4 Boundaries Remote Tech Workers Need to Set Between Home and Work Time

It’s Not Business. It’s Not Personal. It’s Both When You’re Setting Boundaries as a Remote Tech Worker. When your office exists in the same place as your bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, and living room, the boundaries remote tech workers need to set between home and work time can be critical to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. For all of its upsides, remote work presents many challenges for tech workers who can unhealthily and unproductively blur the line between their personal and professional lives. Boundaries remote tech workers in Dallas, Phoenix, and across the nation establish between these two worlds serve many purposes. Such limits prevent their job obligations from following them 24 hours a day. They help employees make time for self-care and wellness. They ensure that spouses, kids, friends, and family get undivided attention and time needed for strong and healthy relationships. And boundaries also help keep employees focused, productive, and engaged during those hours they are on the clock. Here are four boundaries remote tech works should incorporate into their work from home lifestyle. Remote Tech Workers Boundaries: Have a Workplace to Go To Perhaps the best way to separate work from home is to do so physically. Whatever the size of your home or its layout, find one dedicated room or area that you claim as your workspace. Let those you live with know that when you’re there, you’re on the job and they should treat you as such. Hang a “Do-Not-Disturb” sign on the door or the back of your chair to remind folks to leave you alone. To the extent you can, keep your workspace away from where people frequently congregate, such as the kitchen. Set up a desk as you would in your office or cubicle and use the space exclusively for work. Have a Daily “Commute” You’d be hard-pressed to find a remote worker who misses being stuck in traffic or shoehorned into a crowded commuter train to get to and from their office. But for many people, that time allowed them to catch up on the news, listen to their favorite podcast, read a few pages in a novel, or just zone out. It was time that marked the transition from home to work and vice versa, allowing folks to psych up and wind down. Now that your commute consists of a staircase or a hallway, find a way to recreate that mental transition. Go for a brisk walk at the start of the day and when you clock out. Read or listen to things that bring you happiness, inspiration, or enrichment. Drive to a nearby coffee kiosk, grab a coffee and call a co-worker and chat casually about non-work stuff. Dress Up Or Dress Down. Just Get Dressed. When the work dress code changes from business professional to entirely your own, feel free to take advantage of it. If you prefer to work in sweats, shorts, yoga pants, hoodies, and t-shirts, do so. But you can make that all-important transition between work and home more real just by getting dressed in the morning rather than starting work in what you wore to bed. Of course, you’ll want to have a dress shirt or blouse at the ready for those Zoom meetings, even if you’re wearing shorts out of camera range. You don’t want to become another Zoom meeting wardrobe fail on the internet! Clock In and Clock Out Of all the boundaries remote tech workers establish, distinguishing between work hours and personal time can be the hardest. When technology allows superiors, coworkers, clients, and others to reach you 24/7, it is up to you to draw a line in the sand as to when and whether to read or respond. When there’s always more work to do and your desk and computer are only steps away, it requires discipline to keep your job from taking over your life. If your Dallas, Phoenix, or nationwide company expects you to work and be available during specific hours, do so. If you can work when you like, do so. But whenever that time you set for work ends, turn off your computer, silence your work email, text, or Slack alerts, and direct your attention to the rest of your life. And make sure to still take a lunch break! It can be tempting to work through lunch and eat at your desk, but just as you’re required to take a lunch break at the office, do so at home as well. That hour mental shut off will do more for your productivity than working through it. The Boundaries Remote Tech Workers Put Up Shouldn’t Include Limits on Their Opportunities Whether you are a talented tech professional working from home or you spend your days in an office, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you move your career forward, no matter where you work today. Read More on Technical Job Staffing How to Handle the “Desired Salary Question” Like a Boss Remote Work: Wellness for Tech Employees Working From Home Nice to Meet You: Writing the Perfect Tech Job Cover Letter

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How to Stay Connected With Colleagues When Working From Home

