Finding gigs on your own can sometimes feel like your trading stocks: things happen in ebbs and flows, and can change on a dime.
Last week I was asked if I could help with a contract engagement with a former employer (as a subcontractor). We were waiting to hear back from the client and in the meantime I had an interview for another subcontracting gig.
This week, I received confirmation that I won the gig I interviewed for, which is good...but this other opportunity would need to finalize soon if I was going to fit it into my schedule. That same day I get a call that the job I won was a no go because a senior position couldn't be filled and the government agency we were going to work with had to re-tender it. Then I find out today that the former-employer opportunity is a go and we have a meeting for this Friday. All the while, I'm negotiating with a placement firm for an engagement as well.
Tonnes going on...the biggest thing I've realized in all this is that you play until the whistle: talk means nothing unless there's a signed contract backing it. Otherwise, nothing is a for sure. This meeting scheduled for Friday *could* get bumped, or cancelled outright, and if I placed my entire hope in this one contract I'd be handcuffing myself. So to all those out there starting out in consulting, keep all the pokers in the fire but don't commit to one until the meat on the end of it is cooked (I have no idea where that came from...just go with it).