back to article How IT bosses turned the tables on our cushy consultancy gigs

I think I’ve been through enough economic cycles in my life to say that the nature of employment, at least in the financial-tech industry that I’m most familiar with, has changed fundamentally in the last few years. If you’re a technology worker and your job suddenly seems unusually precarious, that’s because it is: fear of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

    Time passes, industry and commercial pressures change. Corporations follow the $ now more than ever. They all employ the "Do it cheaper elsewhere" mentality. How many times have we read headlines from blue chip stocks that "People are our most valuable asset", but those same people are dropped like a stone when the bottom line is under pressure.

    Not saying it's right: far from it....but welcome to the real world.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

      Yes, you have a point. But consider the obvious outcome of this process continued for an indefinite period...

      Keynes had a point with his multiplier. 75 to 85% of the GDP of most Western Industrial Nations is internally generated (exceptions are Canada and Australia as a result of the extraction industries). If the owners of companies aggressively 'drive out cost', there will be no markets left... and no tax base.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

        So true. I remember having a discussion over offshoring (about 6000 jobs IIRC), planned for a period of 2 years. My point was that whilst 6000 jobs is small in the grander scale of things, it is 6000 of our own customers we would lose and 6000 customers a lot of other businesses would lose. This amount is then multiplied as other companies follow suit and offshore, so we don''t jusy lose our 6k, but X k from Y companies and suddenly the ARPU drops and so does the number of customers. Sure there is an immediate saving, but any true value is very short lived.

        I am not against offshoring, I just think there needs to be a sensible approach to looking if it is worth it and that companies should consider the affect on the entire economy because that comes back to bite them in the ass in the medium term (obviously this is after they have collected their bonus for the savings).

    2. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

      Do it cheaper elsewhere is now showing that it doesn't hold true. That while your dollar per hour per employee may be reduced, the number of employees and the number of hours increases. Also the quality of the work suffers.

      The MBA schools and bean counters are now seeing the fruits of their labors. You can get more done with a smaller team of highly paid professionals than you can with the old 'horde' approach.

      Even the offshore operations are onshoring a small portion of their work to help land business.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

        Quality often was a mixed bag offshore. Our IT was offshored (at least the call centre jobs) and things changed, Sometimes you would get obviously overqualified agents who genuinely knew a lot and were a better 2nd or 3rd line agent. Then there were the chancers or the relatives of someone at the company. I had one call that was particularly poor, I had requested a file restore from backup (72hr SLA), just under 2 weeks later I was still waiting. Normally I got a brush off or a genuine we have no idea why. This one guy decided to ad lib on the basis that I was obviously a peon and wouldn't know. Apparently the restore took so long because the tapes were located on a mountain top to keep them safe from flooding and the weather was bad (he got this from the company having a large hill and non precious metal related name ;) ) on the mountain. I should point out that beyond submitting a ticket, this agent had no connection whatsoever to our archiving company who I never really had any issues with. Honesty about failure is fine, making up insane bubbles because you have no idea WTF is going on because your uncle got you the job, not good. Our previous contract had local guys n gals, when you called you actually spoke t the person would would visit you. You got a non BS approach and stuff was fixed quickly, motivated in no small way by the fact that they would likely see you again and also they took a pride in their work. There wasn't the anonymity of being based thousands of miles away. That real culpability was worth money but never made it onto the spreadsheets when they worked out how much they would save.

        Shareholders and boards need to start focussing on the bigger picture because their short term gains screw themselves and everyone else in the long term.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

          What? You mean they don't actually keep all my backup tapes on that big metallic mountain?

          I want my money back.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Sorry if this sounds harsh, but...

            I know, I was just as shocked! Apparently ferrous hill is just the company name! By all accounts a very reputable company who don't leave DAT tapes where only sheep and fell runners tread.

            Being fair I spoke with some truly excellent staff in India, hampered only slightly by the language barrier and more by the physical distance. I think the who you are just a voice on a phone removes context and leads to errors. I called up to have my mailbox size increased and to enquire about the new email archiving system they wanted us to use. End result, they uninstalled ms access (yeah I know, probably a good thing, but its quick and easy) because apparently I didn't need it and they hadn't a clue about the archiving system.

            Sufficed to say, the day I found out how to raise my own tickets and escalate them was a happy day indeed. Time to start inshoring!

  2. Aqua Marina
    Coffee/keyboard

    Job requirements

    I remember seeing those impossible job requirements spring up. In 2001 and 2002 I was applying for jobs that were requiring at least 5 years experience in Windows 2000!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Job requirements

      I finished university in 2002 and this is what I got launched into. I seem to remember that Sun asked politely for all their contractors to leave at the time... I recall the job requirements to be completely insane, but can't remember exactly what :( It was along the same lines though, 5 years experience in xx that had been out for a couple of years at the most. I went for an interview for a council for a low level developer job for a pathetic-but-better-than-nothing-crap-I'll-have-to-live-at-my-parents' wage. I didn't get it. They did give feedback at the end and they were expecting answers worth two or three times the wage they were giving. Only-just-graduate (well, school leaver!) wage, but they were expecting about 6 years of medium-ish scale corporate experience.

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: Job requirements

        I remember this myself. I left Uni in 2001, and went for pretty much anything that had graduate or junior in the job title only to be told I didnt have enough experience.

        I went in the hard way and worked in a call center for a year before finally getting into a job relevant to my degree.

        In order to make sure I would find work in the future, I decided to specialise. Thankfully these days people are after my skills, which keeps the wolf from the door.

        1. Aldous

          Re: Job requirements

          still the same in 2010 when i left. for network engineers:

          5+ years linux/windows server

          5+ years experience

          CCNP minimum CCIE preferred

          pay: 18k

          i sidestepped the whole entry level rubbish (you need experience for this entry level job) and got in a big companys grad scheme but other then that your screwed

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Job requirements

            This might also apply to others who claim difficulty in getting interviews...

            If you readily demonstrate that you are incapable of communicating using basic English, you are unlikely to impress a recruiter.

            In all of the positions I recruit for, one of the essential criteria is "Must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal". Similarly to most employment above McJob level.

