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Nele
15th May 2012, 10:04
Hello everybody -

I would like to fish for some advice / experiences. I've just left my job to set up as a contractor.

I have worked in systems development and business process change, mainly on the business analysis, planning, training and change management side, on some major IT systems.

I've basically done it all - workshops, communications plan, training strategies, technical writing, stakeholder management, RAID management, lots of business analysis and requirements gathering, complex reporting and data analysis, built my own databases (with a scientific theme), business process improvements ... I have a list of training courses that's as long as my arm, just completed an MS Project 2010 refresher. I have PRINCE2, Change Management Practitioner, ISEB BA essentials ...

I'm kind of stumped as to which bracket I would fall in and how I should sell myself ... Also, I did a lot of the above without having the title to go with it, so how do you sell your 'past'?

Has anybody of you had a similar start-up experience?

Another question. Ideally I'd love to work in the city. All the jobs want 'financial sector experience' ... would you ever apply for these jobs in spite of this?

Thanks a lot folks! :-)


Nele

Mod note: moved out of the Bear Pit that is General.

cojak
15th May 2012, 11:50
Welcome Nele! :wave:

Well, from a BA point of view you're going to need to do a bit of analysis on those skills.


Which ones do you enjoy the most?
which ones do you enjoy the least?
which are your strongest skills?
which are your weakest skills?
which skills pay the most on the job boards?
which skills have the most contracts on offer on JS?


Go through them and you can then select on your own weighted criteria.

(and not all jobs in/near to The City are in finance...)

Bunk
15th May 2012, 13:22
Agree with what Cojak said.

It's also worth thinking about whether pitching yourself as a generalist is a good idea for a contractor. Often a client wants to bring in an expert in a particular area, not an all rounder who's done a bit of what they're looking for. It might be worth concentrating on a particular skillset or role that you want emphasise.

cojak
15th May 2012, 13:55
Agree with what Cojak said.

It's also worth thinking about whether pitching yourself as a generalist is a good idea for a contractor. Often a client wants to bring in an expert in a particular area, not an all rounder who's done a bit of what they're looking for. It might be worth concentrating on a particular skillset or role that you want emphasise.

Yep, that's part 2 after you've done part 1.

BrilloPad
15th May 2012, 14:00
All the jobs want 'financial sector experience' ... would you ever apply for these jobs in spite of this?

Not all of them do - and a few roles will say no previous sector experience needed. Try applying for both those categories.

Have you considered offering the first agent(as opposed to agency) who gets you a gig some money in a brown envelope? Just a thought.

And be careful what you wish for - it might come true. Often the work in the city is too easy, the people are too aggressive and the commuting is dispiriting. But good luck anyway!


Mod note: moved out of the Bear Pit that is General.

Don't deny us fresh meat. :mad

BrilloPad
15th May 2012, 14:02
Agree with what Cojak said.

It's also worth thinking about whether pitching yourself as a generalist is a good idea for a contractor. Often a client wants to bring in an expert in a particular area, not an all rounder who's done a bit of what they're looking for. It might be worth concentrating on a particular skillset or role that you want emphasise.

True.

And alot of agents are so stupid that if they see more than 1 skill they literally explode. They far prefer pigeon holeing us as its all their puny brains can manage.

northernladuk
15th May 2012, 14:57
Erm, Would it not have been a good idea to get this sorted before you jacked your job in?

Have you reserached what roles are going and match them. No point pitching in with a set of skills for which there are no contracts around?

Nele
16th May 2012, 12:26
Erm, Would it not have been a good idea to get this sorted before you jacked your job in?

Have you reserached what roles are going and match them. No point pitching in with a set of skills for which there are no contracts around?

I would have loved to continue my career but was bullied out of my job over the space of about a year ... :frown

I have found permie jobs that would fit but I want to go contracting to evade office politics of which I've had enough for a lifetime.

It's going to be a change anyway, but thanks everybody for your responses.

Can I ask another question? Also a silly one.