Stay Connected with Colleagues: Technology Can Keep Us Together While We’re Apart When your desk sits feet away from a coworker, when you say “Hi” to folks passing in the hallway, or when you spend time eating lunch together or grabbing after-work drinks, it’s easy to stay connected with colleagues. But when a workforce works from home, maintaining the team cohesion that is so essential to a company’s success and employees’ job satisfaction can be a daunting task. For all of the awfulness that 2020 has brought, we can at least be grateful that we live in a time when technology allows us to have ongoing communication and connection between employees who work miles or time zones apart. Leveraging that technology in positive and creative ways is the key to helping employees stay connected with colleagues. Here are five ways that businesses can keep their workers in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide together while they are apart. Virtual Coffee Breaks to Stay Connected with Colleagues For many folks, grabbing that first cup of coffee in the office breakroom is essential for starting their workday. But it’s not just the caffeine that helps people get going. It’s the interactions with coworkers who get to catch up while they’re brewing their java or toasting their bagel. Employers may want to set up a video chatroom link for employees to join in the morning before hunkering down for work. Those five or ten minutes spent shooting the breeze or sharing a laugh can be as energizing as a triple espresso. Virtual Happy Hours Relaxing with coworkers for after-work cocktails at the end of a long day or week is one of the many joys that the pandemic has put a damper on. But just because there’s no bartender pouring drinks doesn’t mean that colleagues can’t hang out and relax together over their favorite adult beverages. Whether it’s in a big Zoom group or just two coworkers getting together virtually, a virtual happy hour can create an excellent way for people to stay connected with colleagues in an informal, casual setting. Host Virtual Fitness and Wellness Classes Staying healthy and fit – both physically and mentally – has been one of the bigger challenges of working from home. But a workforce’s well-being directly impacts a company’s performance, and therefore, companies should take affirmative steps to encourage wellness. Host classes, seminars, and workshops focused on employee wellness. Bring in nutritionists, trainers, and mental health experts to discuss the challenges employees face. Offer fitness classes accessible to employees of all abilities, and host virtual cooking classes featuring healthy and nutritious meal ideas. Bring Out the Competitive Spirit Most folks love games, competition, and winning. That’s why “gamification” became such a business buzzword. Leverage a workforce’s competitive spirit by setting up virtual games and challenges. Trivia contents are popular and easy to put together using Zoom or Slack or similar platforms. Some professional trivia companies that usually host pub trivia contests have transitioned to doing the same thing virtually for businesses. Colleagues can compete individually or in teams. Wellness challenges have proven to be an effective strategy for encouraging healthy habits and reducing illness among employees. Establish and promote a variety of wellness and fitness challenges, with workers reporting their accomplishments and receiving rewards for participating or winning a given competition. These challenges can include: Walking/steps challenges Nutrition and diet challenges Mindfulness and mental health challenges Healthy habit challenges Sleep challenges Stay Connected With Colleagues by Connecting the Kids Grown-ups aren’t the only ones feeling isolated from their colleagues during the pandemic. Kids miss their schoolmates as they learn from home while their parents try to get work done in the next room. Many folks have had the embarrassing experience of an unwanted cameo appearance from one of their children during a videoconference or virtual meeting. Why not welcome them once in a while by connecting them with colleagues’ kids. If a meeting wraps up early, ask other participants if their kids want to chat with your kids and make new friends. GTN Technical Staffing Connects the Right Tech Employees With the Right Tech Companies No matter what role you play in the tech industry or the kind of position you’re looking for, GTN Technical Staffing in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Job Recruiting How to Provide Interview Training to Hiring Managers Last Minute Gift Ideas for Remote Tech Employees 4 Boundaries Remote Tech Workers Need to Set Between Home and Work Time

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Remote Work: Wellness for Tech Employees Working from Home

