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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Stuck with a charity client

    Hi all,

    My first post here so please be gentle...

    I have worked for a charity as a software developer for more than six months now. And yes now I know the charity sector should be completely avoided because they are chaotic and the experience can make your CV look bad . However that knowledge came a little too late for me and TBH that was the only contract job offered to me back then. Ah did I mention this is also my first contract job? Anyway I took the offer and now here I am.

    My current issue is on one hand the project's future looks rather grim as a few key stakeholders have recently left the organisation and I am stuck with the fact no one knows where the requirements come from or what the requirements actually should be. The project budget also got cut and currently there is only enough money to extend my contract until March if it gets extended at all, which I should know by the end of this week.

    I would like to think I have done some decent work but the project is so poorly managed and therefore a lot of my efforts are wasted because the requirements frequently change. The deadline is near (April) but there are still much to do... even if the requirements do not change again.

    However on the other hand given the current market state combined with my limited experience, if I do not accept the extension and leave there is good chance that I will on the bench for a long time or will be forced to go back to work as a permie again. I am also a bit concerned about a potential nasty reference from the current client because I choose to walk and whether that will damage my future career as a contractor.

    So I am not sure what I should do at this crossroads even if I receive the extension... or should I just leave after my current contract naturally comes to its end date.

    Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Respect my authoritah!

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    References are irrelevant. See the sticky thread at the top of this subforum "I just need to get two references...". Work is work. On your CV you put what you did and significant achievements. The enjoyment of the experience and how well the project was managed is irrelevant.

    Only you can decide whether to continue. If the market isn't good, then just keep your head down and keep billing.
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  3. #3

    My post count is Majestic

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    what is your IR35 status like? Could it be you are already part and parcel of are just doing any work they give and you really should be leaving anyway?

    Any chance of introducing new stuff to them you can also learn and lead them at all?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 22nd November 2016 at 06:43.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  4. #4

    Still gathering requirements...


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    I don't know where this theory comes from that working for a charity looks bad on your CV. I haven't worked for a charity but I can't see why they would be any more chaotic than public sector or private businesses. I doubt very much any clients would have an issue with it, because I doubt most would have heard this stereotype. The only problem I can see that the agents may have an issue. Not for any good reason, but purely because they're signed up to this myth.

  5. #5

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauldee View Post
    I don't know where this theory comes from that working for a charity looks bad on your CV. I haven't worked for a charity but I can't see why they would be any more chaotic than public sector or private businesses. I doubt very much any clients would have an issue with it, because I doubt most would have heard this stereotype. The only problem I can see that the agents may have an issue. Not for any good reason, but purely because they're signed up to this myth.
    But it can. Many gigs look for previous experience in that sector. Banking, pharmaceuticals and PS are notorious for preferring you if you have it. If you don't have that they may prefer similar experience, like working in large corporates and everything that comes with it. Many clients aren't going to link a charity with the way their organisations work. The reasons for delivering are completely different so you will have a different outlook which could work against you.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  6. #6

    I live on CUK

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    Synology it looks like you are going to have to sort out the requirements side of things yourself then so you can actually do some development. Doing stuff like this will help you when you want to move up the food chain.

    I wouldn't worry so much about having worked for a charity if your permie jobs before this were in other sectors.
    "Youíre just a bad memory who doesnít know when to go away" JR

  7. #7

    Still gathering requirements...


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  8. #8

    Fingers like lightning

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    it's up to you to save the project and make it something you want to put on your CV.

    Go find the people who wanted it and ask them directly what they want to achieve. Then make it work that way. Also don't assume they know what they're talking about if they give you a technical description of what they want.

    If you're any good at doing that then you have a chance to make something better than they dreamed of and you'll be proud to put it on your CV.

  9. #9

    More time posting than coding


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    it's up to you to save the project and make it something you want to put on your CV.

    Go find the people who wanted it and ask them directly what they want to achieve. Then make it work that way. Also don't assume they know what they're talking about if they give you a technical description of what they want.

    If you're any good at doing that then you have a chance to make something better than they dreamed of and you'll be proud to put it on your CV.
    This.

  10. #10

    Nervous Newbie


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    Many thanks for the replies from everyone.

    I understand it is totally my decision to stay or leave but I really want to get inputs from experienced veterans out there.

    Thanks to NotAllThere for his advice about references.

    To northernladuk: I am not sure about my IR35 status - I do not really understand what that is about. All I know is all my work here is solely about the specific project so I do not consider myself as part and parcel of the organisation. Thanks for highlighting that concern though.

    Thanks also go to SueEllen and Lance for their useful suggestions (and mdhd for his/her hint?) about the requirement gathering and the project management although that will be an uphill battle along the way.

    I will wait for my potential renewal and decide what to do afterwards. Will come back and post some update...

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