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Calling IT consultants! Would you Rather Deal Direct? .

By megabaum ·
Hi,

If you're in the business, you already know that the market *sucks* for IT consultants. Over the last couple of years especially, opportunities (a.k.a. gig's) for US technology consultants have diminished rapidly and many talented consultants are literally "going out of business", getting out of IT and/or accepting $rates that date back to the 80s.

Do you fall in any of these categories?

Senior IT consultants in particular are struggling to find new projects and in turn cannot afford to stay in their profession. To make matters worse, Fortune 1000 companies are filtering more business through Indian "Body Shops" in their quest for cheap labor; all while driving $rates down and eliminating contract opportunities for Mid-level consultants.

It seems that talented freelance "techies" are a dying breed! ... Knock, Knock, is there still anyone out there? =).

**It seems if we're going to compete these days, we'll need to start finding our own 'gigs' and bypass recrutiing firms.

As an IT consultant:
1) Have you experienced any of the above?
2) What are some of the other challenges you face in the market?
3) Would you welcome an IT network that allows you to deal directly with the client?
4) What is your strategy for finding your own "gigs"?

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IT experience, but no 'jobs'

by megabaum In reply to Calling IT consultants! W ...

What's happening to IT?

A collegue of mine, a seasoned professional, is still looking for work after 6 months and may be forced to leave IT altogether.

Another collegue, in the IT business 20 years, can't find a consulting 'gig', as the opportunities just aren't there.

A consulting firm that I've worked with over the years, informs me that they are now hiring about 70% H1Bs from India because they can't afford to work with US consultants.

I'm finding the market for consulting gigs and IT in general is about as bad as I've ever seen it. In fact it's worse than the market we experienced in post-**1 days.

Indian consulting firms are calling daily, offering gigs/$rates 40% lower than what I was making. So at this point, I'm not sure it's worth being a consultant anymore.

My 2 cents.

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IT experience, but no 'jobs'

by wisetalk85 In reply to IT experience, but no 'jo ...

hey mega,
i dont do about USA, but here in our small country we have jobs for experience, here IT related jobs are based on experience
sory to hear your story, we all are IT profs

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What keeps me working as a consultant...

by Troy Wilkinson In reply to Calling IT consultants! W ...

Background- I started out as a consultant largely due to the circumstances of 9/11. I was looking for a 40 hour job when all **** broke loose in NJ and NY in the aftermath of the attacks. Becoming a consultant was never a career path, but I took a couple gigs, found through friends, to fill the gaps. I completely rethought my career and I excelled.

The meat- I have been depending on word of mouth to get new gigs. I have been fine doing that until this last year. The economy has hurt some companies so badly that they seem to work with less than optimum equipment, software, processes and personnel. There seems to be an increased fear in investing in IT projects.

The clients I have been getting work from have been literally convinced* that they must make a move and cannot keep going the way they have been. They spent money they were not comfortable with. Be aware, for those that might try to convince their clients, these customers are very critical and looking at results with an ultra-critical eye.

I have recently started working with smaller companies and IT providers. I am consulting with them about what their customers are looking for. Part marketing and part IT. I do not have a marketing background. I provide them with the "word on the street" type information that they seem to be missing as part of their analysis. Companies are often complacent and loose touch with reality. Sales based organizations are sometimes willing to spend more at times of drought.

So what keeps me working is my willingness to look at different options and understanding what affects the industry. This economy, the elections, a corporations opportunities over-seas, etc. may all be factors. Those that don't adapt will die.

I am not seeing an increased import of International talent. I have taken my name off of the list of International recruiter's lists because those jobs are almost always given to someone willing to work for U.S. poverty wages.

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Adapt or die...

by megabaum In reply to What keeps me working as ...

You're right, we either adapt or die.

It's also a good reminder that many clients don't want to spend the $money for projects, so when you go in on a project they'll be watching with a critical eye.

I, like you, started consulting in 2001 and made it through the Post **1 downturn. I've been busy with consulting work since then... usually word of mouth and relationships with consulting firms. My last gig, I was able to find myself, through referral, and I negotiated directly with the company. This is probably the only way we'll be able to compete with "cheap labor"... deal directly with the company, negotiate a lower rate for the client and a higher rate for yourself.

In this area, there's a high number of H1Bs working on IT projects, so the market is quite depressed right now. As you said, many things play a role in this... e.g. the quest for "cheap" labor, economy, elections, off shoring, etc.

In order to compete and adapt, it's going to help if we can deal directly with the client. Referrals are also key right now -

All the best!

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