Staying Healthy While Staying Home: Wellness for Tech Employees Of the multitude of challenges that tech companies in Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide face as they navigate the current pandemic, ensuring wellness for tech employees may not seem like a high priority item. But maintaining the health and well-being of an IT company’s workforce, especially as more employees work from home, has a direct impact on the bottom line. Sick days and lost hours, reduced productivity, increased healthcare costs, and diminished employee job satisfaction – all of these can cost companies millions of dollars each year. For tech employees who work from home, staying mentally and physically fit can be a tall order. No more walking to the office or even just down the hallway to chat with coworkers. Lockdowns and social distancing limit gym access. A beckoning kitchen full of snacks. The stress of the pandemic and isolation from friends and colleagues increasing feelings of anxiety and depression. Notwithstanding these impediments, maintaining a sense of wellness for tech employees who work from home does not have to be difficult. Here are four ways companies can help their homebound IT professionals stay happy and healthy. Wellness for Tech Employees with a Remote Health and Well-Being Hub Leverage the tools and technology that facilitate remote work to encourage wellness activities and provide health resources to your workforce. Create a shared folder in Google Drive or establish a Slack channel focused on health and well-being. Provide links to exercise and nutrition videos and articles, share healthy recipes and exercise tips, and allow employees to post their own wellness ideas. Host Virtual Fitness and Wellness Classes Yes, we all experience “Zoom fatigue” from time to time. But that doesn’t change the reality that virtual meetings are essential to maintain connection and communication among a remote workforce. Host classes, seminars, and workshops focused on wellness for tech employees. Bring in nutritionists, trainers, and mental health experts to discuss the challenges employees face and provide tips and guidance for workers who may be struggling to stay fit and healthy. Offer fitness classes accessible to employees of all abilities, and host virtual cooking classes featuring nutritious meal ideas. Establish Fitness and Wellness Challenges Tech workers love games, competition, and winning. The “gamification” of wellness has proven to be an effective strategy for encouraging healthy habits and reducing illness among high tech employees. Establish and promote a variety of wellness and fitness challenges with workers reporting their accomplishments and receiving rewards for participating or winning a given competition. These challenges can include: Walking/step challenges Nutrition and diet challenges Mindfulness and mental health challenges Healthy habit challenges Sleep challenges Promote Mental Health Awareness and Provide Mental Health Resources Recent research reveals that the pandemic has taken a devastating toll on our collective mental health, with skyrocketing rates of depression, substance abuse, and related problems. Tech employees in Dallas and across the country who work from home need to recognize, understand, and acknowledge common emotional and psychological issues and adopt approaches to deal with them in a productive and healthy way. Emphasize the importance of mental health and create an environment that encourages employees to reach out for help without worrying about how it may look or whether seeking help will have a negative impact on their job. Provide them with resources for obtaining the help they need, and promote discussion and support groups that can connect remote employees who may feel lonely and isolated from the team. The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has a terrific workplace health wellness resource center that employers and employees alike can use to reduce risks, improve quality of life, and promote wellness for tech employees working from home. Wellness for Tech Employees Starts with Getting the Right Job. GTN Technical Staffing Can Help No matter what role you play in the tech industry or the kind of position you’re looking for, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Staffing How to Stay Connected With Colleagues When Working From Home How Will COVID-19 Shape Recruiting and Hiring in the Tech Sector 6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview

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Make Your IT Career Recession-Proof the Proper Way

What You Need to Do to Ride the Storm Out Along with social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, making your career recession-proof is an essential element of protecting yourself during these uncertain times. Even before the pandemic, many economists saw a recession looming right around the corner. Now, aided by COVID-19, the recession has arrived with a vengeance, with the economy shedding millions of jobs a week, countless companies shutting their doors, and whole industries undergoing dramatic changes in the way they do business. Individuals in the IT industry are not immune from this economic fallout, even those who have yet to face furloughs or downsizing. But just as tech companies plan ahead for uncharted waters, so too should tech professionals. Planning means taking proactive, creative, and sometimes uncomfortable steps that can help you ride this storm out as well as any others the future may bring. Here are four things tech workers can do to make their IT career recession-proof the proper way. 1. Raise Your Profile to Keep Your Tech Career Recession-Proof Even if you consider yourself something of an introvert, as many IT folks do, now is not the time to keep to yourself. Instead, make this the time to build connections, increase your networking activity, and expand your circle of professional relationships. Engage with colleagues both within and outside of your current organization, either directly or through social media. Contribute to conversations and dialogue about relevant topics and issues. Participate in webinars and other professional education programs, including acting as a panelist, speaker, or presenter yourself. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and other aspects of your online presence put you in the best light and contain the most up-to-date information about your career and achievements. 2. Make Yourself Uncomfortable When things are going swimmingly, it’s understandable to want to stay in your comfort zone. Why rock the boat? But when the sailing becomes rough and you find yourself and your career battered by strong economic headwinds, getting out of your comfort zone may be the thing that keeps you afloat. (My apologies if all those sailing metaphors made you queasy.) Going outside your comfort zone can mean many things. You can expand your skill sets and explore opportunities that you may not have considered under normal circumstances. If you are out of work, use that found time to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology and the industry. Even outside of the professional context, trying bold, new activities that push and test you can give you the confidence to do the same in your career. 3. Be Agile and Open to Change People tend to be creatures of habit, even in the always-changing world of IT. But now the world itself has changed in ways that seemed almost unimaginable just a short time ago. You need to recognize that the way you’ve done things, the way all of your training and experience told you how to do your job, may not make as much sense anymore Tech companies are rapidly redefining roles and responsibilities. You need to understand what drives these changes and educate yourself as to the direction the industry is heading to keep your career recession-proof. That means building yourself a business mindset, alongside your well-developed technical one. Stay up to date on industry news and get a sense of the big picture that frames your corner of the IT world. 4. Be Ready for New Opportunities that Can Make Your Career Recession-Proof If you are fortunate enough to still be working at the IT position you had before the pandemic struck, you could just count your blessings, keep your head down, and do your job. But doing that will leave you vulnerable and unprepared if and when the economic fallout from the pandemic and the recession falls on you. Keep an eye on top IT recruiting sites, job boards, and company career pages to get a sense of who is hiring and what positions are open. Be prepared to pounce on new opportunities by keeping your resume fresh and ready to send at a moment’s notice. GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting the Right Tech Talent With the Right Tech Companies Whether you are looking for a permanent position or temporary, contract-based work in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. In boom times, as well as times of economic uncertainty, we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Contact us to speak with a tech recruiter today to learn more. Read More on Tech Job Tips Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later?  6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview You Don’t Need a Recruiter

