Older Contractors Prospects | How to Survive as One | UK Contractors

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Older Contractors Prospects

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The Older Contractors Prospects article is by guest writer Honest John.

Baby Boomer Contractors

If you are a baby-boomer contractor (born between 1957-64) you will have reached the glorious age of 50. If not, you soon will have.

You will notice, maybe for the very first time, that you are no longer the youngest person in the office. In fact, you are probably the oldest old duffer there!

It may come to you as a great shock. That’s especially since, even after 25 years of doing the job everyone around still seems to be better than you – even the geeks straight from university.

“Oh gosh” what am I going to do?

“Help”!

“I never meant it to happen this way. I was going to retire at 30”.

Start With Your CV

Don’t panic; start with the CV, it is really is easy to roll back the years.

Well to be honest this will hurt a bit, but you have to do it.

Perhaps drink a pint or two first and then delete, for ever, from your hard drive every contract on your CV that has any of these words:

“IBM system 370/360 Assembler” or “Cobol” or ‘Java Struts’ (I know its not that old, but its carp – believe me – even Sun have ditched it) or “IMS DB/DC” or “Telon” or “CICs” or “EasyTrieve” or “JCL” or “DEC/VAX” or “VSAM” or “PL1” or “Oracle <= version 8” or “Selcopy” or “Hogan” or “Michael Jackson” or “SAP Abap IV” or “Yourdon” or’powerbuilder’ or ‘AS400’.

Lucrative Contracts for Contractors

Was that so hard?

Of course not, but it gets harder now.

The next thing to do is side-line poor old Oracle.

This has to be delicate as you know how the old are about moving. However, you have to do it.

For so long you considered yourself an “Oracle Programmer” (damn forgot – “developer”) but time moves on and so do the lucrative contracts.

It’s time to start editing – Oracle has to be made into an aside on your CV, no longer the main event, its now an adjunct to newer and brighter things.

Get rid of 60% of all references to Oracle from your CV (or more if need be).

Grid Programming

Having cleared the decks you have to bring out to the fore all references to anything you have worked on that is considered twenty first century:

Grid programming, XML for Java (Xquery and xslt2), SQL server Business Intelligence studio, JavaScript libraries like (Ajax, Prototype, and Script.aculo.us) and of course C# just for good measure.

Then around all these bright young things bung in good knowledge of Unix, NT and Oracle (but remember as the adjunct – not the main event – the odd mention of sed or awk or sqlload perhaps). Then you should be home and dry for the next five years.

But no, wait – you still feel like you’re fifty? There really isn’t much you can do about that – too bad – ha ha.

Job Boards and British Contractors

Best give the job boards a quick look.

Oh no, No, NO!

There are bucket loads of Cobol and java struts jobs and even AS400 jobs and PL/SQL jobs – what have I done!

WHAT HAVE I DONE!

Never leave me alone with a computer!

It’s the end – I’ve really got to get a life and do something different and new.

A chap down the pub said ‘Buy to Let is a good idea’.

I think I’ll give it a go – he looked an honest bloke, what could go wrong?

If you have any opinion on Older Contractors Prospects post it as comments below.

Read also TenSteps to Successful Contracting.

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