What a year 2019 has been for contractors!
- Restructuring due to Brexit,
- Political uncertainty,
- Diminishing market and,
- Not-so-well timed flexible workforce regulation changes (IR35).
All have caused a perfect storm for contractors. We have seen a significant reduction in the number of contract roles and the rates offered during the second half of the year.
We can draw a parallel with Dr. Spencer Johnson’s book “Who Moved My Cheese?” which describes different approaches taken by four fictional characters in a maze (job world) when their supply of cheese (contract opportunities) vanishes.
The lead character while looking out for new cheese stations realizes that cheese did not vanish suddenly but dwindled slowly. He takes a further journey into the unknown and creates an inspiring ending happily.
It would be ideal if we are alerted about the diminishing supply of cheese and we look for new ‘cheese station’ while old cheese is still not gone. Unfortunately, many of us realize it only when the cheese is actually gone.
- Changes happen – accept that the supply of cheese (contract opportunities) is vanishing. Comfort zone, fear of the unknown, denial are factors that keep one at the same cheese station (old technology / same client) even if cheese becomes stale (diminishing rates).
- Anticipate changes – start looking for new cheese stations (new skills). Always understand what are the new trends – in IT or functional domains – how work-landscape is changing. Proactively identify upcoming changes instead of getting caught by them, will avoid surprises.
- Adapt to change quickly – wander into the maze. Learn about new trends, be it new technology, a new methodology or new regulation. Attend seminars, participate in working groups and equip yourself to lead the changes. Of course, enjoy the journey!
- Change – move to the cheese. Contracting professionals do not really have the luxury of not moving with the cheese.
Let’s take an example of a contractor who has been supporting traditional IT server infrastructure. Initially, she has seen a high demand for this kind of work. Then higher competition came in but she made it due to her experience in his field. Then rates reduced or remained stagnant and now stream of work dried up. She probably has missed upgrading her skillset with the new tech trends like Automation, DevOps (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS, etc) or Cloud.
Any contractor can be in demand and fetch top rates only if they have a skill set that is in demand.
Luckily, in our professional lives, we have more help available to us than the four fictional characters of the book. We need not to adventure out alone in the unknown or remain clueless.
Here at Open Consulting™, we are building a whole framework with contractors, for contractors.
1. How to IDENTIFY the skill gap?
- Send your resume to cv@OpenConsultingUK.com, so that we can help you identify the skill gap
- With your permission, we would like to add you to our skill matrix in order to help you in getting your next contract when we are talking to the end client
2. How to FILL the skill gap?
- Open Consulting™ community can recommend you, the best and most current courses/certifications to move forward. Open Consulting™ is not offering these courses and will not benefit from the recommendations.
- Become part of the local working groups and keep your skills on the sharp end.
3. Working groups for professionals
- Cloud Computing – with Amazon, Google, Azure products/services (Join Now – HERE)
- Information Governance – in partnership with Infinnium
- Robotic Process Automation – in partnership with RCloud
- Risk and Regulatory Reporting – with Axiom product
- Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
- Data Science & Data Engineering
- Testing Automation
4. Help in increasing your daily rate
- Apart from the recommendations on certification and working groups, Open Consulting™ community (like glassdoor) keeps a record of previous rates paid by the client, team, role level.
- This helps to guide you to demand the best rate possible for your skills at the specific client and team.
5. Join the community
- Connect with us on Linkedin, or other social media.
- To be notified of the latest contracting work, both inside and outside IR35
- Latest trends about the skills in demand with market rates
- Opportunities to get future contracts or work that Open Consulting™ wins.
When you have found your new cheese station – help your colleagues who are still at empty cheese stations to find their path into new cheese stations, by – providing examples/testimonies in the comment section on how you have found the new cheese?