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Will Taking Contract Work Hurt My Career and Chances at a Corporate Job Later?

In the Gig Economy, Contract Work Isn’t the Red Flag It Used to Be As many tech workers spend months or years on temporary or contract gigs, whether out of economic necessity or personal choice, they may ask themselves, “Will contract work hurt my career?” Meaning, will doing what you need to do or prefer to do to make a living in the tech sector today damage your prospects for permanent, steady, corporate employment tomorrow? While every employer works differently and will take their own approach to evaluating a candidate’s work history, contract work is no longer the red flag it may have been in decades past. In reality, most folks making hiring decisions understand that the world has changed. Hiring managers and tech recruiters know that contract work in the “gig economy” is no longer an outlier or a sign that a candidate is somehow “less than” just because they work on a contract basis. That said, employers do want to see certain qualities in the people they hire for essential roles. Therefore, extended periods or multiple stints of contract work may be called into question. So, you ask, “will taking contract work hurt my career in the tech sector?” So long as you have a compelling and understandable explanation for working temporary or short-term gigs and can demonstrate talent, commitment, and consistency as through lines in your work history, such work should not hurt your chances for a long-term corporate job Contract Work Probably Won’t Hurt Your Career – Especially Now As is the case in almost every other sector of the economy, tech companies increasingly rely on contract workers as a core part of their business model rather than as a way to fill in talent gaps here and there. It isn’t unusual for a company to have more temp workers than full-time salaried staff. Google, for example, employs more than 130,000 people on a contract or temp basis. That exceeds its 123,000 full-time employees. Many companies even incorporate a contract work option in their job search function. Given that tech companies are in constant need of talented contract workers, they are unlikely to see such work as unusual when it appears on an applicant’s resume. They know that top-notch programmers and others take temp gigs because temporary contracts often pay extremely well while offering exciting or interesting challenges. Contract work may only become more acute given the instability and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. When long-term planning becomes more difficult, short-term hiring becomes a way to address immediate needs without making lengthy commitments that could backfire if economic conditions worsen. Companies Recognize the Appeal or Necessity of Contract Work Tech companies recognize that the economic conditions that gave rise to the “gig economy” play a significant role in why so many people in the industry take on temp work. But they also understand that other factors may make contract work either a necessity or an appealing option at certain junctures in a person’s career. Perhaps someone needed to take care of an ill family member and needed the flexibility that comes with a contract position. Maybe a new parent took some time away from their full-time career to raise their children but still wanted to keep their skills fresh and remain connected to their chosen profession. As employers are now more generally attuned to issues of work-life balance and career paths that don’t always follow a straight line, they also will get how contract work fits into these paradigms. “Will Contract Work Hurt My Career?” Not If You Can Prove You Have the Goods Historically, hiring managers saw “job hopping” as a potential sign that a candidate either lacked the commitment to stay in a job or had issues that led to their frequent and repeated departures from positions. But such transitions are simply part of the deal in contract work. Projects end. New opportunities arise. Moving from one gig to another is more just the ebb and flow of being a contractor than a sign of wanderlust or incompetence. When a tech interviewer asks about your time doing contract work, explain why you took the position and why you (or the project) moved on. With those issues out of the way, the focus will turn to the substantive work you performed and how the experiences contribute to your qualifications for the open position. Whether you are moving on from a term gig or a corporate job, you still need to show that you have the goods. The quality of temporary work you performed proves just as important as it would be in a long-term job, and the people you worked for or with on a contract project can still provide you with positive references. Finally, remember that in almost all circumstances, a period of contract work on your resume is better than a period of no work at all. Companies would rather hire someone who demonstrates a solid work ethic and commitment to building their skill set than someone who sat around for months doing nothing. GTN Technical Staffing: Connecting Talented Tech Workers to the Industry’s Best Jobs Whether you are looking for temporary, contract-based work or a permanent position in the tech industry, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. We are a leading technical staffing solutions company, encompassing SOW, staff augmentation, and direct hiring placement for Fortune 2000 companies. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate an ever-changing tech employment landscape. Read More on Technical Job Hiring 6 Tips for Acing a Video Technical Job Interview 10 Interviewing Tips for Tech Hiring Managers for 2020 Contract or Permanent Work? Here’s How to Decide