            Our on-line application form actually has a text box under each criterion for them to give some evidence they meet such. For this one you would be amazed at how many people write "yes". Just that. A tip: more than a single word is required.

            However to claim that you have excellent communication skills on the application form and then your CV and covering letter are devoid of punctuation, have copious errors (many complete with red wiggly lines underneath them) and so on is just wasting your own time. You are not going to get an interview with that kind of rubbish.

            Spend half an hour going through it properly, get some advice from a (not brain-dead) friend. Shock horror, you could actually look up the rules for apostrophes or the difference between 'there' and 'their'. Maybe then your application will stand a chance of scoring better than 50 Chinese/Nigerians/Eastern Europeans who can't even get a visa to come and work in the UK.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Job requirements

              I don't mean to worry you or anything, but Eastern Europeans from the EU don't need a visa to work in UK. Unless they are in the special category of "non-citizens" in the country where they are from, and normally UK is the only EU country that requires a visa in that case.

              N.B. Non-citizen doesn''t necessarily mean they are from a dfifferent country from what their passport says, it simply means citizenship isn't hereditary or automatic in their home country and is, shall we say, "somewhat ethnically determined". If that reminds you of ZA in the old days or Israel, well...... ;)

              However I do have a gripe in that they are usually incapable of working with foreigners in their own home country, sometimes it is codified into legal restrictions (sneaky forms of protectionism, usually against EU norms) and sometimes it is simply just endemic racism and prejudice. Plus, they actually don't care if their economy falls apart, logically, they have nothing to fear in that regard!

    2. Diogenes
      Childcatcher

      Re: Job requirements

      As part of a discussion as to why our senior kids are not picking IT subjects next year (old boring syllabus, horribly slow computers at school big reasons, as well as lack of work/outsourcing) , I made a bet with my Head Teacher last Friday that I would be able to log on to Seek (.com.au) and find at least 1 job for a Windows 8 developer with 2 years W8 apps development experience, given W8 had only been officially released 6 hours before, and officially VS2012 only about 2 weeks before that.

      I hope the lotto ticket he bought me wins the $100million tomorrow night :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Job requirements

        Try 2 years experience in Lync 2013. You know, the one that hasn't been released yet.

        1. RICHTO
          Mushroom

          Re: Job requirements

          Actually Lync 2013 is already RTM. Still 2 years is a bit challenging.

          1. Mark 65 Silver badge

            Re: Job requirements

            Unobtainable skillsets are just an end-run around the Visa system. The old "you can't import someone if you can find the skills in the local market". Hence make up skills you'll never find and bring in the low cost foreigner. The 2001-2002 financial market downturn coincided with the big push for outsourcing and importing sub-continental workers on skilled visas.

    3. Grogan

      Re: Job requirements

      I had a similar experience in Toronto... in around 2000 I realized that liked working with computers better than the other studies that got me involved, so I went to get some certifications which would hopefully formalize the skills I already had, or so I thought. When applying for jobs, yes, all the advertised positions called for highly unlikely combinations of qualifications and experience.

      I applied to a lot of places (that weren't advertising, and some of them with resumes taken in by friends that worked there) and couldn't convince anyone that I wasn't just some typical "MCSE" (Microsoft Certified Solitaire Engineer) idiot, though I had no formal work experience in the field to list and they had no way of knowing I was real. I never even got one interview. Cold and harsh. Oh wait, I had one "email interview"... they started out by telling me I was more than qualified, with all the "if you choose to accept this position" crap to get my guard down, then I just never heard from them again. The cunt didn't even return my follow up emails, he just ignored me. What a coward.

      So this article really hit home. I was probably a couple of years too late.

      I ended up just moving back to my home town and starting my own computer service, going on site to homes and offices. 11 years has gone by and I won't get rich doing this, but it's better than having to deal with the stuffed shirts.

      1. RICHTO
        Mushroom

        Re: Job requirements

        MCSE is a high level qualification that at that time used to require passing about 7 exams. Which were not easy. That's why MCSEs are comparatively rare and get paid a premium...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Job requirements

      We had laid-off IT Managers in 2001 or so applying for IT junior posts, We were starting to think that maybe we should pick the ex-military juniors instead as they made better cannon-fodder for our obviously fly-by-night startup company ;)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The world has indeed changed

    In the 2001 recession, survival for me was a trivial matter of being good enough to be one of the people who didn't get made redundant. Fast forward to now and between China muscling in on the type of product I specialise in (really, the Chinese companies we compete with could simply end us, if they noticed us, and we're by no measure little fish) and the fact my job could be moved to an office in India at any time, life is indeed precarious.

    The only good news is the market for what I do in general is reasonably buoyant. I'm close to the end customer and most businesses prefer someone local for that.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: The world has indeed changed

      Hasn't changed at all, at least not from a business perspective. There are cycles in the economy, and it filters down to just about every walk of life (except the ultra rich, of course).

      As an adult, I first ran across this "2001" phenomena in 1975 or so, when I was let-go from the paid summer internship I had at IBM. Later, after a couple degrees & out in the workforce proper, I was laid off from Bigger Blue in 1983. Fortunately, despite the sucky economy I landed a job at DEC. That lasted until I quit, a couple years later (DEC management was obviously running it into the ground). I got a job at NET, and was let go in the late '80s/early '90s mini-recession.

      After about a year of "consulting", while looking for a 9-5, I reviewed my financial resources ... and discovered that, while I hadn't actually increased the kitty, I had not lost anything, either. So I went into consulting full time. I haven't looked back. I actually turn down more unsolicited work than I accept work I bid on.

      Along the way, I picked up a couple other degrees, including an MBA ... and got a CSCL, because I was sick of over-paying licensed contractors when building data centers. 2001 was actually a good year for me ... The price of my retirement[1] property dropped by roughly half, so we jumped on it.

      Luck played a large part in where I am today, but I'm pretty certain that busting my butt and keeping my ear to the ground didn't hurt any.

