As I have written before in this blog, then I was fired from my job at ISS. Instead of finding a new job I decided that I wanted again to go down the road of Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Navision freelance projects, as that would allow me to also spend much more time on this website.
So where am I now after three months with no job. I’m at the same place – still no contracts. Yes I have had many requests my CV from the recruiters. But none of the many Dynamics recruiters I have been in touch with have so far turned up with anything concrete. They have not even taken their time to get back to me with a follow-up call or email.
Actually it shouldn’t come to me as a surprise. Last time I was a freelancer (1998-2003) it was exactly the same. Actually it was a little worse. This time I’m at least not receive sometimes 2-3 phone calls a week from a certain UK based recruiter, without ever receiving anything concrete.
And it can’t only be me a few friends of mine who say the same. Back in 2003 I know that many other freelancers had the same experience with especially that UK based recruiter (who by the way is no longer a recruiter).
My conclusion is that only 1 out of 5 recruiters should be in this industry. The rest are really only wasting our time.
The problem is just to figure out who are the serious ones and who to avoid. As a freelancer it’s hard to say know to spend five minutes with someone who might have a contract for you. He might actually have the contract. You don’t know it. And the problem is not really the five minutes. The problem is that he talks and talks and you really believe that he has this project for you. So instead of looking for other projects, you relaxes and end up getting no project.
It’s difficult as there are always coming new recruiters who thinks that the Microsoft Dynamics is a great industry where they can make a lot of money. But if you’re a Microsoft Dynamics freelancer (it must say so in your DUG bio or signature), then I suggest that you sign up as a member of the Microsoft Dynamics Freelancer group. Here you will be able to post recommendations on good recruiters and who we should stay away from.
On a longer term then it would be great if someone who actually is from the industry would take the lead create an alternative to the existing recruiters. An alternative that would be on our terms and know the people and the requirements. David Singleton was working on this a few years ago, but also that he gave up. The Dynamics Freelancing Community was simply not mature enough. In our quest for the most money as possible, they were not able to see the end of their noses and think ahead. I still think that it will be possible to “UNITE THE DYNAMICS FREELANCERS”. But it has to be done differently. And I might just have the way, which I will write about in my next blog post!
So if you know anyone who can use my services for a long or a short project, then please let me know. If your referral to me ends up in a project, then I will pay you a 10% referral commission of the revenue (as long as I’m invoicing the Navision customer directly – if you’re the customer, then I’ll give you 10% my regular rates). I’m very mobile, but of course the length of the project should be in contrast to the location. I’m not doing a 2 hour project if I have to fly 4 hours (unless the customer also pays the flight).
And I’m interested in basically all projects regarding Dynamics NAV / Navision ranging from reviewing the contract, doing or reviewing the system analysis and design, doing the project management, programming or checking the quality of the programming done by other developers. I can also do training, both of end-users and partners (in English or Danish, I’m a little rusty in German).
If you’re already live, but your project has gone a little of track and you are arguing with your partner on who’s fault it is and what needs to be done to get your project back on track, then you needs a new set of eyes from an expert, who knows both the end-user and the partner side of the business.
Contact me and I’ll give you a price.
Don't get frustrated Erik. Things are tough for everyone else too! Contracts don't just fall out of the sky, even if they do, you're competing with other people for it.
Companies and recruiters don't owe you anything. Carrying the MVP title and being the moderator of this site does not carry much weight outside of our little world.
It's a good idea to use this downtime to find out what got you where you are professionally today and start from there. Demanding work and venting frustration is usually a red flag as an employer.
Erik, according to you it turns out that (almost) all adds about Navision vacancies are simply a bullsh... ? Or, as DaveT wrote some time ago, recruiters are simply checking the market for who is out there & available just in case ?
However, I still receive regular emails from UK & Ireland, concrete positions are offered, some of them even stated "urgent need", "apply ASAP" and like. As currently I'm not seriously considering new job and/or relocation, I haven't tried to start any negotiations, so no idea about seriousness of these offers.
@Alex: I'm not frustrated. Only by the fact that I feel that many of these recruiters talk about jobs which are actually not there, or you have 5 recruiters who are actually talking about the same job, and by that really just wasting our time.
And I know neither the MVP title, this website or being no. 10 on the most influential list means much. But I'm not really "demanding" a job. I'll be ok, and if everything else fails I can always take a "real job" - not freelancing.
