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Have You Ever Taken A Contract Well Below Your Skillset/Level? Would You Do It Again?

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    Have You Ever Taken A Contract Well Below Your Skillset/Level? Would You Do It Again?

    Been on the bench for 2 and a half months and after previously having a long stint off before my last contract due to a serious illness, I only have enough cash to keep me going for about 3 months max. As a PMO Analyst I have been approached by an agency for a 3 month contract paying a day rate of 10% less than usual. Not a problem but what is getting to me is that it sounds like the client is bundling 2 roles (one a more junior project admin role) into another one to save money.

    So organising meetings/rooms and 'any other project admin' has been cited in the description, alongside the usual skillset. I have accepted an offer of an interview but I know deep down that I will hate/resent doing that part of the job, like going 6 steps back to fresh post uni days.

    I need the money and if I don't take it I'm not sure how long it will be before I get another contract. At the same time I'm concerned I'll get pigeon holed into this type of work in the long term. The agent says it's a 'foot in the door to other contracts with this fantastic company' and to see it as a stop gap. Have any of you been so desperate for a gig that you have taken one far removed from your skillset or what you were comfortable with and how did it pan out?

    Originally posted by Tractor Trace View Post
    I need the money and if I don't take it I'm not sure how long it will be before I get another contract.
    There's your answer. Swallow your pride and bank 3 months money. In a role is a more comfortable place to be looking for something better. Don't take it because of false platitudes from the agent - take it because 3 months savings is not enough.


      the problem will be the minute you get in the door another more suitable contract will come along.

      If it's just 3 months take it to build your funds back up and keep an eye out for the next move when that one ends


        If you're at least breaking even for three months, it puts you on if your warchest isn't great or you simply want to be working.
        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist


          A 3 month-er at a lower rate wouldn't bother me, its always easier to find work when you're in a gig, take the role and keep looking!


            Take the role, bank the money and leave the crap bits off the CV.
            "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.


              Took a role a few years for half normal rate. I'd been on bench for few months (JSA wasnt paying enough!).

              The role wasn't TOO low level (just the rate - it was NHS). Bit of a trek via train but I thought why not.

              It was a weeks notice (didnt even have to ask) 3 months.

              Friendliest place I've ever worked. Great people, and client manager was sound. He knew the score (that rate was crap) and knew I wasnt going to stay forever and didnt mind if I ever wanted to give notice.

              Ended up doing the full 3 months and then getting another gig closer to home paying more. Felt a bit guilty leaving in the end. Glad I did it though.
              Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!


                The current gig was well below my skill set in the initial stages but I managed to influence them into adopting my current technology and ways of doing things. Even though it's still not ideal it's a lot better than when I started and in between I've managed to up skill by teaching myself another programming language.

                What ever it is try to make the most of it.
                In Scooter we trust


                  Every gig there is is below my skill level...

                  'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


                    I can beat you all! I took a five month fixed term contract.

                    Was coming back off 16 months out. 2 months on the beach, 10 months getting a visa and 4 bleak months job hunting.

                    Was burned out from my previous career and decided to go for a completely new area hence the 4 months job hunting.

                    Took a low level FTC to switch from IT operations stuff to more business side stuff, in my case training. It was a 5 month training contract for an ERP system paying the princely sum of 40k per year. Woo!

                    Was a stupid period in my life. Came in learned the system in 4 weeks, all set to go out and train then they cancelled the rollout. Then I just sort of sat around for the next 4 months.

                    Hardest part with a low level role was being unimportant. In my previous career I was a solutions architect. Kind of used to people listening, just having respect, being busy and needed. In the FTC it was weird when nobody really listened to me, replied to emails, gave me any work to do and just assumed I wouldn't understand technical points.

                    They actually got me to clean the kitchen. I wish I was joking. They said there was a rule where the newest person in the team had to clean it once I week. I smiled, got on with it and made sure those counter tops were glistening. It was hilarious. You know people who say cleaning toilets isn't beneath them? I wasn't far from that. Ok, cleaning the kitchen took about 5 minutes, so not quite...

                    Two weeks from the end, without asking if I was interested, the numpty HR manager barged in to the office saying congratulations and reaching out to shake my hand. I was a bit baffled but took his hand. I was even more baffled as he started congratulating me on the 12 month extension. Um, I interrupted we'll have to talk money. I put them off for a week until I was sure I had secured the next real contract and then turned them down. They were miffed at me for "resigning".

                    For me it all worked out well. Was my start in a new skillset and now I earn more than ever doing a much easier and more fulfilling job (which still has it's kill me now moments).

                    Most jobs look fine on the CV. Even in a low level role you can just put down you were a consultant/analyst/whatever. In your position I'd grab it with both hands. You're skint. Its money and an opportunity. Is booking meeting rooms really below you? I've met a few PMs who struggle to even get that right!
                    Last edited by DieScum; 30 March 2016, 10:21.