I've started doing follow-up calls to agencies once I've submitted my CV. Is there anything in particular that I should say other than 'Have you received my CV? I'm very interested in this role.'

Thanks!

Nele

Nele
16th May 2012, 12:29
True.

And alot of agents are so stupid that if they see more than 1 skill they literally explode. They far prefer pigeon holeing us as its all their puny brains can manage.

Interesting!

So how much chutzpah do you use in marketing that particular specialist skill? All job adverts are written in a way that makes you feel like they are looking for people who have done ONLY THAT for X amount of years.

Has anybody any experience in 'trading up' their skills, i.e. deciding what category they WANT to be in, and then marketing themselves?

Nele

oscarose
16th May 2012, 12:32
I've started doing follow-up calls to agencies....


A complete waste of time. Fire and wait…

:o

cojak
16th May 2012, 13:17
Interesting!

So how much chutzpah do you use in marketing that particular specialist skill? All job adverts are written in a way that makes you feel like they are looking for people who have done ONLY THAT for X amount of years.

Has anybody any experience in 'trading up' their skills, i.e. deciding what category they WANT to be in, and then marketing themselves?

Nele

Yes, I've traded 'up' (not sure it was up, just moved into work that I wanted to do) a few times, but it takes planning and a timeline, it's not often you can just body-swerve into something that's not on your CV or you have experience in.

(I generally plan 6 months - 2 years ahead, depending on what it is I want to move into).

northernladuk
16th May 2012, 14:52
A complete waste of time. Fire and wait…

:o

+1 and a cupcake to oscarose.

Occasionally, if I am particularly excited about a role, I will attempt to call him but always came of the phone realising I just wasted 15 mins of my life.

TheFaQQer
16th May 2012, 15:18
Interesting!

So how much chutzpah do you use in marketing that particular specialist skill? All job adverts are written in a way that makes you feel like they are looking for people who have done ONLY THAT for X amount of years.

I'm not sure that it's chutzpah to tailor your CV so that it highlights the areas that the client are looking for. See what the role is, then if necessary make the CV slightly different based on what they are looking for. This has been mentioned a few times before on here - maybe have three or four different CVs, depending on the different areas you want to work in.


Has anybody any experience in 'trading up' their skills, i.e. deciding what category they WANT to be in, and then marketing themselves?

Nele

I've certainly changed my CV to bring out the best bits for a given role, if that's what you mean. I tend to work in one area these days, although the current contract (16 months) has been on part of my skillset that I'd prefer to move away from a little. That said, good money, working from home, niche skills - can't really complain.

oscarose
16th May 2012, 15:26
+1 and a cupcake to oscarose.


A biscuit’s fine.

:o

kaiser78
16th May 2012, 19:51
Hello everybody -

I would like to fish for some advice / experiences. I've just left my job to set up as a contractor.

I have worked in systems development and business process change, mainly on the business analysis, planning, training and change management side, on some major IT systems.

I've basically done it all - workshops, communications plan, training strategies, technical writing, stakeholder management, RAID management, lots of business analysis and requirements gathering, complex reporting and data analysis, built my own databases (with a scientific theme), business process improvements ... I have a list of training courses that's as long as my arm, just completed an MS Project 2010 refresher. I have PRINCE2, Change Management Practitioner, ISEB BA essentials ...

I'm kind of stumped as to which bracket I would fall in and how I should sell myself ... Also, I did a lot of the above without having the title to go with it, so how do you sell your 'past'?

Has anybody of you had a similar start-up experience?

Another question. Ideally I'd love to work in the city. All the jobs want 'financial sector experience' ... would you ever apply for these jobs in spite of this?

Thanks a lot folks! :-)


Nele

Mod note: moved out of the Bear Pit that is General.


In the world of contracting, experience counts for much more than certificates or letters after your name. Whilst the formers are obviously useful to have, you need to focus what specific experience and skills you can bring to any role you are applying for, tailored to that role.