      [1] If you call "retirement" working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping your Wife's horse ranch operational "retirement", that is ;-) ... I'm probably half a decade from disassociating from the IT world entirely, but IT still pays the bills for big-dollar items, without touching my actual retirement stash. I'm not quite 55 years old.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The world has indeed changed

        Jake, I've read and enjoyed a lot of your posts of the years. Please let me know if you think that you might need a husband and wife team from the UK. I'm a jack-of-all-trades technology guy, and she does the horses :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The world has indeed changed

          How would he let you know? You posted as AC...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The world has indeed changed

            He could post a reply here. In fact he could just say 'yes' and see if I were up to the task of tracking him down! In fact, if I am not mistaken El Reg has no PM function, so he would have to reply here whether I were AC or not.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How the hell did my reply

              Turn into a Monty Python Sketch?

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: The world has indeed changed

            AC 13:03 wonders: "How would he let you know? You posted as AC..."

            Uh ... Let me think. Maybe I might email an ElReg staff member and ask them to pass my email address along to any given AC requesting it? Do you really think that posting "AC" really means you are anonymous? Do you know how TCP/IP works?

            @AC 09:10 ... We're good on staff, and have been for over a decade, but ta for the offer ... No, I wouldn't have to post here to get back to you.

            @AC18:58 ... Which AC are you, exactly?

  4. Gordan

    Merely getting old, maybe?

    While this may be true for people around the bottom-to-mid-range in terms of skills, experience and qualifications, I really haven't observed that it applies to the top of the line technical people at all. While my inflation adjusted day rates are a maybe 1-2% below where they peaked in 2008, my non-holiday time off between "gigs" is still well within the ~20 year average of about 2 days. The colleagues that I have worked with whom I keep in touch with also report similar observations.

    Good, highly qualified and certified people are few and far between and thus hard to find.This ensures they are always in demand that outweighs the supply. If you don't fall into that category the solution isn't to whine about it; update your skill set and learn about the more recent technologies, budget for updating/gaining any applicable certifications (if there are such things in your area of specialization) and work your way to above the curve. Ambition, self-motivation and a positive attitude are virtues that count for an awful lot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Merely getting old, maybe?

      Being good has no benefit when the entire IT dept is outsourced to India.

      :-(

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        @ AC 13:19 Re: Merely getting old, maybe?

        Well, AC, you have two choices then:

        1. Cry a river and drown in your sorrows

        2. Listen to opportunity knocking and do something about it.

        I was in your shoes just five years ago under the same auspices. I'm now a freelance consultant as described by the OP and turn away potential clients daily who want my services.

        Stop crying, make a plan, and don't regret that you aren't stuck working for someone else.

        1. Joe Drunk

          Re: @ AC 13:19 Merely getting old, maybe?

          Just as Captain Save-a-ho says, it's now more competitive than ever and you need to evolve. Or become extinct.

          If it seems harsh that's because working in IT is now harsh.

          There was a time in IT where you would leave one high-paying gig for another high-paying gig because one offered a better commute or you simply didn't like your boss (me, circa 1997). Those were the days when demand outweighed talent by a huge margin. The magical time when you didn't have to look for jobs, jobs looked for you and you could dictate both compensation and working conditions (I don't work nights or weekends).

          Quality of life has been and ever shall be important to me - 3 things that were essential were health, disposable income and time to enjoy spending said income. The past decade IT was severely cutting into QOL by adversely affecting those 3 things and I begrudgingly decided it was time to end my marriage to this career after maybe two thirds of my life devoted to her. It was a beautiful wedding and honeymoon but lately all we do is argue and fight.

          Currently in project management/sales working 8 hour days (not that bullshit 10-hour "Professional Work Day" that has become the norm in IT) and my QOL is back to 1997 levels. For now. As part of my evolution I have learned to embrace volatility and transience, nothing is guaranteed in life and always be prepared to fight for what is yours.

          My job doesn't define me, it is a means to an end, nothing more. I could care less if I was juggling bowling pins in a circus - as long as my quality of life is high all is well!

          Best of luck to those of you stuck in the rent-a-tech world - you're gonna need it!

          1. Ian Michael Gumby
            Boffin

            @Joe Drunk... Re: @ AC 13:19 Merely getting old, maybe?

            Sorry mate, I am a professional consultant. Been doing this pretty much my whole career.

            When you're an independent, you work, you bill. When you're an employee, you're exempt and you end up putting in more hours. Its the nature of the beast.

            But as long as you keep updating your skills, doing the research, you will always be employed.

            Right now I've got recruiters hitting me every other day. I have to stop them before they pitch by telling them my salary requirements. It knocks most of them out before they can get started.

            Trust me. If your skills are always in the top 10% of the industry, you will never go unemployed for long. Except for contractual gardening periods.

            1. Decrapifier
              Stop

              ———> "I am a professional consultant! — Tell me I'm pretty!" <———

              I've found that anyone positing himself as an "upper-10% professional consultant" is usually the despised, thinks-he-knows-it-all creep clearly lacking institutional knowledge and brought in by scum management who does not want to pay U.S. full-time benefits and a proper, higher salary over time to a qualified full-time employee: The consultant squats out some "system," collects his check, and the overworked, underpaid, and professional-training-denied I.T. staff gets stuck with the turd he left them.

              U.S. companies routinely circumvent full-time-labor law to pull this stunt, and such turd-makers are complicit in the crime. The problem with the U.S. is that sociopaths like Mitt Romney have managed to kill labor unions, so, I.T. workers cannot strike.

              That companies who have fired their staff suddenly find the need to pay the "upper 10%" beaucoup bucks to rescue corporate behinds makes the creep think he is even more valuable.

              It is about time that full-time I.T. workers kicked "consultants" and management in the balls, and hung these selfish, ruthless bastards with piano wire.

              Now, go pedal that rah-rah, skill-set, latest-B.S.-certificate crap to some idiot in the darkest reaches of Africa who might still believe it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: ———> "I am a professional consultant! — Tell me I'm pretty!" <———

                @Decrapifier:

                I can see you are bitter about the situation, but if you are so jelous of the higher headline rates of contractors, you should take up contracting yourself, if you're good enough. Since you're not a contractor, I can only assume that you are not good enough - and if that is the case, I dare say you only have yourself to blame. Do you have any idea how much it costs an employer to hire a member of permanent staff on top of their salary?

