Computer Jobs
Survival Guide
(An Independent Contractor Approach)
Howard Fosdick
[email protected]
(C) 2003.5 FCI
1
Version 2
Origin of this Talk
* Written 2.5 years ago as:
“How to be an Independent Consultant”
* Revised and updated
* What techies need to know about IT jobs
2
How did I become an
Independent Consultant (IC) ?
Evolved from an FTE
* IC since 1988
* 1-person shop by choice
Contract Programmer
* DBA : Oracle, DB2, SQL Server
* SA : Unixes, Windows
Consultant
*
*
*
*
User Group Founder / past Pres. (IDUG, MWDUG, CAMP)
Author (books & articles)
Presenter
Management Consultant
3
Why am I Giving this Talk ?
2 Consulting Paradigms
Traditional
Contracting
versus
Proprietary
Secret information
for negotiating power
Competitors
Strength thru secrets
Direct Marketing only
(“Pay me now!”)
Trade Secrets
Competitors (ICs,
contract firms, FTEs,
customers, everyone!)
Gimme, gimme, gimme !
Open Consulting
Open
Open negotiation for
for trust relationships
Cooperation / Coopetition
Strength thru working together
Indirect Marketing
(“Sow seeds, reap the harvest later”)
Sharing knowledge
No competitors
(just difficulties like 1706, Headhunters
and Brokers!)
4
Give to get
Why am I Giving this Talk ?
Because I practice open consulting
Open Consulting -- a contracting business based
on specific attitudes and behaviors differing from
those of “traditional” consulting.
Open Consulting -- a consulting paradigm some
consider impractical but one that, in fact, works
great for some people
5
Outline
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Definitions
How Employees are like contractors
IC Business Models
What are Your Goals ?
Legal Status of your firm
Rates
CP Firms, Brokers, Recruiters
IRS 1706 and AVLs
How to Sell Yourself
Contracts, Payroll, Insurance,
Finances, Retirement
11. Getting Gigs / Jobs
12. Resources
6
Definitions
FTE = Full Time Employee
PTE = Part Time Employee
W-2 = Employee
1099 = How non-employees get paid
Corp-to-Corp = How corporations get paid
IC = Independent Consultant
CP = Contract Programmer or
Contract Programming
Consultant
= Advice giver
Mgmt Consultant = Advice giver to management
Pure IC
= IC gets their own gigs
Brokered IC
= IC goes through a Broker to get gigs
Broker (aka Bork) = places Contract Programmers
Recruiter (aka Headhunter) = places FTEs
Contract Firm (aka Body Shop) = Broker, Headhunter,
CP Employer
7
Big 5 Consulting Firm = Actg firm with all FTE CPs
“We’re All Contractors Now!”
1990
Today
Employee
Disposable resource (ie “contractor”)
Implied Deal :
“You don’t screw up,
we don’t fire you”
Implied Deal :
“You’re here only as long as we
choose to keep you”
Company-provided
career planning (ie career path)
Self-directed career planning
(ie career path)
Defined benefit plan
Defined health plan
Self-directed retirement (401k)
Selectable benefits
Company-directed training
Self-directed training
Rule 1: They employ you because it pays them to!
Exercise : Calculate your cost and your benefit
to your company
8
Knowing Your Rate is Vital
$
$
Rule 1: They employ you because it pays them to!
Exercise : Calculate your cost and your benefit
to your company
$
$
Employee: Know the internal labor rate at your company
(“Hey boss, what do I use as an hourly rate
in cost-estimating this project ?”)
$
$
Contractor : Know your rate to the client
(see the contract between your company
and the client)
$
$
$
9
Who Moved My Cheese ?
“He knew it was safer to be
aware of his real choices than to
isolate himself in his comfort zone.”
by Johnson & Blanchard, p. 75
“Companies don’t take care of you,
you take care of you.”
10
Be a Realist
Rule 2:
The job market works the way it works
+ Figure it out
+ Work it to your advantage
------
You can’t change it
Fight it and you suffer
It does not care what you think
It does not work the way it should
It does not care what you think the best product is
11
Note: if you’re Bill Gates ignore this foil...
Rule 3:
There are many ways to be an IC
Based on different ...
Business
Models
Goals
Values
Kinds of
Work
Etc.
