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.