Turnabout is fair play
As the recovery continued, skilled IT staff became scarce; they could command higher salaries, a return of benefits that had been suspended during the economic downturn (don’t you love euphemisms?), and they weren’t shy about leaving a given company for a better opportunity.
Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot, and good-paying IT jobs were so plentiful that prospects could be very selective.
Modern Times and IT Staffing
We seem to have reached a temporary equilibrium once again where available candidates and available jobs are proportionate. If you want one of the more challenging or lucrative positions, it is once again time to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
The hiring market is going to continue to expand, and demand will grow. We’re on the verge of seeing another shortage as the last of the Baby-Boomers retire, resulting in a huge gap between the numbers of people required vs. the numbers available. You can get a job in this market, so don’t panic, but for now, it’s time once again to paint yourself as a Jack- (or Jill) -of-All-Trades.
Don’t be a One-Trick Pony
If you’re a programmer but have some parallel skills in Networking, or Security, don’t downplay them. Hiring managers have already been through a shortage of candidates, and the clever ones know it’s going to happen again.
If they don’t have your ideal position now, they are likely to hire you in another position for a couple of years to have you on stand-by. This will give you an opportunity to acquire new skills and broaden your horizons.
The reverse is also true, of course, if you have a hardware background and some experience in programming. You’ll customize your skills-description for the job you want. Be sure to mention that you “started as Network Security for two years before switching to programming," or whatever the case may be, and if you see their ears perk up, be prepared to go into it a bit deeper.
If you are an expert in C++, and you’ve been experimenting with RUBY or Python because it’s interesting, don’t be afraid to mention that. You might end up getting some support to expand your knowledge in that area because that happens to be something that they were considering for App Development, even though it hasn’t been mentioned to you before.
In the long term view of the Dallas IT staffing market, it doesn’t matter if you get the precise technical job that you want as much as it matters that you get into the company for which you wish to work. You’re getting paid to obtain additional experience, which will make you more valuable. You’re already working for the company you want to work for, gaining familiarity with their methods and systems. Now you possess the inside track, in terms of unadvertised job postings and you’re already known to the person who will eventually do the hiring.
When a company can hire from inside itself, it saves vast amounts of time, and an enormous amount of money, which is ordinarily spent on advertising, selecting, interviewing, background checks, and vetting. If they can accomplish the same thing by an internal transfer, it probably saves the company two or three times your annual salary.
The value of being employed, present, onsite, and handy cannot be overstated. You don’t need to obtain your ideal job if this is truly the company you want to work for. Using this strategy, you haven’t just gotten your foot in the door; you’ve created a gap through which you could drive a truck!
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