The sowing

Been busy.  I submitted a resume for a contract first week in May, then heard nothing about it since.  Was offered that job last Thurs, for quite a bit greater $ and I would not even have to interview.  The no interview thing is unusual under most circumstances.  Interviews are to affirm the candidate’s resume is not a bunch of word salad / verify that they are not a flake.  Its screening / risk mitigation, this is what you do in hiring.  But not formally interviewing, that’s a potentiality if all parties speak the guild’s language and can reference all the touchstones in the shared milieu.  And if the candidate has a resume that’s rock solid serious and credible and lengthy…. The corp can probably dispatch with the interview such that it costs time, and qualified people are hard to find, and some practitioners are just obviously not a risk, and you’d do well to smooth out the process and get a commitment from these people and get them out there working / billing for you.  LinkedIn enables this in ways that were not possible before, the credibility that comes from an elaborate job history and a ton of connections that implicitly vouch would seem to be hard to contrive…

I’ve been astonished to find that I’m that guy, the credible qualified candidate that is a known quantity, and proffered with urgency, cuz it’s a certainty I can go out and work, and get hours billed with no drama.  First time for me, being that guy.  Cue Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads, EG, how did I get here.  Well, it’s a privilege function, similar and different to ‘white privilege’.  Similar in that society makes flattering assumptions about middle age people (men) who wear the trappings of middle class earnestness / seriousness.  But different insofar as we think generalized white privilege is mostly unearned.  I earned this, and it’s not so much and might be quite an overstatement to imply that I did all this back breaking work over the 15 years here that it took.  But I had my nose to the grindstone and became embedded in the scene.  That was the sowing, and with some maturity… not ‘mental’ maturity… Now I get to reap a bit.  This is the universal career arc that many people experience.

Now the ‘mental’ part.  I still can’t believe I’m that guy, to have this good fortune.  I remain flabbergasted perhaps more than I ought to be.

The kicker:  I didn’t end up taking the job.  I tendered a resignation and my current outfit went bananas, in a good way.  Countered with more $ and a forecast for assignments over the next several years.   Would have not foreseen this response, but it fits with an understanding of the (higher end) outsource economy.  Companies outsource to minimize long term expense obligations.   But on the other hand, you got the providers of outsource services / labor, and the only way they can grow / scale up their size is by increasing the amount of units (people) they have out there doing work for other companies and billing for it.  The IT contract bill split, btw, has typically been say 2/3 to the worker, 1/3 to the company.  That’s a paraphrase.  So if $75/hr is getting billed out for the role, worker gets $50, $25 goes to the corp.  If the company loses that worker, there goes the $25/hr revenue.  So it’s somewhat easy or logical to say as the corp, stay, we’ll give you another $8 from our end of the bill…  Reduces the corps take to $17/hr, but that is quite a bit greater than $0/hr, and leaves the revenue you have to reacquire at $8 rather than $25, prevents a competitor from having a billable asset out there working…  finite pie concepts that are localized and acute.

The worker’s wage can have some buoyance in this way in sectors where there are labor shortages.  Tech is that way.  One thing I did understand when I embarked on a career in SW contracting 15 years ago is the demographics and trends were playing out such that there would be work security.  IE, the boomers were aging out, technical needs were getting bigger, and yet, the Xers are kinda demographically small and were not rushing out to fill those jobs.  You’d do fine if you could get past some of the primary and secondary barriers to entry and get the experience under your belt.  And those barriers seemed frustrating at the time…. But I’m that guy now.  Can’t believe it, can’t believe the time that’s passed.


One thought on “The sowing

  1. pm1956

    So, congratulations….I suppose. because with all of that comes the house and the mortgage, the kids and the soccer games/practice (if you are really unlucky, it is hockey and 5am ice time), culminating in college and, finally, weddings.

    Amazing how we all get sucked into these things, tiny little step by tiny little step, until we are enmeshed in a web of comfort and obligations, with the dreams of our teens and twenties left behind. But, all in all, it isn’t that bad of a life, learning to take pleasure and comfort in the many little things that we can each do to make a difference.


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