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Hot Coffee Here: A Look At Contract Java Developer Opportunities

contract java developer

Why Java?  As a source for companies and job seekers around the world, it doesn’t take much for us to keep tabs on the jobs that we see in the highest demand. One of the most consistently demanded jobs is contracted Java developers. It’s for this reason that we wanted to give you an inside look at why we believe this job is so highly sought after.  Stick with Java Coffee Java and computing Java actually do have something in common. Have you ever heard the old saying: if it ain’t broke, dont fix it?   In a world of fancy energy drinks, coffee is the classic that works for everyone. Java as a programming platform in many ways is universal. It may not be the fanciest, but it gets the job done. The greatest component for Java’s survival in the marketplace is its compatibility. It has been around so long due to its relative uniformity across all systems. While it may not be the most efficient type of programming, the coding language provides flexibility. Whether the code was written 25 years ago when the computing platform was first used or 25 min ago, it runs the same. In a world of rapidly changing technology, that kind of reliability is hard to find and hard to beat.  The Java Job Market Much of the opportunity we see for this skill is contract work, each job requiring something a little different. Most contract jobs span anywhere from 4-8 months in length. We find that the longer a programmer works with a client the greater the chance of rehire and follow up in the future. Being skilled in this department provides ample opportunity now and later down the road.  Being the Best Barista While Java often gets written off as the older language, updates are being made often so that it can do all the same things that other programming languages do. Staying up to date with each update is crucial. While many of the updates seem to be incremental, being fluent in each update can be a differentiator in contract work, as the people you are appealing to often are not as versed as you in the language.  Java Spring 5.0 Framework supports a wide variety of applications and could be helpful in solving several client scenarios. Spring focuses on the “plumbing” of enterprise applications so that teams can focus on application-level business logic, without unnecessary ties to specific deployment environments. The innovation was brought about nearly 17  years ago, but recent changes have made it more user friendly and more helpful across a variety of platforms.  It would also be helpful to master the art of creating Android apps with Java. With mobile app downloads reaching nearly 20 billion a quarter, providing a piece of this market share to your clients would pose as a benefit. For more opportunities and other industry advice, visit us to discuss your future career today. Also, keep tabs on our job list, we are constantly updating it with your next project.   

