Sunday, May 21, 2006

And Suddenly, I’m Popular…

I know I mentioned in the last post that I had intentions of doing some much needed brick work this weekend, that plan did not come to fruition.

It seems my resume has been popping up lately on the radar screens of several recruiting firms.

Friday night, and Saturday morning I received no less than 15 emails from recruiters for one sort of FoxPro gig or another. Now, let me say first off, I’m very glad when any recruiter contacts me, without me first contacting them. However, this is a fairly strange time for me professionally, and responding to all of these took a little more than a ‘thanks’ email.

First, there’s that possible gig in Orlando, which would definitely be my first choice if I get the offer. But for a week now the folks at that agency have been making themselves ‘scarce’ so I have no idea where that stands at the moment.

Second, there’s the current gig, slated to run through the end of June, but, even that isn’t certain. Nor is the earlier ‘offer’ of employment if I’d take on an analyst role and document a second tire support position. There’s been no further mention of the actual job offer, nor, any mention of extending the current contract. So with less than six weeks remaining on this contract, I find myself somewhere between feeling the need to put on a full court press for a new gig, and adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude.

Perhaps if Maryan wasn’t facing another major surgery, or we had 6 months of cash ‘reserve’ stockpiled I wouldn’t be as torn as I am. I normally like to have a little downtime, to decompress from one gig before jumping full on into another. That’s not the case right now though. Between paying off the medical bills, having a higher than anticipated tax bill and several large and unanticipated ‘repair’ expenses over the past year, we’re just not where I’d like to be.

So I spent most of yesterday updating my resume on the various contract sites and crafting responses to the inquiries I had. Have you ever tried to tell someone you’re interested in their opportunity, yet have to place a ‘but’ in there, without it having to sound like a ‘but’? I’ve done it before, yet every time I have the need to do so, I find myself really stretching to put a positive ‘spin’ on my availability.

I’ve also scheduled a meeting with my project manager(s) next week to see if I can get a more definitive answer than “we plan on keeping you around”.

I do love contracting, and I especially love this gig I’ve been on, but, the hard cold truth is, it’s my living and I need to be working to keep the bills paid and the fridge full!

So, as always when I get to this point I find myself wondering about the sanity of ‘contract’ work… suddenly all of those folks with ‘regular’ jobs seem to have it so much easier. Then I remind myself that the only difference between them, and me, is that I’m going through this, because I know. I know the contract term, I know when I’ll be out of a job and can make plans to find something else before that day arrives. It doesn’t make it less stressful though. I should be used to it by now, I’ve spent most of my life going from one project to another, either with my own clients, or for those a recruiter set me up with.

I’m not though, and I think, that regardless of the number of times I do it, I’ll still stress over the available opportunities, lament that I don’t have the particular ‘skill set’ that is the one ‘de jour’… and feel like all of the good gigs for my skill set have ‘dried up’.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re not looking, there seem to be hundreds of jobs for what ever it is you do… then, when you are looking, they appear few and far between? I have… every single time I start looking!!

I almost wish I had the resources to take 4-6 months and just concentrate solely on some projects I have in my head, but, that’s not going to be the next six months, that’s for sure! We’re just not in a financial position to let me do that right now.

Not that the process is ‘all bad’… there’s a certain sense of excitement each time I review a new project, an anticipation of digging into something new, learning about a new business, their processes, rules and industry. How what they do is unique from others in a similar field, or is one that’s totally unique regardless of the industry. I know the fun I’ll have digging in, getting up to speed and discovering new and better ways to do what’s been done, finding and fixing bugs that have plagued a system for years, or any of a hundred other things I could be asked to do.

In the end, one thing is sure. I’ll find something to do to pay the bills. If I’m lucky, it will also feed my need to find happiness in what I’m doing. If it doesn’t, the one good thing about a contract is, I know when it will be over!!

Me, I’m off to mow the yard, run the ‘weed-eater’ and other manly ‘more-power’ pursuits!!

I hope you all have a great day!

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12 comments:

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Bill,

Guess this is what you get for being so darned good at what you do, eh? :-)

Good luck - - I'm sure whatever direction you go, it will turn out okay for you and Maryan both.

Have fun mowing and weed-eating and all those other "more power" activities. As soon as Dear Hubby gets home from work, we are going to finish up the block and rock project in the garden, and I need to finish cleaning up the patio. At least it's a beautiful day for it!

P.S. I FINALLY got back on BlogMad last night - - stopped putting it off and got all signed up again.

Firehawk said...

Bill,

I'm sure you'll land somewhere interesting. From reading through many of your adventures, I think that you're capable of taking on a challenge and learning whatever you need to know in order to get a project rolling. Good luck with the job search. It's a good sign that you had several "hits" so soon.

Jay said...

I wish you all kinds of luck because everything you described is unfortunately all too true, in my experience. I don't envy you the overlapping you seem to experience, especially as it means you double up in some places, and encounter holes in others.

Spirit Of Owl said...

Y'know, I just emailed you, but I'm gonna just email you again...!!

Jada's Gigi said...

like dizzy sayes..."that's what you get" lol
But the not knowing an dwalking that tightrope in between....yikes! hope all goes well...I'll be thinking of your wife and her surgery and your job search too.....
I did get some yard work done last weekend BTW and a few other goodies...:)

Bill said...

First... sorry about being 'gone' from here... more on that later today...

Liz - I don't know... I think it's just cyclical... every once in a while my cell phone and inbox 'blow up'... and then.. get very quiet again.

Firehawk - Thanks... I have to agree, I am capable... the older I get though, the less I'm inclined to take up challenges, unless they really intrigue me.

Miss Jay - Thanks, I can use all the luck I can get! The overlap/holes thing is just the nature of the beast... in another 12 months we'll be able to handle the holes again... it's just that right now the 'stores' are a bit depleated.

Spirit - Got them both, looking forward to our next talk!

Cheryl - That's what just about everyone says "Yikes"... the reality is though, that I know when I need to start looking... most folks get the news at 5:00 on Friday... or at 10:am on a Tuesday morning... and they had no clue what was headed their way.

------------------

Well, I'mm off to finish cleaning the gutters... and then on to the brick work I've been talking about... with any luck I'll have pictures tonight!

Lorna said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you---contracting is not for the faint of heart.

Bill said...

Lorna - Thanks... I think you're right... enough people have told me that over the years (that it's not for the faint of heart).. that it must be true.

I've always had a bit of an entrepreneurial aspect to my personality, so I guess I just see it all as part of the deal.

Beth said...

I think that's true for everyone -- when you're not looking, things come to you. I think whatever else, you're up for an interesting time!

Bill said...

Beth - Thanks.. I think you're right... life's been interesting so far, no reason for it to start changing now!!

MajorDad said...

Rats...and just when I thought I might be able to ask for some free advice!

Honestly, I've got a concept of something (too many little ears listening here to go into it) bouncing around in my head...and I'm reasonably certain it would be popular in some of the "smaller" towns around the country.

I'll shoot you an email...and try and describe what I'm looking for.

I'm like Ratbert. I'm an idea rat. I need help getting things headed down the rails though when it comes to programming/coding.

See you on the high ground.

MajorDad1984

Bill said...

majordad - Got your email and replied... interesting idea for certain.

Welcome.. and thanks fort stopping by.