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State of the Market

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    Originally posted by Big Blue Plymouth View Post
    I just could NEVER do what I do contracting as a permie.

    If it came to the crunch, I'd quit IT altogether & go and do something that pays a fraction of what I earn now but isn't as soul destroying.

    In that case I think that's the core issue for you - doing something you don't enjoy. Hence off course contracting is best for you. To say what you do is "soul destroying" makes me want to advise you to go and work in something that fulfills you in more ways than just £££. Don't waste your life so that you can own a VW instead of a Ford.

    Unless my children were starving and I had no choice (I'm from the school of thought of cleaning toilets if that's what it takes to bring bread home), I would never remain in a role that I would describe as "soul destroying". I would prefer to earn less but enjoy life more. I'm just lucky that I enjoy what I do in banking and I'm also lucky it pays well.

    The key point being - would I be as successful if I found it "soul destroying"? No, I definitely would not. Not enjoying it would be obvious from my face and behaviour. Hence to you my advice is - try to work on things you do enjoy, I know you will make more of a success out of it.

    Anyway, state of the market: not great, it's a buyers market, we know it, so we are offered slightly lower rates than normal and still getting great CVs in.

    Comment


      Originally posted by PermMCCon View Post
      In that case I think that's the core issue for you - doing something you don't enjoy. Hence off course contracting is best for you. To say what you do is "soul destroying" makes me want to advise you to go and work in something that fulfills you in more ways than just £££. Don't waste your life so that you can own a VW instead of a Ford.

      Unless my children were starving and I had no choice (I'm from the school of thought of cleaning toilets if that's what it takes to bring bread home), I would never remain in a role that I would describe as "soul destroying". I would prefer to earn less but enjoy life more. I'm just lucky that I enjoy what I do in banking and I'm also lucky it pays well.

      The key point being - would I be as successful if I found it "soul destroying"? No, I definitely would not. Not enjoying it would be obvious from my face and behaviour. Hence to you my advice is - try to work on things you do enjoy, I know you will make more of a success out of it.

      Anyway, state of the market: not great, it's a buyers market, we know it, so we are offered slightly lower rates than normal and still getting great CVs in.
      I used to enjoy it.

      I'm not and never was a geek & I got into IT via an M.Sc conversion course but I used to enjoy the challenges the work presented.

      Not any more.

      I've enough money to last a couple of years & yes, there's a real temptation to buy a pick-up, go and set up a landscaping business (did it before IT) & enjoy work but settle for a lot less money.

      Comment


        Originally posted by Big Blue Plymouth View Post

        I've enough money to last a couple of years & yes, there's a real temptation to buy a pick-up, go and set up a landscaping business (did it before IT) & enjoy work but settle for a lot less money.
        Atleast you have another skill which you can depend upon, I don't have any other skill except IT.

        Comment


          How's your psychotherapy doing?

          Originally posted by PermMCCon View Post
          I would never remain in a role that I would describe as "soul destroying". I would prefer to earn less but enjoy life more.
          I'm just lucky that I enjoy what I do in banking
          I'd love to meet you in a pub. Those are two of the most bizarre statements I have ever heard.

          Contracting is generally like most work: something you only do because you absolutely have to. My simple rule of life is work is something they pay you for; pleasure is something you pay them for. I appreciate looking after stray cats, landscape gardening, playing gigs in pubs etc can be enjoyable but economics says they pay bugger all and are exceedingly difficult to get into.

          So your first proposition is wierd (for a contractor) but the idea that banking is enjoyable - now that takes us onto a different planet.

          Do other people equally fear for PermCCon's sanity? Should we be ringing up Social Services?
          "Don't part with your illusions; when they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live" Mark Twain

          Comment


            Originally posted by Andy2 View Post
            Atleast you have another skill which you can depend upon, I don't have any other skill except IT.
            Same as me stuck in IT realistically way too old to retrain for another industry now & yet still too young & poor to retire!!

            Comment


              Originally posted by Cirrus View Post
              I'd love to meet you in a pub. Those are two of the most bizarre statements I have ever heard.

              Contracting is generally like most work: something you only do because you absolutely have to. My simple rule of life is work is something they pay you for; pleasure is something you pay them for. I appreciate looking after stray cats, landscape gardening, playing gigs in pubs etc can be enjoyable but economics says they pay bugger all and are exceedingly difficult to get into.

              So your first proposition is wierd (for a contractor) but the idea that banking is enjoyable - now that takes us onto a different planet.

              Do other people equally fear for PermCCon's sanity? Should we be ringing up Social Services?

              Hi Cirrus

              Remember I'm back to being a permie again, I am no longer a contractor.

              I understand my enjoyment of what I do is a bit strange, sooo many people I have worked with are in that other boat - do the job and go home. This is most telling by all the guys I know when they retire... all of them literally ran away from banking to do what they really wanted in life (e.g. One went to set up a vineyard, another went to live in Spain with a B&B, another it was all about golf, bla bla bla)

              I enjoy the work Cirrus because;

              - it's mentally challenging
              - I work with a great group of people
              - projects mean the work is always different
              - every project / programme could have been done better... continuous learning
              - nice work environment
              - worldwide travel due to projects and programmes I ran and worked on. Got to see and live in some great places over the years
              - again, the people and the everyday life
              - £££

              This doesn't mean I love it more than my hobbies and children, it just means I don't dread Mondays and don't resent the amount of extra hours I need to do to get a good job done. It means life is that much more pleasurable. That's all

              Considering the type of person I am and my skill set? I feel very happy and lucky to be where I am. Go and see some of the countries I have been to and you will see what I mean. Contractors and people like me earning what we do have very little to complain about... seriously.

