• contractor jobs

    Contract or perm? Your next big employment decision

    What did you watch on Netflix last night? Maybe you binged on some ‘Breaking Bad’, or watched that new Adam Sandler remake of ‘Pretty Woman’ in which he plays every single character.*

    Or maybe you came to the conclusion that you’ve now exhausted the Netflix catalogue. It was fun for a while – how good is Breaking Bad?! – but now you’ve finished it, you’ve got all you’re going to get out of Netflix for the near future. It’s time to move on to something new.

    Now, before this article turns into a full-blown ad for Amazon Prime, let’s get down to what we’re really talking about here: your career. Like Netflix, a job can be perfect for a while, until you feel you’ve got everything you can get from it. At that point, it’s time to find something more fulfilling.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean going from one permanent position to another though. After all, you didn’t only watch Netflix, did you? You probably streamed things online from time to time, and occasionally watched a programme live on TV as it happened (how retro of you).

    So why not take this approach with your career? Work when you like, at whichever company is offering the work that appeals to you the most.

    Going freelance and becoming a contractor is a decision that thousands of highly-skilled professionals have made (49 million across Europe and the US, according to The McKinsey Global Institute). If it’s something you’re also considering, read on to see if going contract or staying in permanent employment is best for you.

    Contract jobs

    If you have skills that are in demand, you needn’t limit yourself to one company or one position for an extended period. Instead, you could bounce from project to project, company to company, and only choose projects you want to work on.

    This is definitely one of the biggest pros of going contract (or freelance). Not only are you free to pick and choose your work, but you’ll also be paid more for your time than you would with a regular salary.

    Let’s say you’re a highly-skilled IT professional earning £30,000 a year; divide that £30K by the 12 months of the year and you have £2,500; then divide that by 20 working days of the month and you have £125 – your day rate. However, if you’re working under contract, you’re able to command a much higher daily rate – say, £400-£500 for example – meaning in just one Mon-Fri week working on a project you could earn as much as you did in a month previously.

    Remember, you’re doing employers a favour, too. They’re urgently searching for skills that don’t exist in-house and contractors provide the perfect solution. You’re not an addition to permanent headcount and won’t be subject to a lengthy recruitment process or notice period. As you’re hired based on your expertise, there’s no need for protracted training; you can hit the ground running and deliver fast. In fact, despite your extremely nice day rate, you’re a cost-effective and attractive option.

    Of course, unless you’re particularly organised and sought after, there will likely be times where you don’t have any work (this might be out of choice – time off is one of the perks, after all!) This is justification for that day rate; it’s not only higher to compensate you for a job well done, it’s higher so it covers you for the days you’re not at work. Then again, if you go contract but use an agency or an online marketplace like Elevate to help you find regular work, this isn’t so much of an issue. You won’t have to hunt for contracts (or contractors, if you’re an employer), as we’ll do it for you. That’s why Elevate is here.

    find contract jobs

    Permanent jobs

    You only need to look at any ‘Office Administrator’ position to see just how competitive the job market is right now. Each of these posts receive hundreds of applications, due to the broad, common skill-set required. If you’re a highly-skilled professional, however, your likelihood of finding a good role is far higher.

    Around a quarter of employers said they expected to take on more staff in the first quarter of 2017, according to the REC’s JobsOutlook survey, while 48 per cent predict there’ll be a ‘shortage of suitable candidates to fill vacancies for 2017’. This is obviously good news for Generation Skill.

    You’ll be familiar with the benefits of permanent employment already: pension plans, private medical cover, training and new technology, etc. It’s ideal for people who like stability; who want to see the long term effects of their work and enjoy the perks. One of the biggest factors, however, is that it offers the ‘safety blanket’ that many of us require, particularly those with families and mortgages.

    There’s also the social side which comes with being a regular part of a team, though this isn’t denied to contractors, of course.

    But if you’re feeling restless both in work and perhaps in life, then going contract could be your next big employment decision. For the highly skilled, you’ll almost certainly make more money and have more freedom than you previously had.

    What’s more, some contractors argue that they have better job security than perm staff, in that they have control of the what, where and when – plus they expect contracts to end and don’t take it personally.

    Ultimately, you might find you achieve greater job satisfaction working as a contractor, where your skills are both highly valued and appreciated. Your work-life balance can be optimised too; giving you plenty of time to catch up on Netflix, or indeed, Amazon Prime.

    I’ve heard that ‘Mr. Robot’ is pretty darn good.

    Discover how Elevate can enhance your career or help you build a team of specialists.

