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School Me on Consulting

Old 01-11-2017, 01:18 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jj1987 View Post
Either way, requiring your employees funnel all work through you is unethical at best.
Employees using my resources to pursue their independent interests is unethical.
Employees leveraging my capital for their independent pursuits is unethical.

Ethical is open and honest communication...but that requires a level of maturity, confidence, and seniority by both employer and employee that those sneaking around many offices don't possess.
I can assure you that I have never had a single individual balk at the agreement, nor have the eventual discussions arising from time to time been difficult or avoided.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:55 PM
  #42  
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Thread kind of got off track, but I will comment. As far as I am concerned, chrispnet can ask for whatever he likes. It is up to the employee if they want the job and the restrictions that come with it. I'm going to assume that chrispnet owns a company that offers a service that is desirable to many. Possibly the education his people receive there positions them to compete with him. This could certainly be an issue.

I am an IT guy in the transportation industry. Big companies use our service. My role is supportive (ie: I am not involved in the movement of goods, I just build technological tools to make things more efficient). As long as company resources aren't used, and as long as I don't work for a competitor, it's really no problem. It would be a whole different story if I worked for a database service provider who educated me and exposed me to their clients, and I hung out my own shingle.

I think everyone has a right to protect their own interests. If you aren't interested in that type of contract, don't sign on!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:07 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
Depends on the industry. Try that approach in strategy consulting and you will be quickly unemployed
but your kids won't leave you in a nursing home when you get older. I've seen plenty of strategy consultants come and go, and I'm grateful for that.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
Frankly, Mr. Jersus, only an idiot wouldn't.

I have about 150 learned professionals happily engaged under such conditions.
These are individuals whose impeccable character and credentials make it an understood and essential part of our employment circumstances.
In over 25 years, I have never once had to seek damages, not by threat, but by open and honest dealings employee to employer.


what has your turn looked like over those 25 years.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:14 PM
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My turn? Not sure I understand the question.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
So what?
Pretty much the same response applies to your agreement. So what? You got people to do it - fine. Good for you.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
My turn? Not sure I understand the question.
Guessing he means turnover.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by andycfi View Post
I think everyone has a right to protect their own interests. If you aren't interested in that type of contract, don't sign on!
However some times people overreach because they can. Just because you can do something doesn't make it right.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
Guessing he means turnover.
Ah yes...probably right.
Relative to this discussion, our exceedingly high retention rate isn't a meaningful metric.
Perhaps more meaningful is how many people that I wanted did not join or left us us due to our first refusal policy.
I think the answer is only a few, but who knows?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:16 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
However some times people overreach because they can. Just because you can do something doesn't make it right.
I was thinking the same thing.
So...if one of my employees wants to pursue an income producing activity, here are their options.
1) Quit and go pursue it.
2) Discuss it with me toward agreement that I surrender my rights and you are free to pursue your activity with my blessing (and often my support).
3) Discuss it with me with the result that we agree you are entering into a conflict with my interests and I exercise my rights. If we don't agree (which has only happened once), my opinion is the final decision.
4) Sneak around.

The people that work here typically have done one of the first three.
I found the sneaking around choice was quite common in the companies I worked for in my formative years.
Seemed kind of pathetic.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
Pretty much the same response applies to your agreement. So what? You got people to do it - fine. Good for you.
Yes. These are not your run of the mill people (typically).
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:19 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by andycfi View Post
Thread kind of got off track, but I will comment. As far as I am concerned, chrispnet can ask for whatever he likes. It is up to the employee if they want the job and the restrictions that come with it. I'm going to assume that chrispnet owns a company that offers a service that is desirable to many. Possibly the education his people receive there positions them to compete with him. This could certainly be an issue.

I am an IT guy in the transportation industry. Big companies use our service. My role is supportive (ie: I am not involved in the movement of goods, I just build technological tools to make things more efficient). As long as company resources aren't used, and as long as I don't work for a competitor, it's really no problem. It would be a whole different story if I worked for a database service provider who educated me and exposed me to their clients, and I hung out my own shingle.

