2012 #Tech Job Market: To Stay or Not to Stay

Posted on September 26, 2012. Filed under: Job Market Trends | Tags: , |

by Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Good News for Some Technical Sectors

ExecuNet released its Job Market Intelligence Report for 2012 not too long ago. With a 14% increase in job placements (assignments) expected throughout 2012, the top 3 growth industries or sectors are projected to be 1) Healthcare, 2) Technology, and 3) Manufacturing. Of course, the number of technology-related positions in the healthcare and manufacturing segments has grown tremendously. So, for IT and technical candidates, this is a good sign for the upcoming year (check out some more 2012 figures).

6 Months for a Job Search Is the Norm

For executive-level candidates, slightly more than half (52%) thought about a job change over the past 12 months. For those candidates that are conducting a job search now or have taken part in a job search over the past year, the expectation was that it would take nearly 6 months to complete the job search but that it would yield a salary or total compensation package increase of about 13%. The 6-month time frame is consistent with the results over the past several years, so there weren’t any apparent “breakthroughs” during 2011, which confirms what most job seekers have believed about the job market in 2011.

So Will You Stay or Will You Go?

Finally, 70% of executives anticipated low or relatively low turnover for the remainder of this year. This statistic cuts two ways. First, the most common view is that people view this figure as a favorable indication that the economy and the job market (and unemployment) have stabilized. So, we shouldn’t expect to see major layoffs or large-scale downsizing initiatives across the board–although some are going to occur regardless of how high or low the market goes. Of course, one can point to the fact that most organizations have gone through their exercise of “right-sizing” to flesh out the dead weight, get lean, cut costs, etc. As a result, there is little need to do more cutting in 2012 unless the economy takes a major turn for the worse. The second view–which still allows for the opinion above to be true–is that the expectation for little or low turnover is proof of just how tenuous the economy and job market really are. In our experience as resume writers and in the corporate world as hiring directors, when the economy is strong, people are more assertive in the job search. They hire resume writers to help them prepare the best possible document so that they reach for new heights and stretch for the dream job. When things are not looking strong, human nature is to hunker down, be cautious, play it safe, and weather the storm. People are more satisfied trying to hold on to what they have. In other words, for their own security, they decide to stay in their current job, thus reducing employment turnover expectations.

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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Hey, Consultants, You Are #Entrepreneurs Too

Posted on September 19, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Resumes | Tags: , , , |

IT contractorBy Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

There’s a lot of talk these days about taking on consulting roles when a permanent one just isn’t available. Although I understand the strategy, I do think the advice can be a bit flippant, as if being a consultant should just be a temporary thing and is only a means to an end. The problem is that being a consultant is really about being an entrepreneur, about running a business. And that is something that most people coming out of the corporate mindset have little experience with.

If you try to take on consulting work as just a side gig and, therefore, fail to approach it like a business, you will quickly realize that you are either selling yourself short or in over your head.

Consulting Is Work, Hard Work

As someone who has spent 9 years consulting, I can tell you it is the hardest work I have ever done. And it did not get easier until I started treating it like a real business. So I am not quick to advise my clients to jump into consulting roles as a simple stop-gap measure. First, it is insulting to all those who do consulting on a full-time basis (and very much see it as a “permanent” job). Second, not everyone is best suited for an entrepreneurial role.

Transitioning Out of Consulting Is Not Always That Easy

Third, it can be a tremendous challenge for someone whose background has been as an independent contractor or consultant, especially if it has been for an extensed period of time. Their positions tend to be short term in nature. Thus, when they go for an executive or management role, it usually results in their resume being excluded from consideration during the HR screening process.

The main reasons are:
1.The resume indicates job hopping.
2.The resume is not effectively branded for a corporate executive leadership role.
3.The resume is so long that most people won’t want to read it.

Show You’re a Team Player

Creating an effective technical resume for an executive-level candidate that has been an IT consultant or contractor (the background of my clients) is not impossible. Creating common entries and listing client engagements within the entry can improve the appearance of longevity and help to streamline the resume so that all the appropriate information can be presented in 3 pages or less.

By focusing on what you achieved at each client, it places the emphasis of your experience on the elements that will resonate best with hiring executives and recruiters. Highlighting some of these key ingredients in the resume’s executive summary will help focus your message to the reader more clearly, creating a compelling value proposition as a technical executive.

Also, reinforcing the idea that just because you were “independent” once doesn’t mean you don’t know how to join and participate in a team.

So before you rush off to be a consultant, take some time and really think it through. What if you can’t transition into a “permanent” corporate role anytime soon? Do you know how to run a business effectively? Are you committed to providing a top-notch service and to fulfilling your commitments all the way, not just until you get a job?

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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IT: 10 Reasons IT Has a Bad Reputation

Posted on May 7, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Technology | Tags: , , , , |

IT jobsBy Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

A May 5th article in TechRepublic.com (10 Reasons IT Pros Get a Bad Rap) provides a list of reasons why there is such a negative perception of the IT department in general and IT workers specifically.

Three of the ten reasons listed I don’t agree with whole-heartedly. #1 :”We’re considered too well-paid;” #8: “We suffer from the Golden Boy syndrome;” and #9: “We are indispensable” are not really true anymore…although they were about a decade ago.

With all of the IT outsourcing happening, IT is no longer the hot and happening place it used to be. It’s more of a commodity field now, and nearly any IT job is “dispensable”…meaning it can be outsourced.

The rest of the items on the list can be solved and remedied with the right touch. All it takes is a dedication and focus in one particular area to turn the tide. That area is “Engagement.” Of course, to make the transition complete, the IT group has to effectively execute on the promises it makes. But it all starts with engagement.

Last month, we posted a blog focused on the IT group and how they struggle effectively engaging the rest of the business. You can read that post here.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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