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So I have finished my second week at a new consulting job. So far it seems like a decent assignment, but I do have a few general consulting complaints. When a corporation hires a consultant they should realize that the consultant needs almost zero ramp up time. A consultant is ready to start working the first day on the job (well, I am). Here's a few pointers if you are ever in a position to hire a consultant or are involved in the process that should maximize the benefit of hiring an outside consultant (being a consultant myself for over 10 years, I think I speak from experience):

  1. Make sure a working computer, logon ID and email is available the first day.
  2. Give the consultant a decent computer, a decent chair, and a comfortable work environment.
  3. Have a database diagram available
  4. Have the work specifications prepared
  5. Have the existing work specifications available
  6. Things a consultant wants immediately (on top of the above):
    • What your coding standards are
    • What source archiving system you use
    • What timelines do you expect
  7. Make clear the work hours

I have to say that outside of the email wait, the place I'm at now did everything right. I'm happy, and they will also be happy with my work.

I make decent money, and I'm sure the company hiring me would like to maximize the usage of my time since I cost more than their average employee. I'm not being selfish asking for these things, I'm just attempting to give employers an idea how to maximize the money they spend on consulting work.

This is not too much to ask and actually, I'm always surprised when I walk into an assignment and I have to sit around for a few weeks waiting for what I consider the basics to start working. If a company has taken the mind step to decide on hiring a consultant they certainly should have the above minimal requirements already set up. I don't mind waiting for a few weeks while a company gets it's collective crap together so I can do my job, but I do not understand why they don't teach their managers how to maximize the time of a  consultant. I'm not an employee, don't treat me like one, expect me to work, and be busy at least eight hours a day, if not more. That keeps me happy and makes our arrangement a success.



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