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You Don’t Need a Recruiter

With today’s technology there are online job boards that allow you to search all day and night for a job that interests you. Many of them will even notify you when they think they have one you would be interested in. Sounds perfect, right? And in the technology world, no one needs to tell you how well a computer can think like a human. It’s okay to laugh at that last statement because you know better than anyone that even the smartest technology boils down to a series of numbers. While technology has taken over many aspects of our world, and continues to improve everyday, there are some things that just require human contact.  Computers need someone at the helm telling them what to do–it’s simply the way the world works. Relationships A recruiter will take time to understand what you want out of a career. Often recruiters know the right questions to ask to make you think through what you truly want.  You may think you want to shift gears completely and take on an entirely new occupation.  However, maybe your desire to change jobs has less to do with what you are doing and more to do with the company and culture you are doing it for.  The impact your work community has on your daily satisfaction can not be understated.  Disliking your boss or coworkers can easily translate into disliking everything about work, including your duties and responsibilities.  Consider finding a job at an organization that is more aligned with your values and character traits. This may be achievable by changing the size of the company you work for. While there is not a blanketing list of characteristics that every big company has, nor a list for smaller ones, there’s no doubt that the culture does change with size.  A recruiter, especially one who has been in the area and field for some time,  knows and understands the reputation of the companies around them.  Many companies do exit interviews. For many recruiters, the initial interview with you will cover a multitude of the same topics as the company exit interview.  For example, you may be asked why you left, what you liked about your position, compared to what you didn’t particularly enjoy. All of these, and many more, paint a picture of a company, providing the recruiter insider information on what working for that particular company looks like. What may not have worked out for one person, may be perfect for another. What a Recruiter Needs A great recruiter wants to understand what a candidate wants and needs for career satisfaction, compensation and what is needed to maintain balance within the candidate’s family. However, he can only understand what you allow him to. There is no possible way that being 100% transparent with your recruiter could hurt you. He wants both you and the client to be successful together, and the more he knows the better.  Even if you are just exploring your options and haven’t quite decided to jump ship yet tell him that. It may change the tone of the meeting to more of a pros and cons discussion. While if you are dead set on leaving, the recruiter won’t waste your time convincing you to stay or negotiate pay.  Recruiters are in the business of efficiency. The goal is to save you the time, energy, and hassle of the exhaustive process of job hunting as well as to have a sounding board for what your next career step could be. At the end of the day transparency helps them help you.  Reputation If you think of recruiting from a business perspective, a recruiter has done a job well done when they have a satisfied customer, the same as you.  The finished product is your satisfying career.  A word from our recruiters: “A great recruiter wants the candidate to achieve long-term success in the role he/she is placed, because that is how clients judge the recruiter. We want our clients to be happy. Happy employees do amazing work.” So you may think that you don’t need a recruiter or that you can explore your options all alone. And that may be true. But when something comes up at work that you don’t know how to handle, you go down the hall to the guy who is an expert because he knows how to handle it. When working on a project, everyone on the team has a task and a job. No one tries to handle the whole thing by themselves (or maybe they do and that’s why you want to leave).  Recruiters are in the business of you. They are on your team and they want to help you. So rely on your team. You could do it yourself, but you will likely have a better finished product, or in this case, career,  if you use your team.   

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Do I Stay or Do I Go?

Have you ever contemplated quitting your job for something better? Are you having those thoughts now?  If you’re wondering if the grass is greener in neighboring pastures, know that you are not alone. Nearly half of all employees have contemplated leaving their current place of work according to the Society of Human Resource Management.  Reasons for Leaving Wanting a change of scenery can be for any number of reasons.  A common reason employees leave a company is simply because “the company isn’t doing well.” Rumors such as these can swirl fast around the water cooler and our recruiters have often seen that they are simply not true. Try to find some real evidence of this before you jump ship solely for this reason. One reason that can be hard to argue with is compensation. If you feel your time with the company and your talent should be yielding a higher pay, finding a job where you feel more appreciated may be a good idea. There are still few things to consider before jumping ship though. Lastly, if you are contemplating leaving your job, and co-workers seem to be high on the list of reasons for doing so, know this: You are not tattle telling or bailing for petty reasons. Coworkers can be like annoying office siblings and your frustrations are valid.  Managers also play a big role in determining company culture and the daily work dynamics. 1 in 3 say their manager doesn’t know how to lead them and nearly the same amount of people say that “their manager doesn’t encourage a culture of open and transparent communication”.  Co-worker tension is a problem for many Americans, which becomes a drain on company culture. 3 out of 10 employees will even site poor workplace culture as a reason they are irritable at home.  Decisions, Decisions It’s a strategic decision to make yourself the most valuable team member as possible, making you an asset to your current company and a valuable hire elsewhere. This can be done in a number of ways, such as sharpening your technical skill set and being a productive team member throughout projects.  Many companies you interview with will take a careful look at your work history. You will want something to show for it. This means you should have both technical and soft skills that were gained at each place of work, proving that your time at your previous employer was well spent. Soft skills can be anything from honed leadership to astute problem solving skills. You should try to understand other programs, or use the program you are an expert in, to add different strategic advantages to your toolbelt of skills. These, as well as obtaining new certifications are highly valuable in the job market. It is also important that you have specific examples to back such claims up. It’s not bragging on yourself, especially if the interviewer asked!  You will want to give them a reason why you are worth more to their company than you were to your old company. If you are looking to move up the ladder, increase your pay, or work in a more competitive or desirable position, your tenure should prove that you have what it takes.   Show Me The Money The company that could make you feel more appreciated could be the one you currently work for. While negotiating your pay can be difficult, it may be well worth your time as well as your company’s. The cost of hiring and training a new employee is very high.  There are also monetary costs, like consulting with a hiring agency or paying to post a job to a job board. Additionally, the loss in production from losing you can put added pressure on other coworkers, leading to poor quality and, potentially, loss of customers.  In many cases increasing your pay to keep you on board may be more cost efficient than onboarding a new employee.  Especially in a highly technical field, the training and certifications necessary to be an expert in a specific position can be very costly and take time to obtain. Time and money are two resources companies don’t like to waste.  Don’t Let History Repeat Itself Too Often Before you move on to a new job make sure it is one that you are confident you will like. Even if you have savings it is wise to have a job before you leave your current one unless there is a serious issue for leaving. This will help you take the right job to enhance your career, not simply be pressured into finding a job. This is a crucial part of your career because if your job history reads like a who’s who of the industry, employers may be wary of hiring you. While moving on from one job to the next is simply the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, the chapters can accumulate into a novel, or even worse a series.  Your past tells a story and it is very possible that you will be asked why you left, so be thoughtful as to why you are leaving and how you have improved in your time at your last job.  Considering whether or not it’s time for you to move on from your current place of employment can be a big step, but carefully considering your options will allow you to feel like your decision is a sound one. Know that the answer is not always black and white, and you may have more options than you realize. So, be patient and look for something that will satisfy both you and your career long term.   

