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State of the Market

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    People say generalists don't have a future but I find whenever I am near to having a so called speciality contracts seem to want specialities within specialities. I guess there must be people who never venture out of one sector - you see it quite a bit in finance and public sector - but doesn't that carry it's own risk if that sector hits it's own problems?

    Besides the fact we are currently 'enjoying' the worst recession most of us will ever see combined with government doing it's best to alienate us is probably enough explanation why a few of us are struggling for work without reaching for pet theories of the future of contracting.

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      Originally posted by SussexSeagull View Post
      People say generalists don't have a future but I find whenever I am near to having a so called speciality contracts seem to want specialities within specialities. I guess there must be people who never venture out of one sector - you see it quite a bit in finance and public sector - but doesn't that carry it's own risk if that sector hits it's own problems?

      Besides the fact we are currently 'enjoying' the worst recession most of us will ever see combined with government doing it's best to alienate us is probably enough explanation why a few of us are struggling for work without reaching for pet theories of the future of contracting.
      There are risks. I only work in healthcare. The benefit to me in a small market like Dublin is that there are very few people with the same skills, expertise and experience. The risk is that it's a very small market. There are only really 3 viable local clients who take on contractors (4 if I want to schlep to Belfast which is a 2 hour trip each way).

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        Originally posted by Old Greg View Post
        There are risks. I only work in healthcare. The benefit to me in a small market like Dublin is that there are very few people with the same skills, expertise and experience. The risk is that it's a very small market. There are only really 3 viable local clients who take on contractors (4 if I want to schlep to Belfast which is a 2 hour trip each way).
        As you say there are risks both ways. Another phenomenon is contractors who never seem to work outside the area they live in, which leads me to believe agents see locations on CV and are drawn towards it if something in that area comes up.

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          Originally posted by CheeseSlice View Post
          The other common issue sits between the ATS and the client.

          I responded to an ad yesterday, got hold of the agent on Linkedin, and he gave me his direct number.

          Called him up, and he said he was going through CVs using CTRL+F and looking for keywords manually.
          He did this with my CV and said he doesn't get enough matches of the words the client gave him (they mean nothing to him at all).


          Updated my CV by adding a few more occurences, he ran CTRL+F again and he seemed pleased with that. Forwarded my application to client.

          Great that you managed to wangle that but it says it all when the agent doesn't understand any of the keywords. Not even one, FFS?!?

          Comment


            Originally posted by edison View Post
            Great that you managed to wangle that but it says it all when the agent doesn't understand any of the keywords. Not even one, FFS?!?
            I'm impressed they could manage CTRL+F.

            Comment


              Originally posted by SussexSeagull View Post
              People say generalists don't have a future but I find whenever I am near to having a so called speciality contracts seem to want specialities within specialities. I guess there must be people who never venture out of one sector - you see it quite a bit in finance and public sector - but doesn't that carry it's own risk if that sector hits it's own problems?

              Besides the fact we are currently 'enjoying' the worst recession most of us will ever see combined with government doing it's best to alienate us is probably enough explanation why a few of us are struggling for work without reaching for pet theories of the future of contracting.
              Yes, it does carry risk but it's self perpetuating to some extent. It's common for hiring managers in financial services and retail to only consider people with sector expertise. Public sector can vary, partly as the various parts of it can be quite different. The NHS can be very different from central government or higher education can be different to local government.

              When you talk about what people are seeking in generalists v specialists, this is sometimes called a 'T shape.' The horizontal bar of the T refers to breadth of knowledge and the vertical bar is the depth of specialisation. You can get various types of T depending on the balance between breadth and depth of experience.
              Last edited by edison; 18 September 2020, 16:28.

              Comment


                Originally posted by jayn200 View Post
                The career PMs who bounce around multiple industries/subjects or even if they stay in one but don't bother to learn anything are the types of PMs I think everyone complains about.