    *This film does not exist. If you’ve now signed up for Netflix just so you can watch Adam Sandler’s ‘Pretty Woman’ remake, we apologise, but hope you find the help you need soon.

  • Preparing-our-kids-for-future-jobs

    How do you prepare children for jobs that don’t exist……yet?

    Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing & growing.

    The above is great statement I came across on an article entitled ‘Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet’

    As global skills gaps widen resulting in a shortage of talent or an explosion in hiring costs it is encouraging to see a slightly alternative take on how to influence, educate and perhaps nurture the workers of tomorrow.

    Most children display endless enthusiasm for new concepts. Whether that is a toy, piece of sophisticated technology or made up game that drives a parent to distraction; their drive to learn and absorb is incredible.They have so many skills and pick up new ones so quickly it is breathtaking. Then we send them to school and this creativity is muted as teachers and policy makers search for the balance that general curricula apparently need if they are to hit their targets  across the broad spectrum of abilities seen in classes and year groups.

    By the time children arrive in further and higher education they will have started to specialise in areas that supports their performance to date via this homogenised education system. The result is often a young adult saddled with debt and no viable route to employment. Their skills are not saleable. Some have lost that innate ability to quickly learn and are already afraid of failure and never reach their potential.

    Employers, schools, universities, politicians and parents need to wake up to the changing world of work and how the new dawn looks nothing like the old. We need to harness individual ability to learn and understand pretty damn quick that pushing students through the current flawed system is saving up a skills bomb for the future.

     

    Hobbies and interests are too often dismissed as a waste of time or an eccentric irrelevance when they could in fact just be the skills needed to bring real happiness and worth to our children’s adult lives. We just don’t know which ones they are yet……

    James Griffin.

    You can read the original article ‘Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet’ here: medium.com

  • 1772041

    7 In-Demand IT Contractor Skills For 2015

    In-demand IT skills

    2014 has been an incredible year for the IT sector, with growth and demand of IT skills skyrocketing further than it has in the past fifteen years. This demand is more than anyone could have anticipated, and it is a genuinely exciting time for IT professionals as well as for the world of business, who are well aware of how important technology is to the success of their organisations.

    At the same time, the IT industry is experiencing a time of transition, with new technologies coming to the forefront. Although there are still a great number of skills which have been around for years that are unlikely to be forgotten, which IT contractor skills will pose a challenge to recruitment teams in 2015.

    1)    Microsoft SharePoint

    This web application framework has rapidly grown in popularity over the past year. One study carried out lists SharePoint as the most profitable IT skill, and that possession of it will add 12% to an IT professional’s overall salary. The high demand for SharePoint is likely related to the release of SharePoint 2013, which prioritised simplicity and usability and is particularly popular within the legal industry. SharePoint is known as being a safe, powerful and reliable server platform with an efficient and fast search engine. It also makes handling corporate risk simpler by allowing easy management of relevant documents and records. Professionals who decide to go through the development route within SharePoint will require further skills such as XML, HTML and .Net.

    2)    .Net and C#

    .Net has continued to see growth in this year, and is very likely to do so in 2015. It’s advantages with regards to simplicity, speed and reliability, has led to a great number of companies using it to create their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems from scratch. C# is the most popular programming language used to develop .Net programs. C# and .Net have both been listed by many sources as being amongst the most in-demand IT skills of 2014.

    3)    HTML5

    This remains, as ever, a highly desirable skill for IT professionals. This is reflected by the fact that the average salary offered to those who are proficient with HTML5 is £40,000. Financial institutions have been turning to HTML5 as the favoured programming language for trading applications and it has recently been described as the ‘Future of Gaming’. It is also the fastest growing keyword that is found in job listings online. It is supported by almost all mobile platforms and HTML5 is known to provide fantastic support to rich media.  Front End Developers in demand as a result of the surge in web apps development, will also be highly proficient in CSS and javascript.

    4)    Python

    Whether it’s a Big Data project, machine learning, research, or data science, Python is increasingly being used by rapidly growing enterprise applications. The last 12-18 months has seen the demand for Python Developer rocket, with some job boards reporting a 10% increase in python related ads. Demand from the banking sector alone leading to salary increases of up to £40K.  Its worth noting employers are often looking for a combination of Linux, C++, Pearl & Java in addition to Python.

    5)    DevOps

    We’ve seen a real increase in the number of companies looking for DevOps contractors in 2014, and we expect to see this continue into 2015. The combination of coding/scripting, deployment, network operations and testing is a powerful set of skills in a developers arsenal. Good employers appreciate that strong DevOps candidates can improve the speed production code is delivered, whilst simultaneously improving reliability and reducing downtimes.

