PDA

View Full Version : Upsetting phone call



suityou01
26th August 2010, 17:49
Got a call from a contracting buddy this evening. Benched for 9 months now on the brink of losing everything. 2 years ago he was a real web design hot shot. No contract work out there apparently.
I am not in web design so I have no real idea what the market is like out there.

Could those members of the panel that are into aesthetic web design (html, css, content management etc) please report back their findings on the state of the market in this sector?

Meanwhile I've got to try and think of some diversification that might just get the ball rolling again for him.

Quite upset, so go gently.

Thanks

SY01

alreadypacked
26th August 2010, 18:04
Sometimes, people who have found it easy to get a job in the past, have let some things slide. When on the bench they keep doing things the same way and expect a different result.

He need to have a rethink, what would he do if he was applying for a job for the first time.

Has he ruled out all the usual suspects, CV, portfolio etc.

Is he on Linkedin etc. what network events has he attended.

He might be your friend, but the best thing you might do for him is a kick in the ass. Really he only has 6-8 weeks to land a role, then a long lonely winter.

alreadypacked
26th August 2010, 18:05
P.S. any ideas on your custom title?

suityou01
26th August 2010, 18:07
P.S. any ideas on your custom title?

Not really.

OwlHoot
26th August 2010, 18:28
Sometimes, people who have found it easy to get a job in the past, have let some things slide.

That's very true, and it's scary how quickly one starts forgetting things not used day to day.

The problem with web programming, more than most IT skills I reckon, is that there's a bewilderingly vast and constantly growing assortment of things you could know about and/or use, but only a small fraction you use on any given project.

Combining that with the "use it or lose it" principle, and it's all too easy to see how even a seasoned and perfectly competent web developer without a photographic memory could fluff interview after interview.

edit: P.S. SY01, does your friend live in Collier's Wood by any chance? I also know someone who I suspect has been on the bench since january.

Zippy
26th August 2010, 18:34
OK. Things are not great(HTMLCSS not the extent of my abilities so not abslutely sure) but make sure your mate is claiming benefits to keep his rent/mortgage/grocery bills going.
Secondly - pass on the advice of Alreadypacked.
Thirdly - be a mate and make sure he can get out for a pint and talk to someone positive. I know you are good at that :hug:

suityou01
26th August 2010, 18:46
OK. Things are not great(HTMLCSS not the extent of my abilities so not abslutely sure) but make sure your mate is claiming benefits to keep his rent/mortgage/grocery bills going.
Secondly - pass on the advice of Alreadypacked.
Thirdly - be a mate and make sure he can get out for a pint and talk to someone positive. I know you are good at that :hug:

@Owly: No, Black Country.
@Zips: Trying to get him out for a curry.
@AP: He is really doing everything I can think of. He spent the day driving round business parks handing in promotional material, uses the job boards, goes to networking events.

Moscow Mule
26th August 2010, 18:49
Small business web/seo consultancy.

alreadypacked
26th August 2010, 18:55
@AP: He is really doing everything I can think of. He spent the day driving round business parks handing in promotional material, uses the job boards, goes to networking events.

Has he done any voluntary work, keep his hand in and cheer him up. I was in a bad place, pushed out of a business I started etc. Started doing voluntary work, things turned around for me. If he doesn't get a role soon it will keep him busy.

d000hg
26th August 2010, 20:18
Web design (as opposed to development) is one area that many freelancers do well from, redoing sites for small companies. So if he's not already he could give that a go - but he needs a decent website himself and ideally a portfolio to show. He could contact literally everyone he knows from work and ask if they need any site design doing as he is "trying to set up on his own"... people like to help their friends so a subtle sympathy play (not, "I'm about to go under") could work.

He could also look at all the online boards though it's a tough market for web-design.

Is he applying for permie jobs?

OwlHoot
26th August 2010, 20:28
SY01, what languages or frameworks does he use? i.e. .Net/C#/..., or PHP, perl, etc?