                I'm a contractor - I make no secret of that - and I utterly despise the sense of entitlement the heavily unionized workforces represent (as does every private sector worker that has ever worked in London during a LU strike). IMO _everyone_ should work as a contractor and pull their weight. Unions are the ones that hold employers to ransom. Contractors, on the other hand, are the most flexible possible workforce for their clients.

                1. Decrapifier
                  Happy

                  Re: ———> Anonymous-Coward "Contractor" <———

                  Dear anonymous-coward "contractor, " you are not worth any rate, with your:

                  (1) misspelled nonsense that I am "jelous" [sic];

                  (2) guessing and childish goading about whether or not I am a contractor; and

                  (3) presumption that I have never hired a full-time U.S. worker or know the costs thereof.

                  Indeed, it looks like you are "bitter" for being identified for exactly what you are.

                  1. Ian Michael Gumby
                    Boffin

                    @Decrapifier Re: ———> Anonymous-Coward "Contractor" <———

                    I'm not anonymous, but I think the point is that you definitely have a chip on your shoulder.

                    I know the numbers on both sides of staffing issues. (FTE or contractor/consultant)

                    I also know that many companies can't attract the quality of staff for a FTE position.

                    I also know that not everyone can be a consultant.

                    You seem to not understand that in the IT world, Unions don't work. There's been a guy trying to do this at IBM for the past 10+ years and its gone nowhere. Even as IBM has off shored their work.

                    LIke I said, contractor not withstanding, if you keep your skills within the top 10% of the industry, you can find a job anywhere.

                    At a former client. I have watched many of their staff jump to other opportunities for more $$$, better benefits and better challenges. And these were FTE and not contractors.

                    Just saying...

                    1. Decrapifier
                      Stop

                      ———> "I am a professional consultant! — I'm pretty! SAY it!" <———

                      @Ian Michael Gumby:

                      You state that you "know that many companies can't attract the quality of staff for a FTE position." Of course, after paying absurd amounts to self-proclaimed "upper-10% professional consultants," a company cannot attract anyone with a remaining budget allocated for job offers of crummy wages and benefits.

                      As for your observation that "not everyone can be a consultant," not everyone can be a ditchdigger, either: Are you trying to remind us of your magical powers again?

                      Your propaganda that "unions don't work" is hardly sustained by some guy at IBM trying to start one there after all these years of IBM's offshoring, including its selling-out of the U.S. by fire-selling trade secrets and a personal-computer division to China. IBM, like HP, lost its core of long-term, dedicated talent many years ago, after "driving out the cost" of employment.

                      Your repeated palliative concluding that one may "find a job anywhere" if one maintains "skills within the top 10% of the industry" is cheerleading noise forever vomited by consulting agencies to rubes whose paychecks they seek to dock while keeping them under a mostly worthless umbrella of belonging (crappy health insurance or some other contrived perks, in return for a hefty paycheck margin). At least with a union, the docking is a comparative pittance, and the benefit of keeping an employer from getting away with mistreatment is huge.

                      Finally, if you saw "at a former client...many of their staff jump to other opportunities for more $$$, better benefits and better challenges" and "these were FTE and not contractors," then, your client was doing EXACTLY what I said, namely, squandering money on an overpriced "upper-10% professional consultant": The budget should have been used to retain employees by nurturing talent within the organization and paying competitive salaries with improved benefits.

                      Thank you for bringing this right back to my original post's statement of fact and confirming it!

                      1. Gordan
                        FAIL

                        Re: ———> "I am a professional consultant! — I'm pretty! SAY it!" <———

                        @Decrapifier: Wow. What exactly is your problem? Where does this union praising unhealthy sense of entitlement of yours stem from? You act like you are pissed off because somebody recently broke it to you that the universe doesn't actually owe you a living because your mere existence, and your narcissism can't handle it.

                        From your comments, it doesn't sound like you are doing as well as the consultants you so bitterly berate. If your skills and abilities are up to the required standard to give you a moral right to be so judgmental, the sane thing to do would be to go become a consultant yourself. If they aren't, then get over your paranoid narcissism and improve yourself until you are actually competitive. Of course that takes much more effort and focus than pitifully whining about how hard life is, and how it's all everybody's fault but yours.

              2. Ian Michael Gumby
                Boffin

                Re: ———> "I am a professional consultant! — Tell me I'm pretty!" <———

                @Decrapifier

                Sorry mate, but seem to have it wrong.

                Yeah there are contractors who can BS, get in and attempt to do the job and then move on... but they aren't the ones in the top tier of the skill pyramid.

                No sorry. The top tier folks are the ones who actually spend time after the 8 hour billable day working on R&D and reading about the technology and what's coming down the pike.

                Vacation? When you're self employed, Vacation is either time off between projects, or time away from the client at some tech trade show.

                After hours is usually spent having dinner or drinks networking with other like minded individuals.

                Its funny how you work politics in to this. Unions are for those who don't want to work. And that's coming from a friend who's a member of a trade union because he has to be in order to work. If we look at the auto industry in the US, what's killing a lot of the companies is the fact the high cost of labor and benefits.

                I'm sorry you have such a bad attitude. Most of my corporate captured buddies come to me for help in finding their next home and advice about what makes sense in terms of a career change.

                Companies tend to bring in higher paid consultants to get the job done right because we actually give a damn. After all, its our names on our company and we sign the contracts.

                1. Decrapifier
                  Stop

                  ———> "I am a professional consultant! — Say NOW I'm pretty!" <———

                  @Ian Michael Gumby:

                  You continue with your self-serving presumptions: "No sorry. The top tier [contractors] are the ones who actually spend time after the 8 hour billable day working on R&D and reading about the technology and what's coming down the pike."

                  That "professional consultant" self-aggrandizement is the typical load of horse manure shoveled: No professional full-time I.T. employee does any of the above, outside of the eight-hour workday. How many of you full-timers (especially, in R&D departments) reading his salesman trash now would like to buy a pair of steel-toed boots (see my initial post)?

                  As for vacation, of course, contractors are not paid for it: That is the whole point that resonates with scum management: Hire mercenaries to whom benefits will never be paid. The inflated rate more than compensates for the lack of vacation, but, in the U.S., well, good luck finding top-tier health insurance: That is usually where young rubes sold on contract work, if they stay in it long enough, eventually learn the real value of full-time employment, because they cannot even get into such a plan or afford the high premiums and deductibles thereof.

