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Ending a Contract

I have been developing some software VB/SQL Server
for a financial institution for the last 7 months,
basically I have been a one man show doing the initial scoping, requirements, design,
coding, deployment, project management etc with the end result that the project is in the final stages
of UAT with complete satisfaction from the business users, the 'go live' date for the software
is 01 Oct 2002. The project has progressed closely to plan, initially I was contracted for 6 months
but I had a 2 week break and there was a little bit of slippage so my contract was extended another week
for one month until the final week of Sept, ending Fri 27th. Everybody is so happy that my contract is not being renewed as I have 'finished'.

Here's my 'beef'.
I have handed over the project to the permanent staff members (I am a contractor) and next week they are demonstrating the software to senior management
around the country (it's a junket), everybodies happy as the software is a winner and the IT department I am working for don't have too many systems in this category.

Even management are going on the junket  to bask in the glory of my work.

My complaint is that I am missing out on all the 'glory' and back patting that I so richly richly deserve. All my hard work and sweat is travelling around the country without me there to warmly receive the much deserved accolades.

Woe is me.

As this is only my 2nd contract I am wondering if this is normal, in my 1st contract I worked until the project was 100% completed, installed and hung around in hand-holding mode until the business was Ok to go it alone.

Should I take it on the chin, or should I be miffed?

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

You do the work for them that you contracted to perform.

They pay you the amount that they contracted to pay.

End of Story.

Peter WA Wood
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Too true. Just keep it in mind when the next project tanks and they try dump it on you :-)

Been There Before :-(
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

You seem to misunderstand your scope.  You are a temp worker.  You are not an employee.  You do not work for the company.  You provide "goods and services" 

The employees have paid you in exchange for a delivered product.  Now they will do whatever they want with said product.  They are a middleman.  You don't even have to exist beyond the people you worked with. 

Do not burn this bridge with your naive expectations of praise.  It sounds like you did good work.  While you are still there, consider parlaying this project into more contract work (or FT work) esp. if you made contacts elsewhere in the firm.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

You are entitled to feel miffed. When you have a bit more experience, or perhaps even with your next contract, you will ensure that you retain copyright in your work, and moral rights too. Then you have legal rights to specify what happens with your work.

Thursday, September 26, 2002


I feel your pain; I know what it's like.

But thems the breaks. Don't take it personally. Don't let on that your disappointed or that you wanted to go on the trip. Ask for a written recommendation from them and be sure to charge a higher rate on your next job so you don't feel so bad when you get left out of the glory.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

This isn't restricted to just contractors, welcome to real life.

Tony E
Thursday, September 26, 2002

It sounds like you should be proud of yourself for having successfully delivered a project on time....

.... but I wouldn't expect any more than that - you are a 'hired gun' and hopefully your contract rate pays you enough to reflect your contribution to your client's business.

One of the aspects of a permanent role you are not going to enjoy is the concept of 'doing well, being recognised and getting promoted'.

I might add that there might be a few permanent staff out there who aren't enjoying this benefit either ;-)

On the other hand, you could use your success to increase the chance of another contract with your client in the future - and I suspect this will be the case, even if it is not openly acknowledged for whatever reason at the client's site.

Don't do anything rash and good luck for the future.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

I would get recomendation letters from them and move on.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

At least you can take solice in the fact you were probably getting paid a lot more than the premenant employee who's taking over the project.

That's the way contracting works... if the project is a success it's due to the manager's inspirational leadership... if it fails, the manager takes the credit for pulling the plug on a doomed project before it costs the company millions.

Either way, management gets the credit and bonuses. You are just an expense that must be got rid of as soon as you aren't needed.

Junkets are for managers and permanent staff. Personally I'd rather have the money and take myself somewhere nice.


James Shields
Thursday, September 26, 2002

If it was such a huge success you will be able to significantly up your rate for the next contract. Not a bad reward.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, September 26, 2002

The one I especially like is the Demo where the corporate types position themselves at the front of the room and tell everyone how hard WE worked and why WE decided to do this feature that way.