I'd imagine purely aesthetic or "arty" web development contracts, just hacking HTML and CSS and Photoshopping for example, are quite few and far between, and most also require language and database skills such as the LAMP stack or frameworks such as Visual Studio.

d000hg
26th August 2010, 21:42
If you're on the arty side it's more graphic design. Creating logos and artwork, defining a brand/theme for the website, putting wireframes together, Flash animations. I imagine you can be a web designer without even knowing CSS/HTML, though I think most do. But certainly, throw in a little Javascript and being a front-end web designer/developer is pretty normal if you're working on bigger projects or in a team. If you want to do it freelance then I think you'd have to know at least PHP and some SQL... although designers getting into development leads to developers making rude comments about the quality of the code produced :)

Green Mango
27th August 2010, 04:49
If he has lost confidence after 9 months on the bench, this could be having an adverse effect on his interview performance.

I find I do best in interviews when my frame of mind is that I don't really need the job (even if I do), I'm more confident and relaxed. If you're feeling a bit desperate which is natural after 9 months on the bench that will be picked up by the interviewers and generally it's not going to do you any favours.

doodab
27th August 2010, 06:54
designers getting into development leads to developers making rude comments about the quality of the code produced :)

They are normally happy to return the favour when they see my imaginative colour schemes.

MarillionFan
27th August 2010, 06:55
A friend of mine has a hosting company. He offers the services your friend has (ie. Basic website design) to clients for next to nothing ie. Few hundred quid. He makes his money from hosting. It's a fairly low grade skill and during recession there is less work.

He is also up against Bob offering sites from £50.

He needs to xtrain.

alreadypacked
27th August 2010, 06:58
If he has lost confidence after 9 months on the bench, this could be having an adverse effect on his interview performance.

I find I do best in interviews when my frame of mind is that I don't really need the job (even if I do), I'm more confident and relaxed. If you're feeling a bit desperate which is natural after 9 months on the bench that will be picked up by the interviewers and generally it's not going to do you any favours.

One of the reasons I suggested doing some voluntary work, make him feel valued again. Some people can't switch off the 'desperate' as easy as others. Also gets him out there meeting new people.

d000hg
27th August 2010, 08:15
He is also up against Bob offering sites from £50.

He needs to xtrain.Or, be really good. Many people do recognise how much easier things are working with someone they can hold a proper conversation with, and people often just feel more comfortable with someone in the same country, who they can chat to about football over the weekend. Probably a little bit of unconscious xenophobia as well - a UK-based person needs to exploit all of these and make it clear they may cost more but are offering a premium service.

gingerjedi
27th August 2010, 08:57
Got a call from a contracting buddy this evening. Benched for 9 months now on the brink of losing everything. 2 years ago he was a real web design hot shot. No contract work out there apparently.
I am not in web design so I have no real idea what the market is like out there.

Could those members of the panel that are into aesthetic web design (html, css, content management etc) please report back their findings on the state of the market in this sector?

Meanwhile I've got to try and think of some diversification that might just get the ball rolling again for him.

Quite upset, so go gently.

Thanks

SY01

Does he have no other skills to fall back on? I've found myself fixing hardware in permieville. :ind

It is soul destroying but certainly beats 'losing everything', sorry to be harsh but your mate needs a wake up call.

suityou01
27th August 2010, 09:12
Does he have no other skills to fall back on? I've found myself fixing hardware in permieville. :ind

It is soul destroying but certainly beats 'losing everything', sorry to be harsh but your mate needs a wake up call.

He is applying for permie gigs as well as contracts. He is attending networking meetings. He does do voluntary work as well as DIY to keep motivated. He really is doing everything he can. Including doing websites for local businesses at Bob prices. That is why it was upsetting, I really can't fault him in what he is doing and how much stiff upper lip he is showing.

@Owly: He is more into content management stuff these days, drupal, wordpress, plone. He is shithot with flash, photoshop, css, html etc. I agree most of the gigs on js seem to be needing framework / lamp as well.

pmeswani
27th August 2010, 09:34
He is applying for permie gigs as well as contracts. He is attending networking meetings. He does do voluntary work as well as DIY to keep motivated. He really is doing everything he can. Including doing websites for local businesses at Bob prices. That is why it was upsetting, I really can't fault him in what he is doing and how much stiff upper lip he is showing.

@Owly: He is more into content management stuff these days, drupal, wordpress, plone. He is tuliphot with flash, photoshop, css, html etc. I agree most of the gigs on js seem to be needing framework / lamp as well.

I assume your friend has registered on Home - iT4Communities (http://www.it4communities.org.uk) ?

I need someone to do my Website for me. The package I have doesn't, from what I can see, have a DB backend. Need to improve it badly.

minestrone
27th August 2010, 09:48
Is he actually any good? Seriously.

