I’ve got a meeting with a recruiter later today – just an informal get-to-know-you type of meeting. I’m preparing in advance, with a fresh copy of my resume, a portfolio of work I can show them, as well as familiarity with the rates that are being offered in the target areas where I’m looking. I’ve figured out what I need my rate to be, and I’ve figured out the logistics of simplifying my life along specific lines — being able to take public transit, having a regular workday (instead of a non-stop constant push to produce for the sake of being busy), narrowing the scope of my work to be a handful of things, instead of everything, and getting out of the office politics business.
I think I’m probably better prepared now, than I’ve ever been for any other jobs I’ve ever gotten. Before, it was just take-what-comes, and then worry about fitting myself into a position later. That has kept food on the table, but it hasn’t made me all that happy. No situation is perfect, but I’ve had to shoehorn myself into some pretty unpleasant situations — and that’s largely because I was not the best prepared with my own requirements and clarity about what I wanted to do with myself.
This time, it’s very different. I’m getting all my ducks in a row, getting clear about what I will and will not do — and making careful notes to myself that I can reference. I have a lot of options available to me, and at the same time I’m surrounded by people who have plenty of agendas of their own, which I need to watch out for.
In the past, I have just “winged it” — but this time I am getting things in order, so I can be thoughtful and aware and put my best foot forward. It’s a change that feels a little uncomfortable, because I like to fly by the seat of my pants at times. But so often that has gotten me flown into a bunch of sh*t coming off a fan. And I’ve had some pretty unhappy results.
I think probably the best solution for me is to simply contract. The times when I have worked on contract were actually really freeing. I didn’t have to worry about the politics, I could just make my money and go home, and not have to worry about bonuses and all that. I friggin’ hate bonuses and performance reviews. I just want my money up front. Pay me what I’m really worth — what my work is worth to you — and be done with it. Enough of the politics… the stupid, stupid politics. The games, the maneuvering, the intrigue. Screw that. Show me the money.
Well, anyway, we’ll see how it goes today. I’m feeling pretty positive, overall, while not getting cocky about things. Just preparing. Planning. And showing up as present as I can be.