12
There are many ways to be an IC
DBA
Partners
Tech
Trainer
“Expert”
Partnership get
contracts thru
vendor
Permatemp
w/ special
Expertise
Solo Contractor
thru Broker
others
Small
Contractor
Firm
Pure IC
13
Business Model Parameters
Number on
Payroll
one
Breadth of
Expertise
narrow (1 product)
Getting
Gigs
a few
on own
Travel
local
Engagement
Length
weeks
many
1 topic (eg DBA)
generic
via contract firm or broker
regional
months
national
international
yearly
“perma-temp”
Rates
piecemeal
typical DBA / SA
expert or “Name”
14
Business Model - Example #1
Technical Niche Specialist
* Tech support in small shop
for obsolete niche technology
* Makes 2 * FTE salary
+ 10 years there (“perma-temp”)
+ Very customer focused
-- When this client goes away ?
* Has saved $$
* She’s very smart,
will certify on new technology
while on “downtime”
15
Business Model - Example #2
Contract Programming Thru One Broker
* Senior developer
* FTE w/ CP firm => IC on 1099 w/ Broker
* Gets gigs via 1 trusted Broker
+
+
+
+
No effort to get gigs
Choice of gigs
Choice on travel
Flexibility
-- Pays big % to Broker
16
Business Model - Example #3
Technical Trainer
* Started as FTE CP in CP firm
(C++ & Unix => Java & web)
* Then worked thru Brokers, did not like them
* Did Training on the side
* Evolved into specialty training for certification
* Now travels to teach a couple courses / month
+ Flexibility to raise her kids
while making reasonable $$
17
Business Model - Example #4
Hands-on Contracting plus
Indirect Marketing for self-placement
* Works as a hands-on technician
* Places self thru Indirect Marketing (IM)
(gains visibility through public activities)
* Indirect Marketing examples:
web forums, writing, presenting,
developing web training, user groups, etc.
+ Indirect Marketing garners respect & contacts
+ Likes both programming & IM activities
-- Time commitment to cover both those areas
18
Business Model - Example #5
Solo PC/LAN Support Guy
* Works for a dozen small businesses
(autoshops, churches, dental offices, local realtors...)
+ Lots of work available !! (vendors ignore this market)
+ Great freedom of action
+ Clients trust him totally
-- No peers to talk to (works alone at clients)
-- Customers don’t always understand all
that’s involved in doing this work
-- SMBs pay low
19
Business Model - Example #6
Experts Contracting thru Vendor
* Claim “expert” status on 1 software product
(published articles, speeches, books, UGs)
* Tight with software vendor
+ referrals thru the vendor
-- dependency
-- vendor kickbacks
+ High Rates ($200 -> 500/ hour)
+ Short Contracts
+ Travel
* S-Corp (partner-controlled, 6 people)
20
Why be an IC ?
What are Your Goals ?
+ “Be my own Boss”
==> more control over worklife / life
==> be an entrepeneur
+ More interesting Work
==> greater choice of gigs
+ More Money
==> get paid for overtime
==> be a techie but make mgmt $$
+ It’s your Passion
==> techie passion
==> entrepeneurial = build a company
+ Alternate Lifestyle
==> work when you want
+ Ego
==> have people listen to you
==> “make your own rules”
+ _______________
==> fill in the blank with your goals
Exercise : make your own rank-ordered Goal List
Self-awareness is key !
21
Why be an IC ?
What are Your Values ?
* Being an IC is not inherently better or worse.
* It depends on your goals, values, likes and dislikes.
* Your personality type is another factor.
Exercise : be sure you’re making your own decision,
not your peers’, your parents’, or your spouses’ !
Self-awareness is key !
22
Why be an IC ?
The Overlooked Downsides
-- Stress
-- Uncertainty
“aaargh !”
-- Greater time commitment
-- Becoming a “business person”
(being a “computer freak” isn’t enough)
-- Getting gigs
-- Tax and legal complexities
-- Managing your own benefits, retirement, etc.
23
Ways to Work
Vendor
IT Shop
FTE
PTE
Contract Firm
Brokered IC
Pure IC
W-2 (hourly)
1099
Corp-to-Corp
PTE
Corp-to-Corp
1099
W-2 (salaried)
For Illinois business booklets
24
and legal forms see www.ilsos.net
Forms of Business
(aka, the Legal Status of
your business)
These drive everything:
1.
Taxes
Non-corporate
2. Liability
Sole
Proprietorship
+ You took no action
+ Simplest tax filing
-- Unlimited liability
LLC
(Ltd Liability Co.)