I used to work for a design company and you could hire designers for buttons. There are bazillions of people who know dreamweaver and who would pass themselves off as designers.

We set the bar at only hiring people who actually had a degree in design and the difference between them and your average web designer is night and day. Even then we were paying 10 quid per hour for Glasgow School of Art graduates. It's a joke but that is the way it is.

realityhack
27th August 2010, 09:53
There are bazillions of people who know dreamweaver and who would pass themselves off as designers.

:mad

Tell me about it. Sorting the wheat from the chaff in that market is a nightmare. Everyone's a 'designer'. About 1% of them know their arse from their elbow.

suityou01
27th August 2010, 10:02
Is he actually any good? Seriously.

I used to work for a design company and you could hire designers for buttons. There are bazillions of people who know dreamweaver and who would pass themselves off as designers.

We set the bar at only hiring people who actually had a degree in design and the difference between them and your average web designer is night and day. Even then we were paying 10 quid per hour for Glasgow School of Art graduates. It's a joke but that is the way it is.

He has a relevant degree and has done some high profile gigs with high street names. He is very good, yes.

suityou01
27th August 2010, 10:03
I assume your friend has registered on Home - iT4Communities (http://www.it4communities.org.uk) ?

I need someone to do my Website for me. The package I have doesn't, from what I can see, have a DB backend. Need to improve it badly.

He has done a lot of websites for charity. It gives you something to do, but they rarely lead to any paid work.

minestrone
27th August 2010, 10:10
:mad

Tell me about it. Sorting the wheat from the chaff in that market is a nightmare. Everyone's a 'designer'. About 1% of them know their arse from their elbow.

It's amazing how piss poor most are at SEO as well, I looked at a company site the other day who advertised SEO services but had all their link in javascript dropdowns.

If you can get your site onto google's front page for "website design <your location>" you are going to get a lot of work. 95% of them have not worked that out yet which is shocking.

suityou01
27th August 2010, 10:22
It's amazing how piss poor most are at SEO as well, I looked at a company site the other day who advertised SEO services but had all their link in javascript dropdowns.

If you can get your site onto google's front page for "website design <your location>" you are going to get a lot of timewasters. 95% of them have not worked that out yet which is shocking.

:spel

realityhack
27th August 2010, 10:27
:spel
Perhaps, but a friend of mine's in the top 5 for web design london - and he has more work than he can handle.

lilelvis2000
27th August 2010, 10:53
When I go onto Gumtree I see plenty of work for web designers and programmers. Anyone with Joomla, php, CSS knowledge and skills and experience should be able to find work these days. Companies around here are desperate to learn about SEO, landing pages, etc..

I have often thought about moving into that area because there is just soo much work these days. And its incredibly technical. I sometimes flip through these web design mags and my head starts spinning at the mention of jQuery!

It really seems like your friend is not marketing himself right. Networking is key.

Jog On
27th August 2010, 11:02
Is he on Elance and Rentacoder?

I second all the points about SEO and web marketing. It's a definite edge to have

Maybe he could learn and hone some marketing/SEO skills by taking up affiliate marketing.

minestrone
27th August 2010, 12:32
Has he got an online portfolio?

suityou01
27th August 2010, 13:20
Has he got an online portfolio?

Yes.

117MilesToGo
27th August 2010, 13:23
Yes.


I spoke to my agent in person just before I started this contract, and he said to me 'Thank god your CV arrived. We get a lot of applications but the amount of dross that is out there .....'

Just saying ......

BdP
27th August 2010, 14:13
For those of you who are PCG members, this is the sad reply to people who advertise that they want a simple website buillding.

Basically, it is a comodity business, and there are templates, Joomla, etc etc that are basicaly "end user computing", and as such 'web builders' find themselves scrambling over 30 quid website/css/html coding for their more successful mates.

I have been recently recruiting for an investment bank who need people with good database skills on two or three platforms. It is extremely difficult to get SQL Server people with Oracle or Sybase (a bit easier the other way around). And, it is nigh impossible to get people with good ksh/perl skills.

In other words, solid 'infrastructure' skills, and the ability to support large complex DB's appear to be lacking.

He needs to either get out of IT or xtrain

NotAllThere
27th August 2010, 19:18
He needs to expand his skill set. Difficult when you've got no dosh though. From the above response, deepening dba skills might be an idea.

