As something of a craftswoman, I often get together with the consultants I do subcontract work for and wonder if that isn’t indeed the next natural step up the career ladder for me. Before I could even think about entertaining that path further though, I decided that for now I’m going to remain a subcontractor. I’m going to stick to what I know, for now…
One of the reasons why it is that if I am indeed going to advance up the career ladder in this way I’m going to take my time, is because there is just so much to learn – knowledge which you essentially have to hold at expert-level. It takes years and years of working within various subdivisions of the industry to get to that level and I also fear the passion I have for what I do might very well be eroded if I proceeded in this manner. I don’t want to be showing up just for a paycheque, even though right now it’s kind of erratic with some good times and some bad times to contend with as a subcontractor.
Sure, I can definitely start learning the ropes with regards to most of the other constituents of consulting, but the one area I really fear most is that of the legal matters. In particular, worker safety issues still have me in a bit of a cringe as a subcontractor, perhaps because I approach it all from the point of view of a mother who upon becoming a parent realised the world is just such a dangerous place. There are hazards at every corner and I would simply never get the ball rolling due to what is commonly known as analysis paralysis.
There is just so much to consider around worker safety, starting with the immediate working environment of the workers and then going out into the field where some of the most dangerous work probably takes place.
Now, consider the typical work of a consultant who is working on something like a selection of properties, whether this is interior work or if it’s structural work. This is something of a very dynamic environment to have to work in, so it will be infinitely harder to formulate a set of worker safety guidelines the workers will have to acquaint themselves with because these would be dynamic guidelines.
I mean if you’ve ever visited the offices of a train accident law firm such as Pottroff & Karlin for example, some of what makes up the piles and piles of documents they have to get through and evaluate for understanding and to help the case they’re handling comes from what started out as mere workers’ workplace safety handbooks.
Sure, I could very well leave the legal side of things to the professionals, but you still need to have a deeper understanding of how things work, even at that specialist level.
Maybe sometime in the future I will find the time to learn all there is to learn about making the leap into consulting, but for now I’m happy with just subcontracting as a craftswoman.