I can add personal experience to the comments by tilly
and others that businesses are likely to favor contractors during the recession. The higher-ups here are definitely favoring contractors lately, and they view them as less risky than full-time developers. We've hired 4 perl programmers over the last 10 months: the first was salary, the last 3 were contractors.
Besides networking, where do you prefer to do your job hunting? We used to love jobs.perl.org. While the rest of the company relied on recruiters, we developers had the luxury of a low-volume, high-quality source of applicants. However, the last few times we posted there we got a flood of very low-quality responses, and we've semi- given up on using the site. We've turned to the recruiters, and they're pretty good. From the best I can tell, they just get leads from the big sites like monster.com, but they filter out the junk and pre-interview candidates, saving us a lot of time and effort.
If I can offer one bit of advice: clean up your resume and make sure that you can explain all of the points mentioned in it. It amazes me how often people list some interesting-sounding project that they were responsible for, or some experience with a particular language/platform/db, but then cannot give a clear explanation of it. That completely undermines your credibility.
I'm curious, are many other monks part-time or full time managers? Surely I can't be the only one around here who eventually got pushed into management. After many years of being just a developer, I spent a couple of years doing half-and-half management/developing, and just this past year I've wound up doing full-time management when my boss retired.
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