                  You admit to customary, after-hours dining-and-drinking "networking." Gee how sharp are those post-eight-hour-workday "R&D" hours you claim to spend, with your senses dulled by a full dinner and alcohol? No U.S. corporation of which I am aware conducts its "R&D" from evening to night, after boozing up its staff at dinnertime. Your claim is so full "professional consultancy," I can smell it.

                  Unions were created to protect workers from scum employers. Corporations and their shills pointing fingers at union abuses should rotate the tips of those fingers back to those corporate faces, which have been responsible for illegally and immorally "driving cost out of" employment: The scum has not gone away, but simply become more clever, by using such games as hiring benefits-eliminated "professional consultants" and claiming that they have, as you pretend, magical skills.

                  Unless you are a slave-wager in India, China, etc., the cost of your homegrown, overpriced snake-oil show is the next priority. That you serve this scum but are harder to extract from their matrix, than, say, a tax-paying full-timer they canned and replaced with a slum-dweller in Bangalore who costs one cup of truck-stop coffee per hour, should make you ashamed of yourself, not delusionally proud.

                  So, the "bad attitude" is entirely yours, because, in the non-union U.S. I.T. sector, you are the foolish scab who crosses the line at the dismantled, soon-to-be-closed plant in the deteriorating neighborhood in the corporately pilfered country. The "damn" that you say you give is truly for yourself and no other.

          2. xj25vm

            Re: @ AC 13:19 Merely getting old, maybe?

            You certainly have a few interesting points to make - but some of us are actually talented at what we do. Dare we say, we have a vocation for our occupation. Maybe some people can just jump from one career to other, as finances require or entice, but others have much more of an emotional and intellectual affinity for what they do. If the only reason one goes to work is just to pay for a mortgage and holidays - sure, your line of thought is fully applicable.

            Than again - I don't know if your Quality of Life is that much better as you spend 8 hours of your working day (is that most of your waking time?) doing something just for the money - when plenty of us spend 8 (or more hours) of our days doing something they actually like doing - with some lucky ones even working with people who's company they enjoy. Who has more quality time in their life then?

            The equation is not that simple.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Merely getting old, maybe?

        They outsourced my ENTIRE country branch and gave it to India, then closed the Indian office 1 year later. Should I assume they were doing it just for the LULZ? Or perhaps trying to provoke an international incident, given that they bought and closed a company in both locations? :P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pain and Suffering

      Nicely written article – needed to be said.

      I’ve also noticed the high demand for seasoned qualified individuals. The ecosystem was so badly gutted, between the years 2000-2003, that there’s simply nobody left capable of running the “IT” ship – seriously. What’s left is like a car full of IT clowns (minimal experience, training-mostly) with no clue, no vision, and insufficient talent.

      Apologies to neophyte sensitivities – I assume this audience has some understanding of the situation.

      A few directed comments:

      1) “Employers’ obsessive drive to cut costs” (from article)

      This lead to a general gutting of IT departments (reference Reg’ on RBS). You just can’t buy talent on the cheep. “Obsessive drive to cut costs” is a tragic, short-sighted mistake.

      Though many of us suffer from “obsessive cost-cutting”, it’s time to give up on this manifest “Grail” of your corporate IT career. There is no happiness in the trenches – a soldier simply dies at the next charge – the CFO has your silly career measured and quickly shot-down for cheep by-the-hour pigeons ready and willing to fill your newly vacated position (in the coop) !

      2) “Being freelancers, consultants were able to jump between gigs more or less at will”

      Just wrong… very, very wrong.

      Good talent does NOT “jump between gigs more or less at will”.

      Good talent is hired for the job – gets the job done – and moves on. Get your high rate for a couple of months… think of yourself as specialist (though one in high demand).

      3) “The requirements lists for open positions” (the long list of skills)

      The “long list” is there (for me at least) because most candidates lack basic IT skills. Things once thought as being matter-of-fact know-how are now more/less lost arts. And, the “low-cost” candidates typically cut/paste resume (only) skills. Most good employers know this by now. The hard part is getting past the HR […] screening process.

      Also – any shop with a locked-in offshore agreement (e.g. “partnership”) is best avoided – this game is over. Move on.

      4) “Which brings me to another problem I faced after my layoff: the stigma of being among the unlucky chosen people”

      You poor fucking bastard… I was there – spent several months recovering/getting-over said brainwashing. Yes – I too had that shit-eating perspective. Now there’s just relentless struggle. It was always there in the first place. You were just tucked away in your cozy trench somewhere until the whistle blew and then suddenly it was your turn.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually; there's a few quid to be had clearing up the results of cheap outsourcing these days.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Devil

      @moiety

      Sure, but do you really want that work?

      You are better off starting from scratch most times...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @moiety

        To be honest, I do tend to go for a scorched-earth policy if the client will stand for it.

        1. jake Silver badge

          @moiety 14:22

          See mine from about two and a half years ago:

          http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/800423

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what was the point, again?

    Walked away from a death-march job with a massive burnout, spent four years on the beach without even the dole. Still haven't recovered, in fact unemployed again. And with an acquired burning hatred for anything recruiter-y or HR-y. You were saying?

    So yeah, there's always somebody who's had it worse. That's two pages of article dismissed in a sentence, and now I'm left wondering why I read it in the first place. Was there something else you wanted to say?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    been there, done that, proved i have a bionic liver

    While I spent my time on a barstool, and not a beach, this was eerily famliar...except for your rebound. I expect to be making what I was in 2002 again...in 2018.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a depressing article...

    Nuff said.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You think you've had it bad ???

    Damn I'd give both of my testicles to have just about any halfway decent IT/Computing job.

