Unemployed IT Stories – A War is His Last Hope


This reply is from someone who was made redundant by IBM, and is in response to our article ‘Being Unemployed During the Downturn’. We will call the sender Ken, although that is not his real name. Here‘s his story and I‘ll give my comments afterwards.

New Role – Then No Job

‘My experience is in being made redundant from IBM after starting a different job and moving to a new role within the company.

I have had to settle out of court with IBM at ACAS because as an employee you are treated as a contractor and apply for jobs within the company, but because you are an employee no contracts are signed and that is a nice way to get out of bigger payouts because IBM can say no contract on the project was raised.

So far, I have had 3 interviews in 4 months. The latest one rejected me for 2 roles, one of which went to someone returning to the company after 12 months.

What upset me about being made redundant was, prior to leaving, I had a budget to do the training I needed, but was prevented from doing it, as it was not with an approved supplier.

Contractors Still There

On top of that, I was told that all contractors were being axed if an employee could perform the role. In my last department there were 2 contractors whose role I could perform – and they are still there.

I hear from agents and who say that the news is that the industry is improving, yet I am not seeing that, and the only jobs are coming in the South East, which means moving back down and not being able to afford to live there.

Hopefully a war will bring me a job in the defence sector – either that or I‘ll look outside the UK’.

NamesFacesPlaces Comment

Ken, you must be pretty desperate if you are hoping for a war to break out. I presume that the bigger it is the happier you will be ?

What happened to you at IBM seems to happen often, i.e. people get transferred to another job, and then when things get tight, the job and the person doing it are disappeared. One of the most dangerous roles to take is a position in the new Quality team. When the downturn comes, it‘s not the people on crucial systems that go. It‘s the Quality people and those of their ilk that are expendable.

Being treated as a contractor whilst having a permanent job is a bit rum though. You were in fact a ‘˜disguised contractor‘.

It is good to know that agencies are telling you that the market is improving. Even if it is just in the South-East, that is a hopeful sign, as the recovery usually starts there and moves gradually through the rest of the country.

Hopefully managers across the country are getting their New Year budgets and are currently discussing which IT projects to spend them on.

Keep your head up Ken.

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