After spending a busy day at the EMC Federal Forum, you might expect me to give some great write-up on what I saw. Well, that is coming. What I saw was only half of the picture. The most important part of this, or any event, is the networking. One topic that popped-up several times was the hiring of quality talent.
I’ve talked in the past about Building Documentum Talent. The problem is that sometimes, you don’t have the time to build people. It is a great problem to have, but it is still a problem. To solve the problem, the search goes out to find and hire quality people. Recently, I’ve been fighting a growing problem…people that only want contract work.
The Lure of the Almighty Dollar
Let’s face it. Almost everybody works to make money. If I didn’t need money to support my family and provide a future for my kids, I’d be teaching history somewhere. I still may do that one day once my retirement is “secure”. In the meantime, I work.
As I have mentioned before, I was tempted by the dollar in the late 90s to do Y2K work. I didn’t do it and I ended up in the ECM world. Since then I have had many offers to do freelance work at some really nice rates. Even after paying my own healthcare and benefits I would have done very well. The only sacrifice would be my future.
In this economy, it is always tempting to get the money now. If you earn a lot, you can save. Moving from one project to another is a little hectic, but can be financially rewarding. Ten years later, what do you have as a legacy? Nothing.
Leaving a Mark
Right now, I have a career. I have helped to take a few projects, lock them down as long-term successes, and leverage that into additional work for our ECM team. I can look at our projects and not only are they live, but they are growing and evolving. I look at the people that helped me deliver these solutions and I see people that like what they are doing and look forward to the next challenge.
I can point to those things and say that I had a hand in building them. I am not solely responsible for all of it as the foundations were there when I started in my position. I’ve built on those foundations and helped teach others that I work with how to build upon that foundation as well.
What do I have? I have a position that I could never get through contracting. I have job satisfaction. I see the potential for even more rewarding work ahead of me. Some of that work may lead to more money than I could get contracting. I am investing my time and energy into getting there. I am bringing people along for the ride so that their investment of time and energy pays off for them.
Where Are You Going?
When I talk to candidates, many say they are only looking for contract work. Some are young and want to travel. That is a time of life where that free-wheeling can be very rewarding. Some are married and have kids. This saddens me. They aren’t thinking big picture.
If you do contracting work, ask yourself these questions. What are you going to be doing in five years? Ten years? Where will you be?
A job is about paying the bills and buying a lifestyle. A career is about building a future.
I’m building my future these days.
What are you doing?