I was one of those Silicon Valley gypsies, always an outsider on contract usually for 18 months. Companies can't keep you past 18 months per IRS regulations that require you to hire a contractor at 18 months. Because you are a contractor you weren't able to benefit from permanent employee paid days off or health benefits. The end of year was the worst, two weeks without pay, right at the time of year you spend the most.

Socially you were an outcast on the job. Never a real employee, never part of the decision making. You were this odd person not really part of any group at work just a specialist or tool to be cast aside when the 18 months was up.

If I may venture forth into minefield called sexual differences. As a male I drew my strength from the inside whereas a woman draws her strength from the outside, from her relationships. I am not being judgmental, there are advantages to both approaches. And this is an general statement. We are all individuals and react to being the new person on the job differently.

You are right Ms. Kennedy being new on the job, building trust and making new relationships is difficult. At least 20% of staff at Silicon Valley companies are "chronically temporary". Even "permanent" engineering jobs are temporary because products and projects come and go so frequently. Silicon Valley is an experiment, a precursor, to what things will be like in the workplace of the future.

Computer engineer in Silicon Valley. Writing about topics that interest me and may interest you.