I think everyone has a right to protect their own interests. If you aren't interested in that type of contract, don't sign on!
Andy...I apologize to you for the derail. You have the right idea.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:32 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
I was thinking the same thing.
So...if one of my employees wants to pursue an income producing activity, here are their options.
1) Quit and go pursue it.
2) Discuss it with me toward agreement that I surrender my rights and you are free to pursue your activity with my blessing (and often my support).
3) Discuss it with me with the result that we agree you are entering into a conflict with my interests and I exercise my rights. If we don't agree (which has only happened once), my opinion is the final decision.
4) Sneak around.

The people that work here typically have done one of the first three.
I found the sneaking around choice was quite common in the companies I worked for in my formative years.
Seemed kind of pathetic.
^^^^^^

Why unions were created.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
^^^^^^

Why unions were created.
Yes...my gaggle of PhDs, MDs. Engineers, Economists, and MBAs are gonna strike any second.
Carry on Mr. crazybeard. You are at no risk from my policies. Trust me.

If you feel a need to continue this conversation or topic, start a new thread so we stop tromping on Andy.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:00 AM
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I'll chime in on this conflict issue.

First though, if you have a day job, you really are not serious. I regularly work with people with jobs, and in a lot of cases, they try to extrapolate my rate into a yearly income. This is always a little awkward, due to the disparity of income. I try to soften this a little by pointing out that once my project is finished, I am unemployed. But the main difference between a successful consultant in this sort of field, and an employee is that employees are very quick to throw up their hands and give up when problems arise. A consultant has their name on the line, and I personally will never, never give up. My customers have a lot at stake, sometimes vast amounts of money, and the reason that I am there in some cases is to mitigate risk, and my absurd fees are a drop in the bucket.

Well, the idea of never ever giving up, and delivering a work product in a professional and timely manner is not done part time. I've worked 12-16 hour days to have projects stay on schedule so that customers can meet their obligations. Working part time may be a great way to make money for beer and gas for the boat, but if you want to generate income, it's not going to do.

As far as side jobs in a field in any way related to a day job, it's pretty much the definition of unethical. I personally know someone who did this, and in a particular field, their name is mud, now years after the incident occurred. An employer is paying money for a work product, and they are entitled get what they have paid for.

To the original poster, really all I can say is either "shit of get off the pot". Sorry to phrase it this abruptly, but it's just about that simple. But you will need some cash to get started. Enough to cover your bills for 6 months or so, just so that you don't have a panic attack. If you have been working for 10 years, and do not have savings for 6 months, you may not have the money management skills for this. But if you have great skills in a field that has demand, it's not hard to make a lot more money than you make in a job.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:39 AM
  #56  
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What credentials/degrees/certification do you currently hold? I ask because the skills you listed are not very advanced given today's technology; "I do a lot of re-engineering of home grown solutions (excel, access databases, paper workflows, etc)." Most high school kids today have these skills and more.

Please don't take this the wrong the way but unless you have the credentials; e.g. BS/CS or equivalent degree, PMP certification or other, I don't see you getting a lot of meaningful work to make the effort viable part time.

I retired from HP after 32 years in IT with a BS/CS, MBE, PMP, SCPM and ITIL certifications and it took me four months to land my first contract and I had all the professional resources at hand to help me. My point being it is hard enough to do this full time with everything in your favor.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Boat Bum View Post
What credentials/degrees/certification do you currently hold? I ask because the skills you listed are not very advanced given today's technology; "I do a lot of re-engineering of home grown solutions (excel, access databases, paper workflows, etc)." Most high school kids today have these skills and more.

Please don't take this the wrong the way but unless you have the credentials; e.g. BS/CS or equivalent degree, PMP certification or other, I don't see you getting a lot of meaningful work to make the effort viable part time.

