Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Musings on Jobs and Economy

The direction of economy hinges on Jobs, and jobs in the Information Technology sector has been fluid at best. Those who habitually read the newspapers, blogs and other media sources are bound to be bewildered by the swings in topics. A sampling of headlines from USA today in the span of few months



And this is just a few examples from a single newspaper. Most media outlets have similar contradicting stories coming out every day, which is enough to leave many bewildered. This said there is element of job-hopping and opportunity, especially for skilled professionals.


Here is a straw poll: Among the couple of hundred professional associates spread across the globe that are connected with me on LinkedIn, over 30-40 had a job/role change in the past six months. In percentage terms it translates to about 15-20 percent, which in the tech sector is a reasonable attrition. Another set of data points: I travel extensively on business either for client engagements or for meetings and pre-sales presentations. At airports across the country and in hotels and at Car rental outlets, I continue to see a large number of fellow consultants. Perhaps the reason WSJ continues to feature articles and blogs on Health Woes of Business Travel. Sure there has been a cutback in such travel and expnse accounts but as economic activities continue at a slower pace, so do consulting and the travel that comes with it.


In my current role of the Lead Architect for a key client, I have been interviewing candidates to fill in eCommerce and Data Warehousing roles, a situation where the demand is exceeding supply of the pool. Of course, in case of my employer, the supply is also constrained by the number of ‘visa ready’ folks who can travel onsite to client locations in the US. To be fair, it is a challenge most other offshore outsourcing firms are facing too. Local hiring is certainly an option I and colleagues continue to pursue, provided candidates are willing to be mobile.
On the flip side, my LinkedIn profile has also been attracting a number of queries from headhunters looking to "urgently fill" key technology roles, which is perhaps a silver lining in the gloomy economic cloud.

Bottomline: for journalists, jobs and economy is yet another hot-button topic but for those of us who are a part of the real economy, pursuing jobs and opportunities is something we will continue to do.