Categorized | alan's blog

The job curiosity shop

The job curiosity shop

August is traditionally a time when the Job Market goes into limbo. People are away on holiday, trade generally winds down, France stops completely and people are generally more relaxed than usual. Thing is, though, that this August is doing some strange things.

For a start, Public Sector work seems to have vanished entirely. This is not exactly unexpected, of course, given the Coalition’s policies in this area, but it’s been so abrupt you have to ask yourself if the powers that be have really thought it through. For example I was up for one process rationalisation role recently that, with a following wind, would have probably resulted in a cost saving considerably larger than what I would have charged them for doing it. The role got canned, sadly, since they can’t recruit anyone – even non-permanent people like me – on account of HMG’s directives. This means that they will actually now be spending money over the next six months that they don’t need to spend because they are not allowed to spend any money. Not my understanding of economics, but there you go.

However look at the wonderful world of Finance and the stream of new roles is never ending. This doesn’t help me find work, of course, because these roles will naturally only ever go to people who already work in the Finance industries, even roles in my arena, Service Management, which is largely unconcerned with the nature of the industry. In effect they are operating the same apartheid as all those Government hirers with their slavish adherence to the wrong set of rules for Security Clearance.

Then you see roles that are mostly managerial in nature, running portfolios of projects for instance, that still demand a list of technical skills. OK, you need to understand what your techies are doing, and you also need to be able to explain it to the wider business. So while I can’t configure a high availability Storage Area Network, I do know what one is and how it works. Clearly, that’s not enough; I have to be able to build it from the ground up. I thought that what was we paid the techies to do though…

And of course the agents don’t help. I didn’t get a call about a role last week because “the rate is too low to interest you”. Sorry? For one thing the job is literally 20 minutes from home; that’s worth quite a few pounds a day all by itself. Plus the rate on offer wasn’t all that awful and it was rather more than I’m earning right now.

Or there’s the other agent that actually put me forward for a fairly senior and challenging piece of work (actually one would I would really relish doing) then goes on holiday for two weeks. OK, people can have holidays, but is it too much to ask that someone else in the office at least knows the role exists? So much for managing the client’s expectations then. Or mine, come to that.

So as I say it’s all the usual frustrations and the usual clumsiness of the middle men. This is why I say you can’t really call it a Job Market any more. It’s really is more of a Curiosity Shop.

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Image: Curious George ponders origins by Colin Purrington

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