    However having osteoarthritis since the age of 23 rather counts against you. The constant need for painkillers & walking aids etc and now at 29, no one wants to know, you can even see the faces of interviews drop when they see you walk in with a walking stick or when my joints make some rather nice nausea inducing 'crunches'

    Having skills & qualifications have all been absolutely no help what so ever as of yet & I cant see when they will help

    Of course Atos considers me fully fit for work. Total joke, even my GP & the surgeon who tried to fix my hips cant understand their decisions

    1. Gordan

      Go contracting

      Seriously. About 50% of my contracts result in an offer based on just a telephone interview, and being a contractor the client generally doesn't care too much about your health anyway - you only get paid for the days you work. You may not get the benefits or the illusion of job security but it sure beats being on the dole and sitting on your thumbs.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Go contracting

        @AC 14:04 Gordon has made a good suggestion there. If you have not had time yet to get a track record/skillset under your belt that would appeal to those seeking contract workers, consider getting involved in an open source project. Just for the experience. They work online, don't have interviews, and tend to manage things through a bug tracker that breaks tasks down into small parts so sudden absence for a day or two is not a big deal.

  10. toadwarrior

    One thing that would help, I think, is if software was held to reasonable standards. Of course your only concern is driving down costs if you can sell broken and insecure software with no real worry and customers either can't get refunds or find it so hard they don't bother. Why should a manager worry about making anything other than the cheapest product.

    But also by doing that, quite frankly I would say it's hard for anyone to feel loyal and why should we even if the constant changing of people probably makes development harder. I could be let go now but that means my employer is giving up on certain products. I could leave but that means making their life hard and maybe seeing thew death of those products. I like the place but I've learned it's best to pay attention to how things are going and if you think someone might end up on getting the axe start looking because it may be you. It's actually good I think to always be looking. Hell you may end up making more money sooner than you think and loyalty is dead.

  11. TwoWolves
    Black Helicopters

    Here we go again

    Chronic middle management killed British industry and now the same mind-set is killing IT.

    I'm not sure the country will have any means of survival after that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's bad for the tax-dodging "consultant"...

    ... is good for everyone else in the industry, even the entire country. If you'd been less concerned about dodging PAYE and tried building a real career, you wouldn't be in this mess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's bad for the tax-dodging "consultant"...

      Do you read Daily Mail too much or are you merely too lacking in ambition and self-motivation and so reduce yourself to jibes out of jealousy?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's bad for the tax-dodging "consultant"...

      Contractors the problem? We still hire them if they've got the right skills and attitude.. on good money too,

      What's even worse is the under-performing permie who thinks they should run the company. Their woeful productivity, endless chats at the coffee machine about how cr@p the company is today, costly to sack....

      Why would you permanently employ anyone else when you can rent someone in Poland with more get up and go than your "sad sacks" have ever possessed? Cheap and skill full, great for adding the bodies needed to shift projects nowadays. India? Pah, yesterdays resource.

  13. Gaius
    Meh

    Layoffs

    Getting laid off from a big company is never personal, not for an ordinary worker. The share price drops and the CEO needs to be seen to be "doing something", so he decides to make "savings". The CFO will also be involved, and also the head of HR to make sure it's plausible (e.g. if all your COBOL programmers happen to be women, then laying them all off could be misconstrued). All this is happening at a level well above which anyone knows or cares about individual workers. The decide that the site at X is to close, or division Y is going to be sold, or that activity Z is going to be outsourced, and everyone who happens to work in it just gets thrown out with the bathwater.

    But there's only so much you can outsource to India before the Indians realize that they can actually run the whole business and start appointing their own CEOs.... Cold comfort to all the workers, since the CEO will have made sure he'll be taken care of no matter what.

  14. tkioz
    Unhappy

    The unrealistic job requirements made me laugh when I first ran into them... then cry when I kept running into them. I moved to a new area a few years back, and my savings were in a crappy state after the cost of moving, and the job I had lined up disappeared into the government maw (deciding to do a two year "study" on the project that was just about to start... killed that company) so I started looking around for anything...

    Even retail IT... a small computer store offering $28k a year wanted people with at least 5 years experience (got that), multiple certs (got those... no idea what a computer store wanted with some of them though), extensive programming experience (got that but retail it????)... and it kept going... all for $28k working in a store fixing malware infections and updating browsers...

    I went in and asked "this is a joke right?" turns out, no he wasn't kidding...

    1. IronSteve

      I don't mind the laundry list of silly requirements per se. I've always considered them the requirements for the "ideal candidate", where the ideal canididate doesn't really exist. So they've never stopped me applying for a job (within reason) if I felt I had enough experience/ability to do it.

      Same applies when I'm on the hiring end of things. When we've said "At least 5 years in X", we'll call in someone with ~ 2 or 3 years provided the candidate looks good in general

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Downside

    Great article

    Yep, it was 2001 when it all changed.

    IR35 and India coming online about the same time. Quality and speed of delivery went down the pan but industry didn't care - they'd all done the projections and seen the size of code and man-years of effort that future projects would need and swiftly realised that the current way of working would never deliver it.

    Well, nice while it lasted.

    I was lucky enough to leverage all the diverse experience I'd gained in 15 years of working to re-position myself to be useful today - I guess everyone on here has done the same; evolve or die trying :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great article

      That is so true....especially IR35 - I could see Gordon Broon was fucking up the economy so got out to NZ just in time....have had enough work ever since, and at rates which were as good (if not better) that the UK..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great article

      I agree that 2001 was the year when I noticed IT had changed.. I think it was partly down to the Telecoms companies spending £18 billion on 3G licenses the previous year at around the same time the dot coms crashed. You cannot take that much hard cash out of the economy and not cause problems. We noticed that all the old IT bosses who had been dyed in the wool engineers were replaced with stoney faced accountants. IT went from something I loved to something I hate with all my heart pretty much overnight. My plan B is taking time ( upskilling, becoming a manager etc - you can never be overskillled or overtrained )but I'll get my joy back eventually! In truth it was good while it lasted, but there was a cold hard lesson that you cannot take anything for granted in this life.

  17. Daedalus Silver badge
    Unhappy

    You can't fix stupid, and you can't outsource it either

    It's true. How many management morons, how many politicians, how many backstabbers held on while ITers were flushed? These are people who are typically worth two regiments to the opposition, but they persist until they have driven the company they infest into bankruptcy (as a certain large company in Rochester NY found to its cost).

    It seems the only thing companies really want to hang onto is deadwood.