Partnership
-- Common property
-- Unlimited group
liability
25
Forms of Business
1.
Taxes
Corporations
2.
+ Limits Liability
Liability
Subchapter C
-- Taxed Twice
+ Large Companies
Corp
Employee
Subchapter S
+ Taxed Once
+ < 50 Employees
26
Rates
* The contractor version of employee’s salary
* There are no “rules”
* Everything is negotiable
* Know typical rates
Knowledge is the key !
* Know client’s target rates
27
How To Compute Rates
50 weeks / year * 40 hours / week = 2000 hours / year
So: $40 / hour = $80,000 / year
And: If you make FTE Salary of $80,000,
your Rate is $40 / hour (ex-benefits)
Your Rate to Employer is : $40/hour + Benefits
Average IT work-week = 48 hours
If your Salary is $80,000 and you work 48 hours,
you should be paid $96,000 !
28
Rates Vary By . . .
What you do
DBA / SA
Support
PC / LAN
Support
Training
Help Desk
Super
Tech
Architects
Specialists
lower
“Name”
Experts
$$$
Documentation
Entry Level
Positions
higher
Design
Architects
Management
Consultants
29
Rates Vary By . . . Where you do it
New
Architects
York
Small
Shops
Large
Shops
Rural
areas
Depressed
areas
lower
Low-tech
areas
Many other
countries
Big
cities
$$$
High-tech
centers
higher
Education
Silicon
Valley
1st world
nations
Government
Non-profits
30
Big Business
How Much You Gotta Make ?
* 2 * FICA ( 2 * 7.5 = 15% )
* Benefits
*
*
*
*
Retirement (SEP-IRA or 401K)
Health Insurance
(go Group)
Disability Insurance “ “
Other (employee health club, dental, etc.)
* Corp Fees
*
*
*
*
*
Tax prep
Insurance (General Liability)
Unemployment Comp
Corp filing fees
Etc.
* Bench Time ?
Assuming 1-person S-Corp ...
Good Rate = 2 * FTE Salary
31
Marginal
= 1.5 * FTE Salary
Rates and Salaries ?
computerworld.com
realrates.com
informationweek.com
Sources
earthweb.com
dice.com
infoworld.com
itworld.com
Many others including:
careerbuilder.com, salary.com,
careerjournal.com,
opm.gov/oca/payrates ...
32
How Contract Programming
Firms Work
1
President/
Founder
“Join us, Buffy”
Billing and
Legal Treatment
3
Brokers /
aka “VP”s
W-2’s (salaried)
W-2’s (hourly)
60
Contract
Programmers
1099’s
Corp-to-Corp
33
How Brokers Make Money
The Broker makes the spread
between what client pays and what you’ll accept.
$100
What Client pays
What Broker makes
$50
What CP gets
$200,000/yr
$100,000/yr
$100,000/yr
Most Brokers key on reducing your rate !
Are this Broker’s services worth $100,000 / year ?
Brokers get
10 - 60 %
typical 33%
34
Why You Care About the
Broker’s Mark-up
Some contractors like to say ...
“I don’t care what my broker makes as long as I make __$$__.”
Big Mistake !
35
Why You Care About the
Broker’s Mark-up
(1) The spread may be too large
(you’re making less than you could)
(2) Client bases all retention decisions on their cost
(not what you’re making!)
Example: Time to reduce contractor costs !
Assuming all are
equally useful...
Client Pays: IT Pro Gets:
Susie SE
$225
$60
You (brokered)
$100
$60
Joe “Pure IC”
$80
$80
Who they gonna keep ? Hint: It ain’t gonna be you !
Even though Joe makes more than you do!
(and why does Susie SE accept a rip off ?)
36
How Recruiters Make Money
Upon placement, the Recruiter makes either :
(1) Agreed-upon fee
(2) Percent of new FTEs 1st-year salary
Example:
New FTE’s 1st-year salary = $90,000/yr
Recruiter @33% makes = $30,000
The Employer pays the Recruiter,
==> the Recruiter works for their interest !
Recruiter is not your friend nor do you pay him.
Do not disclose your negotiating
thoughts to the Recruiter !
Recruiters get
$10k - $40k
per placement
(20% - 33%)
37
Why are many Brokers / Recruiters Unethical ?
