Gee, isn't it nice to be wanted?

This company is really happy with the work of an IT consultant pilot fish who's on a project for them. Trouble is, fish feels like he's stuck in a rut.

"After all, one of the benefits of being a consultant is the variety," says fish. "I was on this ongoing project for three years. I started getting tired of the work, so I spoke with the staff at the consulting firm."

The consulting firm likes fish too, and wants to keep him happy and on the payroll. So fish's resume is updated, and the firm begins marketing him to other potential clients again.

And, naturally, the consulting firm approaches the company where fish has been for three years to discuss not renewing fish's deal at the next cycle and transitioning to a different consultant on that project.

The manager overseeing the project isn't happy. In fact he's very unhappy. In the end, he tells the consulting firm, "If you pull him, all your contractors are out of here."

That puts fish in an ugly bind. He knows the consulting firm can't afford to lose a big gig just to keep him happy. He doesn't want to stay at this client company and be bored. And the third option -- quitting the consulting firm -- would create more hassle and stress than fish really wants.

"I ended up lucking out," fish says. "One of the consultants on another project at the same company was a personal friend, and he was leaving the company to work on an advanced degree. That project required some esoteric skills -- I had some of them, and my friend was willing to continue to work with me to build the others.

"Then the client company's upper management went to my project manager, who agreed that keeping me available for some help -- while I worked on the other project -- was for the good of the company."

While you're working on other projects, why not send Sharky your story? Email it to me right now at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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