Sunday, July 15, 2012

Off-site contractor culture

I just got off the phone from a meeting with a new team I'll be working with for my previous client.  I'm starting to feel like being a off-site contractor for a while could work. I might be able to get this work, I like this work and it might help me get some other kind of work later.  BUT it's hard to know if I am doing it right.  This client is great, because they are very communicative, but how am I supposed to know how many hours they expect me to work?  I have a non-exclusivity clause with them, which is good, because I just signed another contract with Words and Numbers for a big chunk of work.  I just don't see how I can do both without either knowing.  Do they want to know?  Do their other contractors let them know?

I've mentioned before that it's awesome to have a relationship that is based almost exclusively on my work performance.  (In this phone call, the other contractor who has seen my name on our last project said she had assumed I was a guy.)  I worry a little that there is supposed to be more (or less) in that relationship.  When I started, I was asked why my anticipated hours might be, but that was from the perspective of timezones, not accountability.  So, when I take a long midday break, do they care?  I assumed not if I make the work goals.  What about when we are setting those goals? 

The purpose of this phone call was to kick off a new project, and the timing is such that I now am going to be fairly busy with other contracts for a while.  I was SO relieved that there was another contractor on this phone call.  The editor just asked, "How much work do you think you'll get done on this project?" The other contractor just said, "I've got another project right now, so I am looking at about 25 hours a week."  I was so excited that was an acceptable answer, I may have said that verbatim. And that was fine.

Another component of this is that my editor reiterated several times that he wants to be supportive and helpful, he wants to get questions, he wants to provide answers and please email him a lot.  Ok.  It was really great to get that clarified, especially since this particular contract involves some work that I am not experienced with.  It's nice to know that he hadn't thought I'd been hired because I am good at this type of work, just that I should be able to learn. 

No comments:

Post a Comment