I retired from HP after 32 years in IT with a BS/CS, MBE, PMP, SCPM and ITIL certifications and it took me four months to land my first contract and I had all the professional resources at hand to help me. My point being it is hard enough to do this full time with everything in your favor.
Not taken the wrong way at all. I've got a BS and I am PMP certified. I just didn't feel it was worth mention as I was more asking about marketing activities as opposed to advertising my services. Great points, though.

In regards to the type of work I do, it's actually a pretty big market that can't be served by high school kids. I do this every day for a major corporation, and my team's projects at work are booked out to the end of 2018. You may be surprised (or not based on your experience) how many large companies begin a home grown solution with good intentions. The problem arises when their solution becomes very useful and popular, but not scalable. I've made a career out of this and a good one at that.

Again, no offense taken, but your statements are indirectly telling me that I may be a little bit low key. As mentioned previously, I am not a salesman, and that's probably a pretty clear weakness of mine. I think the case studies that were suggested previously could be a big help. The description of my work probably did come across as minimalistic. I don't re-engineer these solutions in access / excel / paper - that is how they originate when the problem comes to me. I take solutions that have gone awry because they aren't scalable, and I park them in the right place. In some cases it is a fully custom ASP/SQL type application, in other cases I'll point customers to a pre-existing commercial product and set them up, and many times, there are business process changes that make sense along with it.

As an example, we have a process at work that manages millions in revenue. All of the data is stored in excel. I can't even begin to tell you the problems it causes. I fully expect that process to end up on my plate at some point.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post
Andy...I apologize to you for the derail. You have the right idea.
No need to apologize! Interesting conversation!

Originally Posted by Time Machine View Post
I'll chime in on this conflict issue.

Well, the idea of never ever giving up, and delivering a work product in a professional and timely manner is not done part time. I've worked 12-16 hour days to have projects stay on schedule so that customers can meet their obligations. Working part time may be a great way to make money for beer and gas for the boat, but if you want to generate income, it's not going to do.
Interesting points, and some that I have heard before. I really like my fulltime job. I enjoy it and find it fulfilling. I have no interest in quitting something I enjoy as I've carved out a good little life for myself.

I'll be completely honest - I'm looking for a little more than beer and boat gas, but not by a large amount. Maybe enough to take some more vacations, fund some elective home/boat improvement projects, etc. I put a very large portion of my income away for retirement, and I'd like some mad money for the fun things in life. Your point is well taken, though, if I ever decide to make a full go at this.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:43 AM
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You have the credentials, I wish you the best of luck. Oh, and I know well how temporary solutions morph into full functioning applications and most of the time it is antiquated technology and no one is left around to support the spaghetti code.

I would've suggested finding a good recruiter and I can give you some good ones, however, recruiters are looking for full time consultants.

It was through my networks (former boss) that I got turned on to my recruiter who got me a gig at Northeastern University here in Boston. Two months into the contract they were looking to bring me on board, I jumped at the chance. Despite the money being excellent, I was a W2, I didn't like not knowing where my next job/pay check would come from. Been here 1.5 years and loving academia.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Boat Bum View Post
You have the credentials, I wish you the best of luck. Oh, and I know well how temporary solutions morph into full functioning applications and most of the time it is antiquated technology and no one is left around to support the spaghetti code.

I would've suggested finding a good recruiter and I can give you some good ones, however, recruiters are looking for full time consultants.

It was through my networks (former boss) that I got turned on to my recruiter who got me a gig at Northeastern University here in Boston. Two months into the contract they were looking to bring me on board, I jumped at the chance. Despite the money being excellent, I was a W2, I didn't like not knowing where my next job/pay check would come from. Been here 1.5 years and loving academia.
Ha! I know all about supporting old spaghetti code when the original coder leaves. Love it. I got roped into "owning" one of those old solutions. Finally sold management on phasing it out. The funniest part is that nobody was using it but everyone in managment thought it was vital. Unreal how this stuff happens.

That is great news regarding your new job! Let's stay in touch!

Andy
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