A lot has happened over the past few months. And by this, I don’t mean activities, I mean planning, mindsets, action plans! Confused? Let me go back to the beginning and explain.
For those who know me well, I am pretty much a go-getter, a hard worker, an organised person who gets things done. However, over the past year (and perhaps even longer), I have been working so hard, I haven’t had much time to get everything done that I believe needs doing. It frustrates me as I function better when I am on top of things. So in short, while we were in South Africa, I decided to delay my plans to look for a new contract by a couple of months so that I can have a bit of a break.
Most contractors / interim managers plan on working about 9 months in a year and expect time off between contracts while looking for new assignments. I have been incredibly lucky over the past 3 years as my contracts have overlapped rather than having breaks between them. This is brilliant for the bank balance, but not that good for re-charging before the next assignment. This is actually very important when you’re working on serial, high-octane projects where it squeezes every last drop of energy from your body at times. Sometimes I think it is a little like working in “ER” – crazy, demanding, fire-fighting with a million balls up in the air all at once. So why do I do it? It provides an adrenaline kick which I am addicted to. I love the drama and exhilaration from a successful go-live, followed by happy customers.
In saying all this, 3 years of full throttle working means that so many other things in my life get left behind. I am good at making TO DO lists, and getting the most important things done, but I also know about the many things that ought to be on a list, but aren’t on a list, because I simply don’t have the time to get things done.
So when we were in South Africa, Tim and I agreed that I can take a planned break before I start looking for my next contract. Now this is a risky move, because:
Work is scarce. I have some friends who have been out of work for a few months already.
As a contractor, you’re almost programmed to work whenever you can because you never know when you will work again.
The longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get back into work.
So why I am doing this?
I need a break.
I hope that my quite unique skill set will make it easier to get my next assignment when I start looking. (Qualified Accountant and Prince 2 Project Management Practitioner)
I have enrolled for an intensive MSP Programme Management course in June 2011. Hopefully this should expand my skill set further.
So what is the plan? I shall put that in a separate post.