Long Term Unemployed Contractors
It must seem interminable for long term unemployed contractors as the months and months go by without any work.
However, those who have been out of work for many months and even years should not give up. Here are 10 pieces of advice for them:-
If you have been out of work for 3 or 4 years, or even less, it is absolutely crucial that you fill this gap. As you well know, agencies who may have an interest in your skills just completely lose interest if you tell them that you have been out of work for 3 years.
You must, must do something to counteract that. So, we would suggest a few here.
Take a training course, whether it is in a class or online either to refresh your own skills or to learn new ones. We know that it is difficult to get a contract after just a training course. However, if it augments your skills it may be possible as the market gets tighter
Use your skills to help someone local who will give a reference. If there is a local charity who could use your skills you can kill two birds with one stone
Build a Website
Build a website that uses your skills or creates new ones. It is something very tangible that potential clients can see. It will show them that you have kept busy and up-to-date with new skills.
Take a course on a new tool in your skills area. Make it a tool where there is a big shortage of people with the skill. Ask the tool vendor if you can take a place on the course when someone pulls out. Say that you‘ll pay for the course out of the fees that the tool vendor will charge you out to clients.
Help a Friend
Help a friend who is using it for a client using your skillset on condition that they will give you a good reference
Good Excuse for Missing Years
Have a good excuse for the missing years – otherwise agencies and clients will think that you were in jail, or even worse that there is something wrong with you that makes you unemployable
Cut your Contract Rate
You have a risk premium that needs to be taken care of in terms of cost differential That will give the opportunity for the client to take you cheaply, the agency to take a high margin for placing you, or both.
If your skills normally get rates of 2 grand a week, cut your rate to 60% of that. That may get individual recruiters salivating at the mouth at the chance of a juicy mark-up. They have targets which they are under pressure to achieve – and they are on commission
Perhaps it is your CV that is letting you down. Ask successful contractors what their CV looks like. Ask agencies that call you how they would assess your CV and how they would like to see it.
Examine Your Attitude
Brush up on your attitude when agencies call. It‘s very easy to think of them as a common group, i.e. that crowd who keep letting you down.
Try to think of them as the cavalry that can ride to your rescue. Be positive, friendly cheerful and helpful on the phone and don‘t sound as glum as you probably feel after 3 or 4 years without work
Long Term Unemployed Contractors – Don‘t give up
It‘s easy to lose morale and sit watching daytime TV every day. Set yourself some job seeking tasks every day. Do it in the morning for a couple of hours and then you‘ll feel that you‘ve achieved something even if you have the rest of the day off.
So if you are one of the long term unemployed contractors it would be an idea to take he advice above.
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