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Contract or Permanent Work? Here’s How to Decide.

In recent years the growth of non-traditional modes of working has grown greatly, many of which are fueled by silicon valley industries. According to the New York Times the occupation of contract or temporary work has grown by 9.4 million from 2005-2015. While some of those numbers are due to transportation networking companies like Lyft or Uber, the increase in this occupation style can not be ignored. Have you been considering a job change? Understanding the components of each type of work is important to understand what would suit you best. Both job types have unique advantages and disadvantages that when applied to your life could be ideal. Below are some things to consider when debating what type of work you want to do. Contract Work         Permanent Work Depending on your personality, your unique relationship with your coworkers in both modes of occupation can enhance your job experience. If you are the type of person who hears your significant other tell you about a dinner with the new neighbors on Friday night and you mumble something under your breath before saying yes  – meeting new people may not be your thing. Being a contracted worker requires you to interact and meet new people – in fact, it’s a key component of your job. On the other hand, with permanent work, you are able to be as ingrained (or unplugged) as you want to be with your coworkers and the company culture within the bounds of what your company requires of course. Some team building activities are unavoidable. In both occupation types there is ample opportunity to become a problem solver for your company. Let’s face it, most people don’t understand the technicalities of your job.  In fact, they don’t have a clue. When you work for a company day in and day out you have the opportunity to be the go-to-guy for solving problems. When a coworker has a problem or a task, he knows what is within your realm of expertise and can come directly to you for your help. However that also opens up the opportunity to pigeonholed to a task or even simply keeping up with database or website maintenance. This varies drastically from company to company, so this would be something to inquire about in a job interview. As a contracted worker you are able to come into a business and act as a change catalyst for solving problems. If a company is contracting out to you it is asking to do something that no one within the company can handle. Many offices are subject to “normal thinking,” meaning that they tend to subconsciously handle situations the same way over and over again and fail to think outside of the box. They find a normal way of doing things and stick to it. As a contracted worker you have the ability to take the blinders off and a present new way to handle a variety of situations. Now that we have established some of the working conditions of both jobs let’s take a look at some of the logistics. If you have kids there are pros and cons to both forms of employment. As a parent having flexibility in your schedule can be a huge factor in your job satisfaction. The ability to be there when your kids need to be picked up, dropped off, etc., is something that is hard to put a monetary value on. As a contracted worker, you often have more options in dictating your schedule than most permanent workers do. This factor makes contracted employment very conducive to a family lifestyle. If you are the primary breadwinner, stashing away retirement, or supplying healthcare benefits for your household then you will need to do some more planning as a contractor. These are important perks for any job, but the level of necessity varies from household to household. The type of work you do will most likely be better compensated with contract work, meaning you will get paid more for doing the same thing a permanent worker would do. It just does not provide the benefits that permanent work does, so you have to provide those on your own. Your daily commute is something that you should consider. There is not a hard-fast rule with either one of the options because each varies greatly on the job itself- it doesn’t matter if it’s contracted or permanent. While your commute may vary depending on the job you take, when you need to be in the office may be one of the things you can negotiate with your contract for both types of work. This is one-way permanent work mirrors the tendencies of contracted work, it just depends on the job. Really the only difference in commute is that with a contracted job, the commute will vary job to job and permanent will provide a consistent commute.  However as a contractor you are expected to have to make long commutes sometimes if that is what the available job requires. All of these components are things that should be considered when contemplating what form of work is most conducive to the lifestyle you strive to live. Everyone’s situation is different and what they are comfortable with varies too. No matter what, you should seek to find a job that is both functional and provides you with the job satisfaction you want. If you would like to explore your options, click here to see what opportunities GTN Technical Staffing can help you find. New York Times Article Quoted

