Episode 191 – Working Independently is Beneficial but Put Some Money Aside First with Allen Holub

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Allen Holub. An internationally recognised software architect and Agile-transformation consultant. He’s worn every hat from CTO to grunt-programmer, and is an expert-level programmer in many languages.

He is also an international speaker and a widely published author, having written ten books and hundreds of articles.

In this episode, Phil and Allen discuss the unique challenges working as an independent throws up and how to cope with them. They also discuss the benefits that working this way bring.

They talk about why you need to seek advice from the right people. Then reveal two non-technical skills that will keep you organised and energize your career.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(7.29) TOP CAREER TIP

If you are working as a consultant, make sure you keep at least 6 months of cash to hand. Your income is going to fluctuate and you need to be able to cover your bills.

Social media marketing is important for consultants. Twitter works particularly well. It enables you to have proper conversations and gives lots of people the chance to get to know you a bit.

 

(9.36) WORST CAREER MOMENT

Allen was once hired to work on a terrible piece of software. It was so bad that he was obliged to write to the CEO and say so. He knew he had done the right thing. But, three years later, he was still struggling to find work. Former members of that team kept getting him blackballed.

But, he does not regret doing it. Allen thinks it is important to be honest. When you are consistently honest people hear about it and know they can trust you.

 

(12.49) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

Making a positive difference to how people work and helping them to achieve more, is very fulfilling. So, for Allen, each new success is a highlight.

Speaking at conferences has enabled him to reach thousands more people. In the podcast, Allen shares an effective way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. A method you can use to start public speaking and benefiting from doing so.

 

(15.49) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

Allen says that for the I.T. industry the future is kind of interesting. However, he is concerned that we are starting to repeat past mistakes.

This is particularly the case when it comes to the Agile way of working. Many firms have tweaked it to the point where it is no longer Agile. Instead, they have more or less gone back to their previous inefficient ways of working. Allen explains why this has happened and touches on how issues like this can be rectified.

 

(19.10) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Wanting to make his own electronic instruments led to Allen becoming interested in I.T.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Because Allen’s career has not been a traditional one, he has not received much career advice.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Allen is an introvert, so he finds it impossible to effectively apply the marketing advice created for him by extroverts. It just does not work for him.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Allen says he probably would not pursue an IT career, again. He explains why, during the podcast.

What are your current career objectives? – Allen’s current focus is on marketing himself. He is also planning to write another book.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? Being able to write well. It helps you to stay organised and communicate effectively.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Speaking at conferences helps Allen to energize his career. It keeps him interacting with others and learning.

What do you do away from technology? – Allen is an artist, so he draws occasionally and still enjoys playing the piano.

 

(24.57) FINAL CAREER TIP

Provided you can handle the uncertainty and cash flow issues, working as an independent is a great career choice. It insulates you from a lot of negativity and is an interesting and fulfilling way of working.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(7.50) – Allen – “For consultants, cash flow is a constant problem. So, you need six months of cash sitting around.”

(11.40) – Allen – “You’ve got to be honest. If you are not you can’t do a good job.”

(14.33) – Allen – “There is no need to fear public speaking. After all, you are just talking to people who are basically like you.”

(20.41) – Allen – “To be useful, advice has to be given by someone who knows you and understands your work.”

(25.30) – Allen – “Working as an independent insulates you from a lot of the problems that are associated with our industry”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – ALLEN HOLUB

Allen Holub is an internationally recognised software architect and Agile-transformation consultant. He’s worn every hat from CTO to grunt-programmer, and is an expert-level programmer in many languages.

He is also an international speaker and a widely published author, having written ten books and hundreds of articles.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – ALLEN HOLUB

Allen Holub can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/allenholub

LinkedIn: https://twitter.com/allenholub

Personal Website: https://holub.com/

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