Thursday, March 26, 2009

Call me irresponsible...

Times are tough. Everywhere you go, increasing numbers of people are out of work. And into these uncertain waters, I chose to sail my little one-woman vessel. As if that wasn't bad enough, I'm turning business away!

Yup.

One organisation asked me to help their staff upskill in the use of a software package. I directed them to the free online tutorials on offer from the vendor. As well as the user discussion forums. I even told them the bespoke stuff the vendor offers is better and cheaper than anything I could do.

Fool! I hear you say. But it was the truth. If times are tough, this organisation - which is a non-profit with the future of the planet in mind - needs every to save every penny it can. I told them what I would do if it were my decision to make.

Another organisation approached me to run some brainstorming sessions for inexperienced instructional designers - looking at ways to design creatively. I pointed them at Clive Shepherd's 60 minute masters as a first call.

Once again, I advised them as I would if I worked for the organisation.

Maybe I'll hear back from them. Maybe I won't. My conscience is clear. My integrity unsullied. And that's worth a lot to me. I don't want to know exactly how much, because the answer to that question will only be learned when/if I actually take the money.

Look at it this way: you only know how deep something is when you reach the bottom of it.

I have never had the talent or the stomach for subterfuge. I have so often been rapped over the knuckles for tipping my hand to the opposition or the customer. I prefer to work with all cards on the table. Anyone dealing with me always knows exactly what the deal is. I will not lie in my resume. I will not exercise sleight of hand on a project.

I have never before felt as free to be honest as I do in my vulnerable little vessel. I always felt as if I should run something by the boss first, in case I were breaking some code or other that I never seemed to get the hang of. Just today, I sent an email to a client that said, "I'm afraid I'm not techie enough to be able to give you an answer on that."

And how refreshing it was to be allowed to own up to something without being afraid that it would earn me a reprimand from someone more skilled at dissembling corporate politics.

6 comments:

Harold Jarche said...

That's the difference between a consultant and a contractor or even a vendor. You are trying to help your clients, not sell something. You are selling yourself and your integrity; it's all you really have as a consultant.

You're doing what you should be doing :-)

Karyn Romeis said...

@Harold Thanks for the encouragement!

mike said...

Bravo! If only everyone would follow your lead.

Karyn Romeis said...

@Mike Thanks. By the way, looking through your blogs, it's about time you got back to it ;o)

mike said...

Yes, another way I'm going to try to emulate you! 8-D Thanks for the nudge!

Karyn Romeis said...

@Mike I look forward to the outcome!