Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting a Job in an EVEN TOUGHER Economy

Since the time that I wrote my original article on getting a job in a tough economy, the economy has gotten worse around the world. Unemployment rates are rising around the world, and businesses of all sizes are closing. We are in a global recession, and some economists are opining that we may be in the beginning of a depression.

On the plus side, the Information Technology market (in general) has not been affected by the recession as other markets such as manufacturing have been affected. On the minus side, most companies are looking to slash costs. Unfortunately, one of the places where companies will slash costs is Information Technology. Translation: spending on projects, new technologies, and human resources will be cut or suspending, and outsourcing to countries who pay workers less than their American counterparts will be an option again.

In a bad economy, it's an employers' market. Employers are choosier in selecting candidates for positions. Some employers will go so far as to pass over a job candidate if they don't meet the exact requirements for the job. The reason why employers are choosier because companies are watching their spending in the rough economy, and the employers want to make sure that they get a maximum return on investment on their human resource.

What do you need to do to get a job in a tough economy?

  • Re-read my original article on getting a job in a tough economy. All of those tips will help you with distinguishing yourself from the other job seekers.

  • You can no longer rely on being a pure "digithead" anymore. You need to be business-savvy as well. Unfortunately, a number of IT workers focus only on being an expert in their chosen technology, which leaves them lacking in the following skill set that companies also want in their IT workers:

    • They don't understand general business operations

    • They don't know how to devise solutions under time and budget constraints.

    • They don't understand how to devise solutions that increases worker productivity or improves a worker's day-to-day job

    You need to know general information about your company's industry and how IT impacts the company's "bottom line". Do you know how to implement IT solutions that will increase productivity, reduce errors, reduce costs, make the company an industry leader, make compliance with government regulations easier, and increase profits without spending a lot of money? Do you know the restrictions that you have to follow because the company's industry has strict government regulations?

  • The New York Times wrote an article about US Cities in recession and US cities that are actually growing or not affected by the recession.
    New York Times: For Most Cities, Recession Has Arrived

  • You have to resign yourself to the fact that you may have to relocate. This is tricky, and I understand that it may be a difficult decision because of financial or familial reasons. However, it's an option that many workers are taking because they need to pay the bills. It may be an option that you have to consider.

  • Network, network, network! Remember the "six degrees of separation" principle - there are up to six degrees of separation between you and the person who can help you find the job. The people in your immediate network may not be able to directly find you work, but there may be people in their own immediate network that may be able to help you. Here's a perfect example of the "six degrees of separation" principle: a friend of my mother's recently was laid off from her marketing job at a retirement community. My mother couldn't find her anything, but she told me about her friend's plight. I knew that the school where I teach was looking for a community relations representative. I told my mother, who then told her friend, about the position.

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