Contractor Dead Wood
This comment, about contractor dead wood, came in the Comments section of our article ‘Why many of those passing commentary on those out of work make me sick’.
We thought it was worth publishing.
The views expressed are the views of the author.
In a good Contract
I agree with most of the points in the article. Generally I keep looking at the market ‘casually’. I know currently it is really bad, no matter how good your CV looks and no matter how satisfied previous clients are.
Basically I’m lucky to be in a good contract. It may well last throughout this downturn and even longer if I’m lucky. Likewise it may not get extended in a few months. Even then I’ve put substantial funds aside to keep me alive while looking for new work.
While I feel great sympathy for everyone currently out of work, I must admit there seems to be some truth in the “dead wood” talk. IT is still an immature business. There are too many professionals out there who develop a far too ‘casual’ attitude re. their business and profession.
During the boom, even those ‘casual’ contractors enjoyed a good life.
Contractors on the Deadwood Stage
Here are some examples of ‘semi-professional’ IT contractors I noticed recently:
– spending loads of cash on luxury items, large flat, new cars, electronic gadgets. Making any possible effort to ‘save tax’ via unnecessary expenses.
– taking excessive amounts of phone calls (private and business) while on-site @ a client. Billing for the whole time.
– taking the current contract for granted and making little effort to keep the client happy, even with clients who can be pleased easily e.g. by being in the office before 10:00.
– devoting hardly any time for the most basic ‘business development’ activities such as socially meeting with other contractors on site or client’s managers after official working hours.
– failure in securing future contracts/extensions with previous/current client due to lack of performance, skill, commitment or timely delivery
Clients Can‘t Tell Difference
I could continue extending this list for some time and frankly, I think there is some ‘dead wood’ out there. However there is little benefit for the “truly professional” contractors in desperate “dead wood” being available on the market for discount rates: Just from looking at a CV, clients can hardly see the “added value” of a good contractor, therefore they tend to go for the best rates they can buy at.
So, readers, do you agree with the article?
Is there contractor dead wood?