* They do real work, they deserve to get paid
* But their pay is sometimes outrageous
as is their behavior !
(see “What You Are
Paying Your Agent For,”
Sept 2000,
In Contract Professional at
www.cpuniverse.com
By Andrew Zanevsky
Why ?
Client
Techie
*
*
*
*
No startup / entry costs
No capital required
No manufacturing costs (pure profit potential)
It’s all convincing (1) Client and (2) CP
* Each placement really counts !
(eg: place 3 FTEs you make $60k this year,
place 6 and you make $120k ! )
* This brings out the greed in some people
* Superior knowledge yields manipulative power
38
Example Sleazy Broker / Recruiter Practices
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Selling resumes
“Enhancing” your resume w/o your knowledge
Presenting your resume to a client without your permission
Page Flipping
Stealing / selling company phonebooks
Selling IT staff lists
Stripping references
Bogus resume cross-references
Misrepresenting (lying) to either Client or CP
(esp. about Rates or the Work to be done)
Expenses never reimbursed
Non-payment
Suing you as a form of intimidation
Keeping you “on the line” by sending you
Credit-check your broker:
to an inappropriate interview
www.experian.com
@ $20 - $30
Abusive contracts
Abusive non-competes
“Jennifers” and “Guys”
39
Why Brokers Predominate
* IRS 1706 : a Rider passed w/ 1986 Tax Act by special interests
* Designed to force all IT workers to : Be employees
* To enhance role of CP Firms
* Easier for IRS to collect taxes
Book on 1706:
www.icca.org $27
* Legally Ambiguous
* Allows IRS to “reclassify” IC as an “employee” !
* Burden of proof & penalties are on the “Employer”
* Practical result -- (1) Many companies will not do
business w ICs (1099s and S-Corps)
(2) Brokers / CP Firms flourish !!
(3) Approved Vendor Lists (AVLs)
Client
IC
Client
Broker
or CP Firm
40
IC
How to Handle 1706
* Understand the “20 Questions”
* Have multiple clients
-or* Stay at each client <= 1 year
* Pay your taxes scrupulously (use Enrolled Agent / CPA)
* Form multi-person IT firm
Umbrella Firm :
* Employer of record
* Billing, Admin services
* Group-rate benefits
* Use Umbrella Firm
Client
Umbrella
Firm
IC
See: http://rmpcp.com/
or www.pacepros.com
41
AVLs
* Shields IT shop from potential IRS 1706 Liability
* Liability is the real reason for AVLs
(even though everybody says it’s a cost issue)
AVL
Brokers
ICs
Client
CP
Firms
CP Firms
ICs
ICs
Subcontracting is an artificially created mess 42!
IT Professionals Lose !
H1B
IRS 1706
IT Labor is:
UCITA
*
*
*
*
Young
Non-political
Unorganized
Lobby-less in DC
Offshoring
L1
Outsourcing
“Special Interests are the greatest threat to democracy in America”
-- President Jimmy Carter
“Wish we had one” -- Joe IT Professional
43
Hiring -- IT Manager’s Viewpoint
Rules :
* Deluge of applicants
* But still expensive to hire & train
Results :
=> Keyword matching on resumes (by machine and HR)
=> Tiny % of applicants will get interviewed
X Non-conformant talent is over-looked
X They don’t realize there’s a 10:1 effectiveness ratio
between candidates !
X If you’re just a resume in the pile, you lose
X If you don’t know how the game works, you lose
44
X You need “human contact” to get hired
2 Hiring Responses
FACILITATORS
GATEWAYS
*
*
*
*
* “Is this person good?
If yes, how do I hire her?”
* Deal-makers
* Problem-solvers
The “Rules” people
“I just work here”
Require exact skills match
HR
IDENTIFY & KEY ON THE FACILITATORS !
45
One Way to Sell Yourself
10
seconds
Your Calling Card
= quick “Trump Card”
Rule :
Specialization sells
Exercise :
Summary : “Who I am and
2
minutes what I can do for you”
Define your
Calling Card
Prioritize, define
your 3-part pitch
10
minutes
Resume : “Here’s proof of
what I can do for you”
46
One Way to Sell Yourself -- Example
Calling Card-- “Hi, I’m Bob, a certified Oracle DBA with
8 years hands-on experience”
Summary -- “I noticed you use 9i under AIX. You must be
kidding. I specialize in performance issues
like those you face because I just did
a major performance analysis on
an AIX data warehouse last year. Are you
having any issues with slow-running queries?”
