Thursday, November 7, 2013

The IT Prostitute: Working For An IT Services Company vs An IT Shop

I read an article on working for an IT Services company, and it was pretty dead on, for the most part.  I didn't agree with everything he said, but mostly he was right.  But with that said, this is a personal opinion for everyone.  Just like that guy who wrote his thoughts about his opinion, I thought I would write about mine on the matter.  You may find some of my 'Pros' not very appealing, and my 'Cons' very appealing.  But judge for yourself.

1.  A greater technical ability.  Its true.  I don't care what anyone says, you learn more in IT services than anywhere else.  You see so many things and different technologies and you get your hands in it all.  You see the latest and greatest technologies.  Not only that, but you are around many different IT people that you see and hear of things that you don't necessarily work with.  Typically, you see more in 6 months at an IT services company than you do in years at a single (non IT services) company.
2.  Greater confidence.  Thats right.  It builds confidence.  Confidence to stand in front of people.  Confidence to talk to people.  Confidence in yourself.  Its a great thing.
3.  More flexibility.  More freedom.  You can work  your customers around your personal schedule, and your schedule around your customers.  Either way you want it.
4.  More 'people' networking.  You meet a ton of people.  And that is good.
5.  You generally get paid more.  Yes, you do.  Think about it.  The IT services company rents you out at a ballpark number of $150 an hour.  Depending on your experience, you get whatever you negotiate out of that.  Either way, its typically more.
6.  Relationships.  This goes along with 'networking', but what I mean here is that you meet some good people.  You 'can' become friends with people.  I've meet some customers I personally call my friends.  And I'm glad for that.
7.  Travel.  :)  If you like to travel, and you work for a larger IT company, then you generally have the opportunity to travel.  That is pretty cool if you like to travel around.

1.  Longer work hours.  This stinks.  Its really hard to work a 40 hour work week if you do IT services right.  Just a fact of services life.  Don't expect to not be behind your laptop at home.  It just doesn't happen much unless you work on the help desk.
2.  You are used, just like a prostitute.  Some of your customers don't care about you, and they just want you to do your job.  That is fine, just expect it.  Some people just don't care about relationships (or a relationship with you), and if you DO care about relationships and people, this is not going to be fun for you.  But, you are no different than the prostitute, so get used to it.
3.  More wear and tear on your vehicle.  This is certainly not cool, but you can afford a newer one with the pay you get from this job.  Don't complain about this.
4.  More stress.  Yes, YOU are about 10 customers IT department.  Not 1, 10.  Now, if you are young and have the ego, you wont mind this.  But, you will get tired of this after time.  I spent the last 10 years in services, and trust me, you have more emergencies, more scheduled outages, and more off business hours calls than anyone that works for one single company.  You will work more and have less personal time, which equals higher stress and higher blood pressure eventually.  Not to mention deadlines of learning new things.  That is a lot of nights trying to learn something for the next day.
5.  Travel.  :(  I know I listed this as a pro, but if you don't like to travel, you wont like this part.  But, its part of the job.  Customers are everywhere.  Just a fact of life.

And look, if you don't think the IT services guy is like a prostitute, think again.  You (the prostitute) get rented out to companies from your boss (the pimp) for money.  You spend how ever much time they rent you for, then you go back to your company.  Doesn't sound like a prostitute?

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