Are you a mechanic?

Frequently, technical contractors will get calls from recruiters and there are only two things they are concerned with (and by extension their clients), your technical skill and your hourly rate.   And buried within this two dimensional assessment are the following assumptions:

  • You should be grateful enormous company x is offering any work in this miserable economy
  • Get ready to adjust your rate down to work with us
  • You have to prove your technical skill despite what is on your resume because you just might be liar

The trouble with this standard script is that technical ability alone is insufficient to be successful in either IAM or GRC.  Most IAM people are not mechanics turning digital wrenches.  They are more than bit flippers.  IAM requires superior social skills the so called “soft skills” in order to be successful. In every job I have worked on in the last ten years where they said “we just need a technical person who can get it done quickly” it has been a nightmare.  When I hear that now I say no thank-you.

One of the problems is that recruiters and corporate managers tend to get ahead of themselves, they just assume that if you can prove you have the skills and the money is right you will jump at the job.  However, a technical interview should not be conducted until you satisfy for yourself you can work with them.  Business is more than just tech and they might be liars.  Just because the company is public or well known doesn’t mean they have integrity.

  • Do they pay their bills on time?  If you’re an independent you are not a bank.  Never finance a billion dollar company or one with access to capital.
  • Are they pleasant and professional to work with?  You may need to ask around first or ask to talk to a contractor working there now.
  • Do they have the right budget or is this under-budgeted slam it in work.  If it is you will be the scapegoat.
  • Does the project have management support or they trying to “fly under the radar.”  Another time bomb waiting to go off.
  • Do they do what they say they are going to do?  Missed meetings, multiple re-schedules, consistently late to interviews, slow follow-up are signs of either unreliability, they don’t think much of you or the petty exercise of power.

The foregoing applies if you are not desperate for work, and desperation should not be that you are little nervous about your bills this month.  Desperation is facing foreclosure or repossession.