Contractor Frustration – I am frustrated at not getting any work

Contractor Frustration
Contractor Frustration

Contractor Frustration

Des sent us this article about contractor frustration at not getting any work.

I finished a contract 6 weeks ago, and now have extensive Project Management experience across industries and business needs. To me, although each project is unique they are also similar, going through similar stages and facing similar challenges.

I’m frustrated with the market as it is. For a given role to implement say Package X at a Retail Bank, agencies are only considering those with experience of implementing Package X in a Retail Bank.

This can’t be the right way of getting the most able candidates, just those who’ve done it before (however well). Any advice on opening up agency thinking would be really appreciated.

Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Surgery

I always found this problem as a Project Manager.

My initial response would be that agencies often don’t know what they are talking about in terms of technical skills. That’s not always the case, but more often than not. So you could use that to your advantage.

They treat all the skills requested as equal. They don‘t ask the supplier for the different skills to have weighting for importance.

Asking Agents Advice

I know that there are quite a few agents who read this site (the more the merrier). So this is one suggestion that I would put to them. It would help them make sure that they get the right candidate.

If you pick out some other skill that you have that they have asked for, you could tell the agent something like this. “I think that you’ll find that the client is far more interested in X skill that I have, rather than Y skill which I haven’t.

They won’t get many people put forward to them with the experience that I have in X. This is normally the most important skill that a company is looking for in a Project Manager”.

Contractor Frustration – Project Manager Role

As you well know, when someone is looking for a Project Manager on a C++ project, it is far more important to have Project Management experience than C++ experience.

The client would almost certainly prefer to have someone with 10 years experience of Project Management and no C++ rather than someone with two years experience of Project Management and C++ (at least the sane ones would).

When asked by an agent, any time, what tools or languages that I had my Project Management skills in, I used to reply that I was quite a high level Project Manager and that I was, therefore, device and tool independent. I would ask, ‘are you sure that the company are looking for a Project Manager – not just a Project Leader’.

When told that it was indeed a Project Manager that they are looking for, I would say that the agent might want to have an each way bet and put someone forward with the technical expertise but who was really a Project Leader, as well as putting forward a more senior, less hands-on, Project Manager like myself.

No wonder there is so much contractor frustration out there.

For more crucial advice on looking for contracts click on Job Hunting.

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