MarillionFan
27th August 2010, 19:34
Well that seems to be all the advice and good it is to.

Frankly I don't hang about with losers. Everyone I know is successful or a go getter! The concept that opposites attract is untrue when it comes to friends.:eyes

Shimano105
27th August 2010, 21:30
Well that seems to be all the advice and good it is to.

Frankly I don't hang about with losers. Everyone I know is successful or a go getter! The concept that opposites attract is untrue when it comes to friends.:eyes

So why do you spend every spare minute posting on here then, dipshit?

d000hg
27th August 2010, 22:01
For those of you who are PCG members, this is the sad reply to people who advertise that they want a simple website buillding.

Basically, it is a comodity business, and there are templates, Joomla, etc etc that are basicaly "end user computing", and as such 'web builders' find themselves scrambling over 30 quid website/css/html coding for their more successful mates.Sure, if you want a boring, same-looking site. A business that actually wants something decent has to pay more... as with anything else bespoke is much more costly but stands out.

suityou01
27th August 2010, 22:32
Sure, if you want a boring, same-looking site. A business that actually wants something decent has to pay more... as with anything else bespoke is much more costly but stands out.

:yay:

There is still a market (albeit diminished). The whole idea of web presence is that it is unique.

@NAT: I agree. But still, bite me.

:rolleyes:

suityou01
27th August 2010, 23:09
Being unique amounts to a hill of beans if no one can find it.

As minestrone mentioned earlier, SEO is also critical to a successful presence.

Well I have had a few very helpful PMs (you know who you are, and bless you all- you are lovely people) :hug:

I have passed all of the info onto him, so it is now up to him.

Thanks, sincerely.

SY01 :wave:

MaryPoppins
28th August 2010, 06:39
Well that seems to be all the advice and good it is to.

Frankly I don't hang about with losers. Everyone I know is successful or a go getter! The concept that opposites attract is untrue when it comes to friends.:eyes

Like your mate who racially abused that lady in a petrol station?

NotAllThere
28th August 2010, 07:12
...
Frankly I don't hang about with losers. Everyone I know is successful or a go getter! The concept that opposites attract is untrue when it comes to friends.:eyesBut have you ever asked yourself why they hang around with a loser?

MarillionFan
28th August 2010, 07:18
Like your mate who racially abused that lady in a petrol station?

That all depends on your definition of a loser.

Is Nick Griffin a loser or successful politician???

OwlHoot
28th August 2010, 07:31
I have been recently recruiting for an investment bank who need people with good database skills on two or three platforms. It is extremely difficult to get SQL Server people with Oracle or Sybase (a bit easier the other way around). And, it is nigh impossible to get people with good ksh/perl skills.

I've seen Jobserve ads for Sybase and ksh/perl in an investment bank, month after month, for several years. But, despite having all the skills you mention, I've never applied because I presume it's the same role, for some nightmare chair-throwing nazi of a boss who keeps "losing" contractors.

But if you can assure me there are plenty of Sybase/perl contracts in investment banks, and it isn't just a single notorious one, I may apply next year when my current contract is up for renewal.

mudskipper
28th August 2010, 07:33
Has he tried contacting companies direct? I'm thinking mid sized companies with websites that could definitely do with an overhaul. He could approach them with specific stuff about the website (SEO, as others said, is a good start and something that a lot of companies consider a black art) with specifics about what he could do for them. Dunno whether it would work, but not got much to lose.

MarillionFan
28th August 2010, 07:40
Has he tried contacting companies direct? I'm thinking mid sized companies with websites that could definitely do with an overhaul. He could approach them with specific stuff about the website (SEO, as others said, is a good start and something that a lot of companies consider a black art) with specifics about what he could do for them. Dunno whether it would work, but not got much to lose.

As alluded to in another thread. This post wasn't about a friend. It was about Suityou himself.

Hopefully he's toughened up a bit for the big bad world.

My real advice is would be just to take a nice easy middle of the road perm job. Contracting just isn't for everyone.

scooterscot
28th August 2010, 09:21
I've learnt so much from my mistakes I'm thinking of making a few more.

Now get down to the gym get those endorphins pumping.. don't think about the future look after yourself, here and now - do you hear me Mr?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoLVWvqEwzs