The Headaches of Contract Work

May 21, 2009 at 8:23 pm 1 comment

This post won’t change your life.  

I am simply trying to tell a story. One that is often told with great anger and frustration. I will not offer any tricks into being a better consultant, freelancer, or contractor.  But I will provide you insight into MY headaches and unfortunate series of events that have most recently occurred.  In the end, you will hopefully have a better idea of what not to do and what TO do if you are faced with a similar problem. (Names have been changed to protect personal and corporate identifications.)

The old saying goes “Once burned, twice shy.”  That easily goes hand in hand with my recent experience as a consultant.  I took on a job to write a business plan for a digital advertising start-up, similar to a plan I wrote for an incubator about 2 years ago. When the offer first came to my table, I had a sense of unease. My gut instinct said DON’T take this job as The man (what I will call him from this point on) looked sneaky.  So I put out an offer priced well beyond what I thought The man could afford, and to my dismay, he said yes.  Well FRIG!  I didn’t want to take the job, but I couldn’t say no.  

So we started. Initial meetings were great.  We were all enthusiastic.  Morale was high and people honestly believed that the plan would be completed within 2 weeks…as per the contract. (See picture below)

Although payment was delayed by a couple days, we were still getting paid.  So it kept the team confident.  Then the meetings started getting more frequent, longer, and less productive.  We were getting further from the end the more we met with the The man;  Who I might ad was very unorganized, had an extremely short attention span, made rude comments, and openly said to me “You will get nowhere in your current position at company XYZ.” (My current fulltime job)  — —>  to the young folk, this should be the absolute LAST string and I would highly recommend terminating the contract then.  But I stayed on.  

Why?  Because I had hired two college students to help me out and their reputation’s and money were at stake.  I had a commitment to The man and these two students. So I bit my tongue and continued….


Letter of Agreement - Company Bad

Names have been changed to secure the identity of people and corporations involved.


To be continued…


Entry filed under: small business tips. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jackie Armstrong  |  August 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Sounds like a horrible contract position. I just finished my graduate degree and decided to be an independent contractor, the letter here and info has really helped to guide me in my professionalism with the two companies I am on contract with.



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