll be heavily involved in if they decide to go with it (at this stage, I’m not really sure why they wouldn’t). It’s quite exciting for me to be on the front seat of The Change Bus.
A lot of people don’t like change. I’ve always embraced it. I think it works well for me.
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