  18. El Presidente
    Windows

    "not a top performer, would have been too valuable to sack"

    Management do not think that way.

    Been there, got the t-shirt, watched from afar as the lucky ones who retained their positions realised that they had three times as much work to do and all the real talent had been let go. Quality drops followed quickly by revenue. Those of us who were let go have gone on to bigger and better things. Those who remained in position are on a slow donkey ride to hell and they know it.

  19. Lt.Kije

    Too True

    I had a long life as a consultant / contractor in the US and UK. Always chose the better money for what I knew than less money for to get experience in new technologies.

    In my thirties, went back to Uni for an MBA. Pretty much the kiss of death for tech positions.

    Did pursue new tech on my own time but they are a very tough to sell to employers.

    Employers will always take the kid out of school over the old hand. They are cheaper, much more likely to do what they are told (regardless of whether it is right or not) and regardless of whether they know what they are doing. (Um, that's how we all got started, right??)

    Ended up doing databases for marketing companies (talk about going back to the Stone Age) and rode that for a while.

    Am now basically retired (on the corporate scrap heap).

    So, lessons for you cocksure young 'uns?

    1) Don't grow old.

    2) Never miss an opportunity to add content to your CV, collect acronyms as if they were gollie badges (or Pokémon cards, if that’s your thing).

    3) Always, without fail, whenever you leave a gig or project, put everything in your CV. You can always cook it down later.

    4) Get physical reference letters from you bosses and coworkers. Get them signed, yes sonny, on paper; even if it means printing linked-in endorsements and bringing it to them with a pen. Make scanned copies available. Bring the originals to interviews.

    5) Actively solicit Linked-In connections and endorsements. If you are too shy to this, you are in the wrong line of work.

    6) Don’t grow old; and if you must, don’t show it.

    If I had my time again, I would never leave tech (you can never return from the Dark Side), and would have kept the tech skills sharp. I ended up in senior non-tech positions. Management is a thankless treadmill where you work a lot of unpaid hours, you will lose your personal life and lose your perspective. When the company spits you out and you recover your free time, it is like waking up from sleep walking.

    Sorry for the rant, I could write volumes.

  20. JonoClouds
    Unhappy

    IR35

    IR35.

    Yes, that was the bullet in the head. Murdered the contract market overnight, through the politics of envy.

    So now, instead of HMR&C collecting £1000s a year from me in corporation tax, plus Income Tax and NI, they collect... absolutely nothing.

    Very clever. Not.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: IR35

      Not envy from individuals (that's just how it was sold to the public), more the politics and donations of large IT corporations who didn't want to have to compete with small contractors.

    2. RICHTO
      Mushroom

      Re: IR35

      IR35 hardly effects anyone. It is very easy to plan around and avoid.

  21. Paul Johnston
    Happy

    Here we go again!

    I left school at 16 and went to work for BP as a marine engineer!

    1984 and we were all made redundant, every last one of our years intake.

    As someone said it's not personal.

    So goes to University gets a degree starts working in IT.

    I'm 49 now and if my job goes and there is nothing in sight I will just have to look at something else.

    Jobs for life went in the 1970's it's sad but it's a fact of life, just deal with it the best you can.

  22. The Vociferous Time Waster

    2001 and long lists of skills...

    Just because you didn't have the skills they were asking for doesn't mean there weren't people out there with the skills. I started in IT back in 2001 and the world was full of people with outdated skills who didn't want to update them, I was constantly winning out against people twice my age who didn't want to tear up their howto and learn something new.

  23. Jeffrey Jefferson
    Unhappy

    Down under anyone?

    I'm currently in University myself, I'm seriously tempted to work abroad if no opportunities are available to me here when I graduate. Today's economic climate It is truly depressing.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Down under anyone?

      Oz has been pretty bad this year too at least in my sector - I've been looking at things back in the UK.

  24. CDD
    Alert

    An IT Manager's view

    Here we go again, lots of contractors complaining about how harsh the world is,

    Thing is, if they stayed around long enough for us IT managers to get some benefit, and stopped trying to hold us to ransom every time they fancy a pay rise, then contractors and consultants might not be the first ones out of the door when times are hard. Every time you try and train up your own staff in particular skills, then they realise they can earn more in the contract/consultant market and leave, so we feel that contractors have no loyalty, are greedy, and are only in it for the money - a view which some of the comments above would seem to underpin.

    One comment accuses management of ruining the business. Personally, I think consultants are like premier league footballers, acting like prima-donnas whilst bankrupting the IT budget. Politics of envy - very probably. If our contractors didn't show off their Porsche's in the car park whilst doing the same job as the people sat next to them, the rest of the staff might not be so pleased to see them go. You earn a lot more than your permanent colleagues, but do you have to rub their noses in it?

    1. TwoWolves
      Mushroom

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      Then sack the bad and keep the good like you were paid to do instead of killing your business out of pure spite and frustration at your own lack of ability.

      I'm a contractor who tried the greasy pole but I just ended up looking like a porcupine with all the daggers in my back from the likes of talentless lard like you.

    2. Brit-Kiwi
      FAIL

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      As an IT manager, if you are taking on contractors long-term, maybe you are not doing your job right...! We contractors usually accept we are just temporary additions to the workforce, to be 'let-go' as soon as feasible. I think the people complaining are permies who feel they are being sacrificed to profit and managers bonuses...!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An IT Manager's view

        Lazy IT managers hire 'contractors' long term. I can appreciate there is a need if the skills are not necessarily available or if it's a one off project but do not see much justification in hiring a contractor for more than 6-12-18 months - unless you can pay them not much more than the equivalent full time member of staff (after factoring in all the extra costs of employment like holidays, benefits, unemployment etc.).

        1. Gordan

          Re: An IT Manager's view

          @AC 10:05

          Sometimes the managers don't have a choice - if permanent staff with the correct skill set aren't available, frequently you have no choice but to hire contractors. I worked for several clients that were in that boat. In one case after about a year they finally hired somebody permanent to replace me. That person ended up not getting through the probation period, and I was back there a few months later for another 6 months.