@Modris: I'm not saying that all vacancies are bullsh.. - but I'm sure that many of them are for the reason you write.
And some of them I feel are really just a test to see how low the freelancer will go in regards to hourly rate. The worst example I heard was 60 Euro's, plus I had to cover all hotel and travel costs my self (the job was in a European city 2-3 hours flight from Copenhagen).
@Modris, unless the potential employer flew you in for an interview, confirmed the promised salary and showed you a contract, then you can be fairly certain that the offer was just BS.
@David well I wouldn't really that far, unless it was really presented as an "offer" and not just "I have this job here and I need someone". I fell that the recruiter often just needs to present the client with a list of different names (options), but in reality he already made the pick.
[quote]but in reality he already made the pick.[/quote] In which case there was never a job offer for you, so it was just bullsh!t
@David: I think we agree!
I think the opinions about headhunters are really unfair. They are doing their job for the client, not for you. To the headhunters, you are their inventory. The end user customer can pick and choose whatever items that best suit their needs.
I've been approached by a lot of headhunters. Most of the time, the headhunters will force resumes down my throat irregardless of whether I need it or not. Their hope is that I may find some interest and do business with them.
Headhunter's goals are always to please the employer, because that's who pays them for their services. So being upset that the end user client did not pick you is not all that fair to the people that worked hard to put your resume out there.
@Alex: I would say you're right. We are their inventory. But that doesn't mean that they should not treat us with respect.
I my previous job I were also using quite a lot of freelancers. And somehow a lot of recruiter heard that, so the resumes came in in huge numbers. The most fun thing here was that I sometime received anonymized copies of my own resume and other consultants already working for us (submitted to other recruiters more than 1-2 years before). So in fact the recruiters are not only wasting the time of the freelancers/contractors but also that of the companies they are pretending to work for.
But before everybody get me wrong, I'm not trying to make a crusade against the recruiters. I'm only trying to raise a problem. A lot of the recruiters do neither respect the companies nor the freelancers/contractors.
My question to you is what we can do about it?
Should we black list the bad or white list the good?
First of all, Erik don't turn to the dark side (take a real job as you say). This should only be done in desperation!
As for recruiters, here in the UK I have had many 'initial' calls from recruiters who know absolutely 'sweet f$%£ all' about NAV (even so much as what type of software it is!!!). Yet these guys (and gals) are recruiting for this position. They then spend half an hour picking my brain about the package and then ask me about the market place for contractors/freelancers!
I also get the 'confident' recruiters that promise there is a position and that they want to send my CV (resume) across to their client TODAY and get an interview lined up ASAP. This is definite BS!
I have had so many of these different calls that I now have a definitive list of 'trusted' recruitment agents. These agents I know that when they call with a potential opportunity, I know it is a 'real' opportunity and not a waste of my time. As for the others, I still entertain the call from them (because you never know, they may have a position available), but I don't get my hopes up.
Anyway Erik, I wish you luck finding a new contract. Something will come up. I look forward to your next post regarding the idea of uniting freelancers/contractors (I was interested in David's ideas).
Erik, I can fully understand how you feel about the recruiters. I have felt (and still feel) the exact same way.
I started my freelancing career back in december (2008) and have been lucky about contracts though. At least most of the time.
But looking back over 2009 and all the calls from recruiters it strikes me that I have had a lot of these "I have a customer who wants a contract developer now..." type of calls. And as Connull Dunbar says, you just can't get your hopes up, but still have to take the call. You know... what if...?
But.. It would be great if we could make ourselves independent from these recruiters. "How" is, as you say, the right question.
@Søren: It was the same with my last period as a freelancer. Once you get your first contract, then it's like the next ones comes automatically. I had mine in a lucky mixture of shorter projects and longer contracts.
@Erik: Yes, I guess the next ones are easier. I still think it is hard work though. But that is typical in freelancing I guess. We do what we are good at (NAV etc.), but selling ourselves and being "out there" is not always what we are good at. But when the word spreads it is nice. We should be better to involve each other in our projects, perhaps commisioning the "finder" of the project some percentages. And vica versa. And it would be really nice with a shared office, so it could still feel like having colleagues :-)
Yes Søren. Being a freelancer is not to be free! Being a freelancer just means that you must always be looking for the next job! Always! Those who thinks that you can just relax and go on vacation in between your projects, they think wrong. Well unless you're already rich!