We don’t realise how lucky contractors are.
Some contractors say that they have problems getting work as they get older. Other contractors contradict this and say that they have no problems getting contracts at whatever age they are.
Other younger contractors say that they are having just as much trouble as the older contractors at getting work.
I‘m sure that there must be some truth as regards ageism in IT. However, possibly not as much as some contractors think.
At least many of those contracting are still able to get work well into their fifties and sixties.
We published an article recently saying how the likes of plasterers and bricklayers careers were over up by their mid-thirties and certainly by forty.
I also used to say to a friend of mine, as we were coming out of the downturn of the early nineties, that we were getting a second chance. You don’t get that in other lines of work, like football.
During the downturn of the early nineties, many contractors believed, as they did during the more recent downturn a decade later, then the credit crunch, that this was the end for them. They‘d had the good times and that they would never be back.
Perhaps it is worth while, so that we can appreciate the second chances and third chances that we have got, to look at some others who won‘t be so lucky. Not everyone is one of the lucky contractors. Let’s look at those who won‘t get a second chance.
I was reading yesterday in the newspaper about a football player. He is now 31 years of age and is having difficulty in finding another club.
In fact, he played his first game for Morton when he was just 16 and pundits hailed him as a new wonderkid. He was a potential new superstar.
When they transferred him to one of the English Premiership (or perhaps the old first division) clubs, it may have been Newcastle, the Morton manager hailed him as the new Kenny Dalglish.
Came Back to Scotland
He spent a few years there. However, he was in and out of the team. He came back to Scotland to play successfully for other teams, especially Kilmarnock.
Although this was a step down from what was expected of the ‘new Dalglish, he still had a reasonably successful career. Although it was at a level below what was expected when he broke through as a 15-year-old.
Now, he is looking for a club.
Released by Kilmarnock
In fact he had been looking for a club for 3 months now. That’s after being released by Kilmarnock. He did have a chance of going to minnows Ross County. However, with a young family, his wife but the foot down and said it was too far away. His son Ross was just starting nursery.
To quote the guy, ‘It‘s only now I‘ve started to think about looking outside football for work. But where would I begin?’
‘I went into football straight from school and, like many guys, I don‘t have a trade to fall back on’.
He becomes a free agent after the transfer deadline ends. That should give him a better chance of getting another club. But the future isn‘t bright at the age of 31.
At best, he is likely to get part time football for a year or maybe two and then he is back in the same situation again. He is looking into the abyss at the age of 32 or 33.
Downturn of the Early Nineties – Lucky Contractors
Many of us thought, during the downturns of the early nineties and the most recent ones, that we were in the same boat as him and the thousands of other footballers who made the grade, but not at a high enough level to set themselves up for life.
I know that there are still quite a few contractors who haven‘t managed to get back on the ‘gravy train‘ yet after the most recent downturn, but their chances are getting better every day.
Second Chance for Lucky Contractors
As for those of us who have got a second chance after the late downturn and a third chance after the most recent downturn, we should thank our lucky stars after the early nineties and early noughties downturns and the credit crunch that we are not in a profession like footballing, plastering or bricklaying for which there are no second chances.
Hopefully he will be able to pick something up shortly, after the transfer deadline expires, but it is just a stay of execution.
However, it is at times like these that we should count our blessings.
IT contracting is not such a bad old profession to work in!
How lucky contractors are!
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