Having said that, Eat shit and smile, it's all an illusion anyway.  Do you enjoy your work?  What's the best way to keep enjoying it?

Brad Siemens
Thursday, September 26, 2002

As a consultant, my job is to make the people who hire me phenomenally successful.  If they are able to take what I have done for them and show it around their company / industry with pride and earn accolades, I am very, very happy.

Develop a reputation for doing that, and you will find yourself with repeat business and great referrals.

Kyle Cordes
Thursday, September 26, 2002

Congratulations.  I suspect the majority of contracted work ends this way.  You should get a good referral and they might want you back some day.  I really appreciate the pride you have in your work.

Let's take the rare opportunity to praise the managers a little, they were smart to hire you and let/help you get the job done.  They probably endured weeks/months of truly horrible meetings that eventually allowed you to do the job.

Road trips are expensive and most of the traveling isn't fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

The number one objective for an outside consultant:

Make the client successful in their business and technical goals. 

Accomplish this, and you'll get good rates, future business, and referrals.  Satisfaction comes from the pleasure of working for yourself and completing a job well done.

(As an aside-- if you work for a temp agency, that's a bit different.  Typically then the benefits of being outside go to the outsourced organization, not to the individual.  Best you can do is negotiate good compensation).

Thursday, September 26, 2002

If you were one of them, would you be miffed at making HALF of what a consultant is paid?  Kyle and Will summed it up nicely.  Know your role.  Know the deal-eo.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Cash | Glory..Cash | Glory...hmmm...If you want to bask in glory, hire some people who are more talented than you to build some really cool stuff and then say BUH-Bye.

I'll take the cash.

But remember...your work does go on your resume in all it's glorious detail.

Dan Sickles
Thursday, September 26, 2002

PS:  If it assuages your miffledness, note that Jewish "consultants" built the Egyptian pyramids, and got no credit for it either. 

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Ok, I'm taking it on the chin and being my old affable self, pumping hands, saying 'good luck' and looking forward to the break, about three managers have asked me pointedly already what I'm doing next, so I can see a few of them are thinking about some future possibilities. So I've gotta be happy with that, maybe I'll up the rate a bit if anything comes of it. Otherwise, I'm getting a bit of praise so my fragile ego is starting to recover from the blows of non recognition, I'm popular, I'm a winner, my story so far is of unbounded success and achievement. I deliver. My mind boggles at the future glories that await me.
The bitterness is receeding, I am whole again.

Thanks for the tips.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

OK. When they contact you to do more work, they're going to expect the same rate.

That's when you realise you have some power too. You say: "My rate's gone up to x now."

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Also, remember, right now, even if you didn't get recognition, everyone knows who has the skills.  You. 

So, today, you have 15 people at one firm who know you are good.  But people spread like pollen, and one day, you will have 15 people at 15 firms who know you are good. 

Lastly, tell them you are weiging 3 different contract offers, and are very excited to actually do some challenging work for a change (just kidding)

Friday, September 27, 2002

If it's a smart company, they'll remember you the next time they want their glory...because they know you brought it to them.

And that's what you want, right?

Their smarts is picking the people who can do the things that need done.

Your smarts is making the things they contracted you to do.

If everyone does it right, the company gets a good contractor who does good work. He gets paid well and the company succeeds with their new product or tool.

David Fischer
Saturday, September 28, 2002

Hey Miffed - if you've created a project that's working really well, maybe you should write another one for the same industry and market it to other companies in that industry.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

So...It was my last day and I got taken out to a free lunch (so their is such a thing) that went for about 3 hours and ended up with a bit of a headache at the end of it (maybe that was the price). Also they are doing the presentation to 'the big guys' is 3 weeks and they are going to fly me up to be a part of it. SO I was possibly a bit hasty in my griping. So alls well that end well - thanks for the comments one and all...

Saturday, September 28, 2002

PS:  Getting rid of the main developer right before go live is a classic management blunder.  Unless you have transitioned it properly.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Take the extra money you have earned contracting and take yourself and the S.O. or friend on a holiday somewhere, it'll be a lot more fun than drinking stale coffee in presentation rooms in 5 different cities. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

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