    6)    Office 365

    Software powered by Cloud is rapidly increasing in popularity, which means that there is a huge demand for those skilled in administering and transitioning to cloud-hosted applications. This demand can be seen in studies that suggest that by 2017, 33% of office software users will be using cloud-based systems, with the number growing to 60% by 2022. Companies using Office 365 have claimed to have seen significant reductions in their IT expenditure. It is ideal for big-data analytics, file storage and archiving.

    7)    Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

    This latest version of the Internet Protocol has grown incredibly in popularity and demand over the past few years, and this doesn’t seem set to change. The benefits of IPv6 for businesses are clear by observing its features. It allows for easier management of networks, it possesses integrated interoperability and mobility and it has improved security features when compared to IPv4.

    But Don’t Forget:

    There are other skills which are worth a mention, including the growing need for SQL BI developers, PHP developers, Business analysts, BA, PM contractors and JavaScript developers.  These are just some of the skills we expect Employers to demand more of, both on the market as a whole and within the Elevate Direct Contractor platform.  It’s an exciting time to be an IT contractor right now!

  • Contractor CV webinar

    FREE Webinar: Win more work in 2015 with a great CV and LinkedIn profile

    Let’s face it, most people struggle with the concept of writing a CV regardless of their profession or career direction; not least Contractors who have a whole portfolio of assignments to somehow capture in their CV.

    And simply filling out the sections someone told you to include on your CV or all the sections on your LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean it will be effective. What will make it effective is not just having the right format but also having the right content. As Bananarama sang – it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

    So, to help you prepare for the New Year, Elevate Direct would like to invite you to a FREE one-hour online webinar on Wednesday 26th November at 7.15pm all about writing an authoritative CV and LinkedIn profile for the contract market. This is much more than a boring top ten tips session and will cover the latest thinking around this important topic.

    Delivered by the UK’s leading authority on contractor / interim CVs, a similar session we ran earlier this year received comments such as: “Excellent presentation – thank you very much” and “thank you – that’s been brilliant”.

    In this fast-paced and engaging webinar you will learn about:

    •  The 2 most successful formats for Contractor / Interim CVs
    •  How to transform your CV into a powerful business case
    •  How to align your CV with the hot skills in your market
    •  How to harness the power of case studies in your CV
    •  How to create an effective opening Professional Summary / Elevator Pitch

    Most people achieve a significant uplift in interviews as a result of attending these webinars such as the chap below:

     “Following the webinar, I have spent the last week re-writing my CV in the format you discussed – then put it online last night. Today, I have received 3 emails from agencies who want to deliver my CV to their clients. Alongside this I have had 2 calls from companies who have invited me in for a chat about vacancies they have within their portfolios. This is more interest that I have had in the last 3 years combined and testament to the success of your webinar!”

     Please use this link to register https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8127574921054947586

  • CV Writing Webinar

    Winning more work with a great CV & LinkedIn Profile

    Let’s face it, most people struggle with the concept of writing a CV regardless of their profession or career direction; not  least  Contractors who have a whole portfolio of assignments to somehow capture in their CV.

    And simply filling out the sections someone told you to include on your CV or all the sections on your LinkedIn profile doesn’t mean it will be effective. What will make it effective is not just having the right format but also having the right content.

    So, Elevate Direct would like to invite you to a FREE one-hour online webinar on Thursday 17th July at 7.15pm all about writing an authoritative CV and LinkedIn profile for the contract market. This is much more than a boring top ten tips session and will cover the latest thinking around this important topic.

    Delivered by the UK’s leading authority on contractor CVs, previous events have received comments such as: “Excellent presentation – thank you very much” and “thank you – that’s been brilliant”.

    In this fast-paced and engaging webinar you will learn about:

     – The 2 most successful formats for Contractor CVs

    – How to transform your CV into a powerful business case

    – How to align your CV with the hot skills in your market

    – How to harness the power of case studies in your CV

    – How to create an effective opening Professional Summary / Elevator Pitch

    There will also be a demonstration of an innovative new way to communicate your commercial proposition to prospective clients, which really brings your LinkedIn profile to life!

    Most people achieve a significant uplift in interviews as a result of attending these webinars such as the chap below:

    “Following the webinar, I have spent the last week re-writing my CV in the format you discussed – then put it online last night. Today, I have received 3 emails from agencies who want to deliver my CV to their clients. Alongside this I have had 2 calls from companies who have invited me in for a chat about vacancies they have within their portfolios. This is more interest that I have had in the last 3 years combined and testament to the success of your webinar!”

    Please use this link to register https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7586165497475106305