                Those career PMs can survive if they are given existing resources to oversee who are experienced and work together well but they don't really add much either.
                Perhaps because the above description, if not the bit about being universally complained about, is essentially me, I would have to disagree.

                While not knowing the sector you work in, mine is telco and media. And, for the most part, and that which has afforded (until now) unbroken contracts for the last 20 years, I am expected to have sector experience, but not technological knowledge. Exposure, maybe. But not knowledge.

                And to answer the point about a PM not knowing if someone is BS-ing him in reference to timescales, once you have him in a room, or around a conf call, it soon becomes transparent if the air smells fishy. My two points of contact, the two guys I run towards making very good friends with at the beginning of every project, are the BA and Solution Designer. They are my touchstones.

                As to how I describe myself in interview, it is a Business PM existing in a Technological world. And for the most part, in my experience, that is what they want. In the current environment of course, recruiters are asking for the world. Maybe not because of needs, but just to whittle down the numbers.

                But, I am also sure there are needs for the type of PM you describe. All buttoned up in all technologies.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by simes View Post
                  Perhaps because the above description, if not the bit about being universally complained about, is essentially me, I would have to disagree.

                  While not knowing the sector you work in, mine is telco and media. And, for the most part, and that which has afforded (until now) unbroken contracts for the last 20 years, I am expected to have sector experience, but not technological knowledge. Exposure, maybe. But not knowledge.

                  And to answer the point about a PM not knowing if someone is BS-ing him in reference to timescales, once you have him in a room, or around a conf call, it soon becomes transparent if the air smells fishy. My two points of contact, the two guys I run towards making very good friends with at the beginning of every project, are the BA and Solution Designer. They are my touchstones.

                  As to how I describe myself in interview, it is a Business PM existing in a Technological world. And for the most part, in my experience, that is what they want. In the current environment of course, recruiters are asking for the world. Maybe not because of needs, but just to whittle down the numbers.

                  But, I am also sure there are needs for the type of PM you describe. All buttoned up in all technologies.
                  Unless you're in pure software development, I agree that's what most clients I've worked at have wanted (I'm not a PM BTW.)

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by simes View Post
                    Perhaps because the above description, if not the bit about being universally complained about, is essentially me, I would have to disagree.

                    While not knowing the sector you work in, mine is telco and media. And, for the most part, and that which has afforded (until now) unbroken contracts for the last 20 years, I am expected to have sector experience, but not technological knowledge. Exposure, maybe. But not knowledge.

                    And to answer the point about a PM not knowing if someone is BS-ing him in reference to timescales, once you have him in a room, or around a conf call, it soon becomes transparent if the air smells fishy. My two points of contact, the two guys I run towards making very good friends with at the beginning of every project, are the BA and Solution Designer. They are my touchstones.

                    As to how I describe myself in interview, it is a Business PM existing in a Technological world. And for the most part, in my experience, that is what they want. In the current environment of course, recruiters are asking for the world. Maybe not because of needs, but just to whittle down the numbers.

                    But, I am also sure there are needs for the type of PM you describe. All buttoned up in all technologies.
                    It's difficult if you're implementing technology but don't understand the technology. If you can't communicate with your team because you don't understand what they do and then if you also don't know the client side of it then that's pretty rough, you're just an expensive admin.

                    Sounds like you're saying you know the client business well but have no idea what is going on in your projects and now it's getting more difficult to get work. Maybe you're better off in sales?

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by jayn200 View Post
                      It's difficult if you're implementing technology but don't understand the technology. If you can't communicate with your team because you don't understand what they do and then if you also don't know the client side of it then that's pretty rough, you're just an expensive admin.

                      Sounds like you're saying you know the client business well but have no idea what is going on in your projects and now it's getting more difficult to get work. Maybe you're better off in sales?
                      I ve seen these kind of pms. They are glorified coordinators and facilitators and admins. They do budgets and powerpoints. Good money for old rope

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