How to deal with so much exploitation

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Anonymous User at Taro Communitya month ago

I recently joined this company which is a service based orgnisation (company A) and gives services to other companies(normal thing in India), (company B)

I am full time employee in company A and a contractor in company B. Things are going good in company B. it's been 3 months and it's all good.

The thing to worry about here is that in company A , I have 3 managers. They pull me in any conversations such as company A org level issues and they ask me to take interviews etc. All of this takes time. The leadership's call in company A is that we can't disclose this to the client company B that the employees take interviews and other org level activities.

I had recent talk with my manager at company A where I explicitly shared that it's disingenuous not to share and in addition to that I have to work extra hours to compensate for the time spent in activities which I can't share to my manager at company B.

Also, we are asked to do regular interviews on weekends as well. I politely shared that I can't do interviews on weekends and I can't hide the fact that I am taking interviews to the client and I would not take interviews in my personal time as well on weekdays.

I am not sure how the upper management would see this but I am trying to understand how to approach these kinds of situations in general.

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(1 comment)
  • Casey Dai
    Principal Director at Capgemini
    a month ago

    If I were to take an educated guess, I believe you're current working in tech consulting (i.e Company A) and the client is Company B. With that context in mind, I think you are on the right track in terms of drawing boundaries and sticking to them (e.g. weekend work, competing priorities, etc.).

    Here are a couple tactical suggestions that apply to tech consulting:

    1. For almost every org I've come across, client work always comes first. If you feel like your EM (Engagement Manager) has your back, bring the topic up and enlist his/her help to push back on the non-client work (i.e. non-billable work). Be clear on what you're doing for the client and provide rationale to defend your estimates on how long things reasonably take. If the EM is part of the same practice you are aligned to, a conversation with the practice lead should solve this.

    2. Depending on the engagement model with the client, you will have more flexibility (as long as you are delivering what's asked) if the project is a 'fixed fee' vs. a T&M (time & materials). Although T&M has less flexibility, I've been on T&M engagements before where if you have a certain level of trust and rapport with the client, they are less inclined to micromanage you to ensure you are putting in exactly the 8 hours you're billing them (i.e. allow flexible schedule)

    3. As a Practice Lead in a tech consulting firm myself, I would suggest you consider that the non-client work usually bucketed under "practice building" is required to some level, especially if you'd like to advance your career (above avg rating, promotion, etc.). Just like any job, there are quite a few responsibilities outside of the work you are directly assigned that need to be picked up to make the business successful - e.g. interviewing, business dev/proposal writing, thought leadership, finding new offerings/services to GTM, coaching/mentorship, etc.

      As long as it's not compromising your client work and/or your personal life/mental health, look at these activities as extra ways you can contribute and goes a long way in terms of depositing goodwill/social capital with your leadership. The people who've had accelerated careers in tech consulting all have a large arsenal of "practice building" contributions during performance review time.

      ***Caveat: deliberately overworking people and forcing them to consistently put in weeknight / weekends is NOT ok.