              Anyway, state of the market!

              eFinancialCareers is pretty good but a good old chin wag with a few recruiters never hurts to see how things are going.

              Comment


                Back to original thread topic: State of the market

                Originally posted by JoJoGabor View Post
                Anyone else finding it very quiet out there? This is the quietest I remember it for the last 6 years. I finished my last contract at the end of April and now going back to an old client, but if that work wasn't there I'd be struggling to get a sniff of anything. Feels like some lean times are on the horizon.

                I'm in Infrastructure/Cloud for what it's worth.
                I have contracted since 2002 and have experienced a couple of gaps in contracts (3-6 months) that could be attributed to general market conditions such as financial meltdown, economic bubble, etc.

                However, in the last few months, the there has been no shortage of Proj Mgr and Prog Mgr roles advertised. Many at good rates (£500-650 for PjM and £600-850 for PgM), but a lot of roles at low rates (£300-450 for PjM and £500-650 for PgM). It is difficult to say how many of these roles are genuine, but my focus has been on job portals that charge agencies for placing ads to reduce the exposure to 'fishing trips' by unscrupulous agents who are spending their idle time trawling for candidate CVs to tank up their internal database.

                Having spoken to a number of well-established agencies, they have confirmed that they are often competing with 3-4 other agencies and invited to submit 3-5 candidates each. This will naturally lead to one role being advertised many times and as each paid-for advert typically expires after 1-2 weeks, the agents often re-advertise the same role as if it was a new role in order to benefit from higher ranking and better placement offered to 'new' adverts. This inevitably creates a lot of noise amongst advertised roles.

                For the roles that I have been shortlisted for, I have found many of these roles to be put on hold before interviews are arranged or being filled by internal candidates. This echoes others' comments about companies advertising roles externally to meet hiring policies.

                I have had several interviews that I came away really happy about that should normally have been a win, but then I'm told that there was some minor aspect lacking (that was not in the job description or other candidate was better suited. With one company, I had two interviews and never heard from them again - not a pip.

                What the last 10 weeks lead me to believe, is that the current state of the contracting market is made up of many parts:
                - Product-specific roles that are quickly filled from a readily available supply at market rates (e.g. Dynamics/SAP/Salesforce developers/Testing)
                - High-demand skills in short supply driving up market rates as companies compete to secure contractors (e.g. security)
                - Traditional IT roles such as BA/PjM/PgM where the broad market is uncertain about the economic near-term due to Brexit and General Election, leading to delays on projects and a drop in rates towards MVR ('minimum viable rate')

                From hiring companies' perspectives, I expect many companies to be faced with an increasing backlog of projects in their portfolio that are fighting for resources (and funding) against business priority driven by external factors (economy, regulatory, competition, Brexit) and internal factors (re-org, replacement cycle, outsourcing).

                I have also noticed a steady release of permies as companies drive efficiency programmes and outsource non-core activities. Some permies are entering the contractor market attracted by higher earnings and a shortage of permanent roles. Government departments have lost many long-term contractors who were happy to work at lower-end day rates for un-demanding work. These contractors have re-entered the market and I suspect they are happy to continue at these rates working for commercial organisations.

                So, my advise would be to sharpen your CV on key strengths and focus on roles that would benefit from the unique combination of skills and experience that you can offer. Be realistic with your expectations when you apply for roles through agencies and invest more in your contact network than the time you spend with agents.

                Happy hunting!
                Vision without action is a nightmare

                Comment


                  Originally posted by calm66 View Post
                  ...but my focus has been on job portals that charge agencies for placing ads to reduce the exposure to 'fishing trips' by unscrupulous agents who are spending their idle time trawling for candidate CVs to tank up their internal database.

                  Am curious if JS is the lower-cost advertising portal?

                  I guess all boards they all have their headline rate card for ads. But I assume there are discounts for the volume players?

                  Do most agencies have software which sends out to all the job boards simultaneously?

                  In the larger agencies the sales desks are unlikely to have any connection with the cost of advertising (they just put on the ad - speculative or not) and get the CVs - so I guess there is little cost to the sales folks of sticking any ol' ad on the board to keep the keen candidates rolling in (and completely wasting their time in applying)?
                  Last edited by pauly; 27 June 2017, 11:01.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by pauly View Post
                    Am curious if JS is the lower-cost advertising portal?

                    I guess all boards they all have their headline rate card for ads. But I assume there are discounts for the volume players?

                    Do most agencies have software which sends out to all the job boards simultaneously?

                    In the larger agencies the sales desks are unlikely to have any connection with the cost of advertising (they just put on the ad - speculative or not) and get the CVs - so I guess there is little cost to the sales folks of sticking any ol' ad on the board to keep the keen candidates rolling in?
                    I know as a small supplier you are looking at around £350 for a Job Serve ad.
                    The Chunt of Chunts.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by MrMarkyMark View Post
                      I know as a small supplier you are looking at around £350 for a Job Serve ad.
                      Quite expensive considering some of the fake rubbish that goes on there. A recruiter called me today and said the following:

                      I have a contract opportunity
                      What day rate would you like
                      The location is in....(happens to be a small village where my last permie role was, so I don't believe him)
                      I cannot tell you the name of the client yet...
                      They work in the 'IT sector' (I think this was just the first thing that came to mind)
                      I will speak to them and come back to you with a full spec for the job
                      Hear nothing back
                      Repeat...over and over again. It is very demoralising.
                      Two permie interview offers for £55k and £60k plus benefits but they are unfortunately in central London. I am low on money and considering it. I have one other chance in Scotland £450 a day but CRB check needed and no idea of interview or start date.

                      Comment

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