As an independent consultant there are plenty of pluses – flexibility, better day rate, more holidays (if you can afford them!), side-stepping internal politics and so on. But at least one thing I’d put in the ‘minus’ column is the feeling of ‘being a fully-fledged member of a team’.
As a consultant you can be a long-term contributor, well entrenched and with great working relationships with everyone interact with, but there is still something separating you. You are on the periphery by virtue of your contractual status. This is why, when team building opportunities comes along, I grab them. It gives the chance to get to know co-workers better and helps with the feeling of belonging, giving more ownership in the company and/or project and just being assimilated. Anthropologists write books on all of this – people’s need for interaction and acceptance, group behaviour, psychology of belonging and so on – but in a short blog its just recognising how much more effective you can be when you feel like one of the gang, not an interloper.
So it was with pleasure I joined the remaining Forewind team members for a day trip to the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, my former baby. Despite some seasickness (thankfully not mine), dodgy weather and higher than ideal waves, its a trip I’ll remember for its bonding, laughter and for the lasting feeling of being “with the band”. Alone is OK, even necessary at times but, as a social creature, I know I thrive on connecting and that the sense of belonging can’t be underestimated. So many thanks to everyone at Statkraft in Wells-next-the-Sea and my fellow Forewinders – there we all are below, safely on dry land – for a most memorable adventure.