How did you get through the 2002/2003- dotcom bust?
With difficulty: I spend a bit of times on the bench. But as a serial contractor you make provision for these prolonged down time. In Australia we also had the pleasure of having had GST introduced just after the Y2K scare. These events sucked the capital out of the industry for at least 4-5 years.
What gave you the edge?
I did some odd jobs. I trained some individuals as BA for other companies. Dropped my rate, did not to price myself out of the market.
How do you prepare for the next upcoming recession?
You need some rainy day money. Don’t live beyond your means. This is difficult if you are genX or genY. These gens think the world owes them a favour. They get angry because how dare the world f-up and destroy their cosy world.
How did you get a new contract?
I did not use agencies, I approached companies direct. I cold called and used referral through friends. Worked 3 days a week, which was better than no work at all.
What can you advise me?
Follow the dictates of the 1st century stoic philosopher, Seneca, who once said "always expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed" (not verbatim). So, if the worst happens, at least you’ve expected it and you are not too disappointed; and, if the good happens you are delighted, because, thank God, its not the worst!
HANG in there!
1. How would i be able to attract some attention to myself?
Your prospective client wants value for money. You need to do good for less! Wearing a pink suite will get you noticed; but you most likely wont get the job! Be realistic!
2. Would investing into a training give me an edge?
Not necessarily. Some friends of mine drove taxis for a while – at least there was some income – rather than spending more money on courses etc. After the recession, they were back earning the big dollars. Today, the taxi driving is seen as a rite of passage to show that s/he has survived a recession and was not scared to shovel sh@t when the proverbial hits the fan. Future employers like this “can-do” mind-set.
3. How did you financially survive the last dotcom recession?
Survive is the operative word. Its called Savings or having some equity. Living frugally – switch the lights off at night; not make extra calls; not eat out ate your own cooked meals; walked to station instead of driving. Its amazing how managing the little things helped save money.
4. What was the breakthrough that landed you a contract in the midst of all odds?
My ability to adapt! Understand that the client is also going through a hard time.
5. HOW can i gain BA-experience in my current unemployed situation?
You can only learn so much on your own. I think without the cauldron of fulltime work you cannot forge good BA skills. You need experience!
There seems to be always someone better than me.
Yep, If you GenX or GenY it’s a bit of a shock. If you’re a foreigner its doubly difficult, because the good jobs go to the nationals first.