Resume-- it’s carefully worded and well thought out,
it was in your hand,
and now you’ve put it in hers.
47
Bob “forgot” to mention that the data warehouse
he worked on was still on Oracle 7… he’ll mention that later...
Human Contact is How to Get Hired
Most people hire who they know -+ Limits risk
+ Reduces time
+ Easier
* 60% of jobs filled through Networking
(Challenger, Gray & Christmas)
* You must key on personal contact
48
Business Cards
* Hand them out judiciously
* IT pros often don’t…
because of “recruiter” behavior
Talk with person
No
Yes
Bork ?
“good luck!”
Trade cards
49
Resumes
+ Purpose -- meet their needs
(not “describe yourself”)
(it’s not about you)
+ Gets you an interview, doesn’t get you the job!
+ Specialization sells
=> Customized resumes
+ Buzzwords sell
-- Verbose
-- Spelling Errors
-- Wrong format
-- Too long
? Know it it’s computer scanned,
tailor your resume for it
? Be careful about web posting
50
Certification ?
Joe SA
* Industry trend
* Vary by the Cert :
* Cost
* Difficulty
* Marketability
See certmag.com,
and brainbuzz.com
Determine a Cert’s value to your
career before you start working towards it
* Enforces
-- Vendor-dependency
-- Specialization (at expense of generalization)
-- Keeping up-to-date is a chore
* Becoming a requirement for some IC roles (sometimes a Trump Card)
If you are Inexperienced -- use it for instant credibility
If you are Experienced -- it’s just another hoop to jump through
51
Certification ?
Joe SA
Understand how vendors view Certs !
-- It commits you to their technology
(since few people certify with > 1 product
among competing products)
-- It mates your career to their product
-- They believe that this ensures you will promote
their product (and be their unpaid salesperson)
-- They can use “cert upgrades” as leverage to try to force
product upgrades
-- You are giving them some power over your career
52
You Need a Longevity Plan
* Average contract consultant lasts 6 years
*
* By age 40,
*
< 22% of IT technicians still do technical work
Why ?
----+
+
Technical change
Burnout
Business model change
Industry change
Choice
Career evolution
Change will happen,
be prepared to handle it!
Involuntary
Voluntary
53
* As per Computerworld
How Skills Become Obsolete -Example
1983
MVS
1993
Unixes
Linuxes
OS/2
Windows
(desktop & server)
Primary
DOS
2003
VM
Linuxes
2ndary
MVS
Unixes
DOS
MVS
Obsolete
Exercise: map your chart for OSs,
DBMSs, Pgming Languages, etc.
VM
OS/2
DOS
54
Skills for Optimal Success
Rule: Technical skills plus
other skills yield greater success
than technical skills alone
Technical Skills
Corollary: Technical skills are
only the necessary precondition
for larger success
Business Skills
(Taxes, liability,
finding clients,
selling yourself)
Personal Skills
(Psychological,
Sociological,
Leadership)
New Technical Skills
55
Contracts
You have legally agreed to
what your contract says ;
Nothing anybody says matters.
* They are serious
* You better understand them
Or pay a lawyer to understand
them for you.
* Everything is negotiable
* 2-party versus “brokered” or “subcontracted” (3-party)
“Offensive” provisions are
commonplace, negotiate
out the worst:
*
*
*
*
*
*
Non-compete
Non-disclosure
Unlimited Liability
Location of adjucation
Severability
Software warranty
See sample contracts at
realrates.com and
icca.org
56
Contracts
* It’s always trickier to negotiate a 3-party deal
than a 2-party deal
* You always want to negotiate directly with the customer,
if you can. You don’t want info filtered by a 3rd party
with their own agenda.
Which looks simpler to you ?
You
Customer
57
You
Broker
Customer
Insurance
1-person Corp
* General Liability (GL)
($400 - $600)
See www.ccbsure.com
www.techinsurance.com
Larger Corp
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Errors & Omissions (E&O)
Workman’s Comp
Employee Liability
Fidelity Bond
Other Bonds
Company Auto
Etc.
($ thousands)
58
Why Liability Predominates
$0 cost to Plaintiff to
launch lawsuit
Yes
No
Plaintiff
wins
Defendant pays $$ to plaintiff,
plaintiff shares with lawyer
$0 cost to Plaintiff
Defendant pays $$ for legal fees
Contigency Fee System makes the U.S. the Land of Lawsuits.