      2. Super Fast Jellyfish

        Re: An IT Manager's view

        Three words

        Opex vs Capex

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      "Every time you try and train up your own staff in particular skills, then they realise they can earn more in the contract/consultant market and leave, so we feel that contractors have no loyalty, are greedy, and are only in it for the money - a view which some of the comments above would seem to underpin."

      That's the way of the world - as you train them up you need to make sure their pay is keeping pace or of course they may move if they can earn significantly more.

      Really you should have been progressing your full time employees - training them up and paying them a market rate for their skills. Employ the consultants to fill in, where you do not have the skills in-house or for short term requirements (as in 0-6 months).

      If people did that there would be less demand for consultants / contractors apart from 'short tem' and rates would probably drop as the market finds equilibrium again - but pay your full time staff a fair rate - it's more expensive to lose them after all that training and trust built up.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      IT Manager - pretty much an oxymoron in itself.

    5. Gordan

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      CDD, are you accounting for the fact that in the case of permanent employees the employer has to pay an extra 12.5% national insurance, the typical paid holiday entitlement of 5 weeks and paid bank holidays accounting for another 8-9 days, and at least some sick leave should someone have the misfortune to fall ill? Those easily account for at least an extra 25% in cost and lost productivity.

      If accounting for that doesn't quite reach the parity point, you should also consider that contractors are a flexible workforce with which you don't have to go through the rigmaroles of consultation when downsizing, severance pay, risk of expensive unfair dismissal litigation and if you are unlucky enough to have a heavily unionized workforce, strike action?

      Contractors are a cheaper option when you add it all up.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An IT Manager's view

      So, another IT "Manager" who resents over paid contractors.

      After 30+ years of contracting (by chaoice not necessity) I have a long list of people who I have trained and montored many of whom have never ventured out into the contracting world.

      I also know a bunch of hopeless IT Managers who happily abuse contractors, never give them credit, spend all day making sarcastic anti-contractor remarks - and generally fuck up the IT departments they are supposedly running.

      There is no real competition between contractors and permies - we do different jobs. Contractors are short term or specialists - or sometime Project based (like me) where the skillset is not covered by permie staff.

      Get real Mr. IT manager - and grow up...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An IT Manager's view

        Completely agree.

        I had 18 years contracting and the majority of the companies I worked for were universally sub par to awful, I've now seen the light left the UK after the deluge of ICT's over the last 5 years destroyed the contract market for the area I was in and I couldn' t be happier; funnily enough my current employer uses very few contractors and has very high staff retention rates, the moneys not much less once you deduct what would have gone to the accountant, taxman etc.

        Every so often I get a call from an agent saying his client was totally sick of seeing useless Intra Company transfer staff looking to jump ship and get something long term in the UK, my usual reaction is to laugh and tell them "well you wanted cheap, now you have your wish!!"

  25. steven W. Scott

    Hi, my name is Bob, and I am a data processing programmer

    The primary goals set forth in the boardrooms of the 80's were: reduce the cost of techies, and shed the long-term employees to reduce retirement benefit liabilities. Since I entered the IT arena in 1981, I have been shown the door roughly every 10 years either due to buyouts, outsourcing, or downsizing. During this time IT shops methodically moved from creative development shops - which incidentally, requires more expertise and therefore, expense - to operations and maintenance type shops, with the effort concentrated on installing, configuring and operating pre-built vendor software as the legacy in-house systems were retired. As those systems were retired, so too were the old-timers who built them.

    So now most IT jobs seek merely tools for tools, and the IT execs have traded dependency on certain key IT employees to dependency on some 3rd party vendor's sale and support force, a definite loss of control when attempting to match business requirements to the capabilities of the existing software, and while the average salary may be lower, the number of employees required has increased due to the care, feeding, and burping that most IT software products require.

    It's kind of fitting that they are now beholden to the same sort of dollar squeezers they have been. Hope they enjoy the ride!

  26. paulc

    Get yourself into the security cleared jobs market...

    There's no shortage of work for those of us who have achieved the right security clearances... can't outsource or insource those jobs...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get yourself into the security cleared jobs market...

      For now - then after a while everyone will have them and you are back at square one.

      This is just market economics - when prices / profits (wages) are high people will enter the market - more supply which will eventually erode prices so not at all surprised.

    2. thegrouch

      Re: Get yourself into the security cleared jobs market...

      Not for the lack of trying. Unfortunately advertised roles state that candidates must already have clearance. It's chicken and egg, I can't get a security cleared role because I don't already have it, but I won't get it unless someone is willing to take a chance and wait and that's a rare thing when start dates are invariably ASAP or by the end of the week. I also know you're not supposed to advertise roles which insist on SC candidates only but all agencies do it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get yourself into the security cleared jobs market...

        Exactly the problem, Security clearance is a chicken and egg situation and it's not like you can pay for/sponsor yourself, also as many of the jobs are for the Government or companies working for them rates are not stellar anyway, that and having to find the next job in a role which is also cleared to the same level at least in order to keep it means it's not a universal panacea

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm fairly happy with my situation at the moment. I'm in an industry where my skill set is sort after, but I am also good at it. Though I've learnt not to sit on my laurels, just when your comfortable in a skill set, diversify. I doubt I'll ever get into .NET programming except to drop to a junior grade to do so, but I've got plenty of proven experience in Front End work, and Sysadmin now to get a mid level job if I couldn't find anything for LAMP based things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      * SOUGHT after

      and please don't talk about my comfortable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: * SOUGHT after

        Thanks there, way to come off not looking like a total cock

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: * SOUGHT after

          No problem, just trying to help you not come off looking like an illiterate moron.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: * SOUGHT after

            Maybe you should learn to capitalise before you criticise.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Ian Michael Gumby
    Boffin

    This wouldn't work in practice.

    "Now I wasn’t so sure I’d sneer at these people. And if I were ever laid off again I’d most likely have to adopt the approach I’d learned from colleagues of mine who’ve also spent extended periods “on the beach” in the last decade: I wasn’t unemployed, I was “in transition” — or better yet, “doing freelance consulting”. My list of clients? I’m sorry, but that’s confidential information. ®"

    So your client list is confidential. Ok, been there done that.

    But what can you tell me about your projects. What was your role in these projects and what technology did you use?

    The point is that I can within 15 mins figure out if you're real or full of sh$t.

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