y contract ended the Friday before Thanksgiving week. It was pretty unexpected, but since I’ve done a lot contracting, sudden endings are not unusual. I made a definitive choice to not even look for another contract until after the new year, considering that many businesses don’t get much done – and don’t take on new work – from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Sometimes not until the end of the first week of January. In order to really enjoy the time off, I knew it would be important to make the declaration and not be distracted.
The more time that passed, the more time I was able to breathe. You know sometimes when you’re juggling multiple projects at work and a commute and traffic, and also managing a home and a child and budgets, you can become so stressed that sometimes you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. That’s when I knew I needed some more time.
I did sit and really think through the ideal situation for my next project – if it is contract or full time. And it is as much and as important – maybe more important – that the company and the environment has to be right. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked for some of the most amazing and exciting people in my career. People who have taken me under their wing and taught me. Showed me the underside of the belly. These were men and women who believed in what they were doing and took the time to share it with me. I have also worked for companies that are leaders in the industry and who many people wished they had the opportunity to work with. Its been a great ride.
So, what do I want next? Pretty much the same thing I have always wanted and which I mostly was given. New technology. Investment by these companies in the development of this technology. One that believes as much in their people as they do with their hardware and software. A company that invests in those that brave those daily commutes and time away from friends and family. That thinks that their people are the biggest assets, not numbers on a chart.
Secondly, the embrace of the technology. I had the opportunity once to work for a company that quickly turned out to be hesitant – maybe resistant – to new technology. The best way to describe it was that they were firmly entrenched in the technology that I used twenty five years ago. And almost everything that had to do with this particular contract was centered not only on keeping that old technology working, but to actively resist any updates to anything new.
Third, the company I work for must be open to ideas from the team. Sometimes the best idea is from someone who you would never guess had a suggestion. I have been lucky that I’ve been heard when offering ideas around an interface or process. Just because I work QA doesn’t mean that I can’t or don’t know about the users’ perspectives. After all, not only I do I work on technology, I am a user too.
So, today, I found myself without a project to work on. I made myself a vow a while back that I would start nothing new until I had completed everything already started. And other than waiting for some specific parts to arrive, I found myself sitting without a defined project to work on. Yes, today I was bored. 🙂
I think that this is the point where I am ready to start looking for the next big project. I think it is going to be exciting!