Law Suit Lotto : no cost to play, and you just might win !
59
How Do You Pay Yourself ?
* S-Corp => Corp Accounting,
plus 4 quarterly tax filings plus year-end
Alternatives = Do it yourself
PC-software
H&R Block
CPA
Enrolled IRS Agent
all
income
Your SCorp
Corp
expenses
payroll
“I didn’t know!”
You
FICA (2 * 7.5%)
Fed WH Tax
State WH Tax
60
All Corp accounting must be separate from your personal finances
Finances & Retirement
* Learn how to invest
(or pay someone to do it for you)
* Investments determine how well you’ll live after retiring
Vehicles :
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
SEP-IRA
Supplemental SEP
SAR-SEP
401K
“I quit !”
Regular & Roth IRAs
Annuities (Fixed and Variable)
Stocks vs Bonds vs Cash vs Real Estate vs Etc.
61
How to Get Gigs / Jobs
Pay Someone
to find them
Brokers
(Recruiters)
Direct
Marketing
Indirect
Marketing
* Do what Brokers do
* Do what Brokers
(“Be your own bork”)
can’t do
* Clients come to
you due to
your visibility
gig me,
baby !
62
How to do Direct Marketing
ID Companies
* Where
* Its business
* Its structure
ID their
Technologies
*
*
*
*
Software
Hardware
Size
IT dept. structure
ID Contacts
* Who
* Titles / positions / roles
* Phone #s / email addresses
Create/maintain
Relationships
* Takes time
* Difficult due to changes 63
* The hard part !
Where to get Direct Marketing Info
Lists :
* Local business directories
* Purchase IT magazine mailing lists
* Other lists
(eg: conference lists, proceedings,
user groups, software vendor lists,
hardware vendor lists, lotteries, etc.)
Online :
* Online discussion groups & boards (automated scanning)
* Company websites
* Job websites
* Popular techie websites
Print :
* Newspapers (Sunday Tribune)
* IT trade magazines
Face-to-Face :
* Conferences, User Group meetings, Trade Associations,
64
industry meetings, networking events, etc.
Indirect Marketing
(Marketing through Visibility)
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Move around within a long-term client
Teach a class
Participate in online forums
Write magazine articles
Be quoted in magazines
Write for web zines
Give presentations
Be a user group leader
Develop freeware / open source software
Write a book
Informal networking
(FTF at conferences, user groups, etc)
* IC letter to employment ads - printed / online
65
Indirect
Marketing
-- How to Keep a Long-term Client
(Transfer around within 1 client)
* Be best on your team
* Have a reasonable rate
*
*
*
*
*
*
Work for all managers
Make no enemies
Appearances count
Results count (not “reasons” aka excuses)
Manage your emotions
Sociological & psychological insights key
Long-term survival is a sociological endeavor
66
-- “Contract Survivor,” H. Fosdick
in Contract Professional Feb 2001 at www.cpuniverse.com
Indirect
Marketing
-- Pay low
+ Satisfaction high
-- Teach a Class
Institutions
Vocational
* Biz partners, leads, CPs
Research
* Company co-founders
My experience : -- 0 leads
? Yours ?
67
Indirect
Marketing
-- Internet Discussions
Functions as your public job interview
* Pick right forum (topic, audience, activity-level)
* Don’t flame / be professional
(managers do not hire opinionated flamers!)
* What you say could be held against you
(eg: you say “DB2 sucks” then later apply for
a job at IBM)
* You’re not talking to a person,
you’re talking to the world !
Experience --
+
+
+
--
Good leads
Friends and learning, too!
Easy, fun
Brokers/Recruiters scan them
68
-- Spam
Indirect
Marketing
-- Networking
Must be a two-way interaction
Some people consider networking a one-way street
but this doesn’t work (for long)
You gotta give to get
Getting a job today requires the personal touch
69
Indirect
Marketing
-- Write Magazine Articles
How to Get Published -* Call editor with your idea
* Match the style, length, content
of what they print
* Be Accurate; respect their deadlines
* Editors will rewrite your English
* Improve with practice
Experience --- Pay poor
-- Some declined due to web
+ Satisfying
+ 1 - 20 leads / article
(depends on magazine)
70
Indirect
Marketing
-- Be Quoted in Magazines
How to Get In -*
*
*
*
*
*
Be a “real IT contact” for a staff writer
Respect their deadlines
Return their calls fast!
