Today, I finished working with one of my customers. These endings also make me think about my role as a consultant.
This week, I had been blogging about the role of consultants and what the job really means, to some extent. Today, as I finish with a customer, I have the usual mixed feelings.
First, you are never really “done” with a customer. As I tell them, if you have questions about anything or need more assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I don’t mean that I’m abandoning them. I merely mean that the work is finished, they think they are all set, for now, and the final invoice is being sent.
Beyond that, I feel quite proud of myself. I felt that we worked well together, that my work did benefit their project and that I did the work in both an effective and efficient manner. I believe that I both added value to their project and did so within their budget. I think I can take a moment to feel good about all that. At the same time, I also feel a bit sad to say “goodbye.” I will have less contact with them and I know it is the natural way of things that we will have less contact as time goes by. I already miss them.
Here is another place where I will stress that it is my job to make myself expendable. I work with a customer to work through something specific with them, so that they can be self-sufficient, otherwise. It is not my job to insert myself into their operation for some long-term basis to create security for myself. Thus, I feel so professional and really a bit smug about it. On the other hand, I just have to keep telling myself that on the off-chance that it will help me miss them a little bit less. 😉