Be quotable
Be up on imminent announcements
Just call a journalist who wrote a story,
give your reaction, tell him you’re quotable
Experience -+ Makes you “the expert”
+ Good leads
-- Disruptive to your schedule
71
Indirect
Marketing
-- Write for Web Zines
How to Get Published -* Send editors an email and describe
your idea
-- Not refereed, lack status
-- Readership varies
-- Pay poor
+ Satisfying
=> Suggest Print/Zine combo
Experience -+ Some leads
? Your results ?
72
Indirect
Marketing
-- Give Presentations
A Public Job Interview
* Users Groups
* Conferences
* For-profit organizations
+ Great visibility
+ Establishes you as an “expert”
Experience -+ Good Leads
? Your results ?
73
Indirect
Marketing
-- Be a User Group Member
+ Pick a group that does what you
want to do
+ Raises your profile
+ Instant peer group
+ They have forums / online presence
-- Unpaid time commitment
Experience -+ Good Leads
+ Personal development too
? Your results ?
74
Indirect
Marketing
+
+
+
--
-- Be a User Group Leader
High visibility
Instant credibility
Online presence (be a Sysop / moderator)
Time intensive (unpaid)
Experience -+ Great Leads
+ Personal development
+ Speaking skills
+ Leadership skills
? Your results ?
75
Indirect
Marketing
-- Develop A Freeware Product
A Product displays your talents
plus provides the foundation
for your company !
(If you’re a Web Developer, make your resume
a “wow” website)
Example successes from the Oracle world:
* Alertview
* TOAD
* Statspack Viewer
76
For a very few people, this is a great approach
Indirect
Marketing
-- Develop Open Source
Software
+
+
+
+
Show off your abilities
Instant peer group
A real reason for social interaction
Become part of a community
while you gain new skills
-- Unpaid
If this suits your personality, it’s a great approach !
77
Indirect
Marketing
-- Write a Book
How to Get Published ==> Contact Publishers
+ Expertise (“She wrote the book on it!”)
+ Satisfaction
-- Effort Required
-- Pay
-- Quickly Obsolescent
# of
authors
$$
1 2 3 4
# books written
# of
authors
78
Resources for ICs
-- Associations
ICCA
(Independent Computer Consultants Association)
The only association for ICs (and also others as “associates”)
Membership is by firm
www.icca.org
www.icca-chicago.org
(Subject to change,
Dues $175 - 275 / year
Chicago $30 - $40 / meeting check their websites)
They hold an annual conference
NASE
(National Association for the Self-Employed)
www.nase.org
Not IT-specific
79
Resources for ICs
-- Associations
The Programmer’s Guild
Association plus a lobby effort
http://programmersguild.org/american.htm
The Software Contractor’s Guild
Matches people with gigs
http://scguild.com/
80
More Resources for ICs
Websites for Contractors
Forums
Umbrellas
Associations
Magazine
Illinois Law
Gigs etc
www.realrates.com
http://pub21.ezboard.com/bopenitforum
http://rmpcp.com/
www.pacepros.com
www.icca.org
www.nase.org
http://programmersguild.org/american.htm
http://scguild.com/
www.cpuniverse.com
www.ilsos.net
www.1099.com
www.guru.com
Magazine
Contract Professional at www.cpuniverse.com
-- You can read their back issues online
81
More Resources for ICs
Spend 4 hours reading these forums and you’ll know
way more than most IT jobseekers learn in a lifetime
www.realrates.com
http://pub21.ezboard.com/bopenitforum
82
More Resources for ICs
Books
* Janet Ruhl
* Computer Job Survival Guide
* Answers for Computer Contractors
* Computer Consultant’s Workbook
* Computer Consultant’s Guide
* Herman Holtz
* How to Succeed as an IC
* The Business Plan Guide for ICs
* Consultant’s Guide to Getting
Business on the Internet
* Gerald Weinberg
* Secrets of Consulting
* Peter Meyer
* Getting Started in Computer Consulting
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To Learn More...
No
Yes
FTE ?
Read Ruhl’s
Computer Job Survival Guide
Read Ruhl’s IC books
-orPeter Meyer’s book
Check out websites
like realrates.com & others
listed. Do some googles.
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?
?
?
Questions
?
?
?
?
?
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