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Is Your Technical Recruiter Any Good?

How to Prepare for a Technical IT Job Interview

The Importance of  Technical Recruiters When you are looking for a new launching point in your IT career, it is important to find a technical recruiter who understands your values and priorities. Whether you already have a job and are looking for a change or are actively seeking a new gig, you need to be on the same page. When you invest in a technology recruiter, you are making an investment not only in yourself but investing a trust that they will help you find that next big step in your career. That isn’t something that should be taken lightly so vetting your technical recruiter is an important step in the job-seeking process. The Power of a Good IT Tech Recruiter Good recruiters at the best information technology staffing agencies will expand your horizons. You should be presented with opportunities that you didn’t know were even there, or ones that you didn’t think you were eligible for. It is important that you do sufficient research yourself so that you know what opportunities interest you most. But a technical recruiter who is well versed in the industry should be able to provide you with more personalized job opportunities, that your own searches haven’t produced. The applications of your skills and strategy should be tailored to each unique IT job opportunity that you are qualified for within the industry A key reason for using a technical recruiting firm is to find possibilities that you otherwise wouldn’t know about. There are a variety of reasons why this could be useful for you. If you are currently working, it can be difficult to juggle your job, a job search, and your everyday life. With all of this going on, there is no way you can scour every tech job opportunity to find the one that is best for you. Let a tech recruiter take one of those off your plate. When employers need to fill a position, there is no rule book that discusses how they are to communicate that job opening to the world. Most of our technical recruiters have been in this industry for years. So we have developed relationships with a variety of different companies, which gives us the advantage of the knowledge of job opportunities before they are posted on a job board. Characteristics of a Good Tech Recruiters Employment Status Before you commit to a technical recruiter, you should ask questions about his own experiences, much like an interview. Check to see how long he or she has been with the technical recruiting company and the information technology industry. If there is little experience under either one of these categories, he or she probably isn’t the best choice as your recruiter. For example, GTN recruiters have a deep knowledge of the technology industry, therefore they understand how your strengths can play into making you the perfect candidate for a company. Also, it’s ideal to have at least 3 years of experience and upwards of 10 is excellent. This time in the technical recruiting industry means more contacts and more valuable expertise that can be applied to your job search. Time with the company is important too. A high turnover rate within an organization may be a red flag of poor processes. Numbers Don’t Lie If you work in technology, you understand the power and certainty that reports can supply. If you want to understand the efficiency of a process, you run the numbers to assess the production. Now, apply the same logic to assessing a prospective technical recruiting agency, by asking how many successful placements have been made in the last month and in the last year. A productive number would be 3 placements a month per recruiter. This number allows for each recruiter to have a vested relationship with you, the client while finding opportunities in a timely fashion. Action Items When you leave your first meeting with your new tech recruiter you should have a clear understanding of what you should be expecting. Meaning,  you should have a timeline with detailed expectations of what will take place by that date. Action plans that are vague lead to unreliable recruiting efforts.  In this initial meeting, there should be an in-depth interview to understand your skill sets, aspirations, weaknesses and previous work experience so that your job opportunities can be successfully catered to you. This way, the recruiter can also make sure that the resume you are giving prospective employers is the best representation of you. You shouldn’t feel like you need to hide anything or over embellish to your recruiter, being completely honest is the best way to ensure that he or she fully comprehends your abilities. Time is of the Essence Since this is your career we are talking about, you should feel as though there is a sense of urgency in your plan. If you feel as though you have a strictly 8-5 recruiter, you may have the wrong guy (or girl). A tech recruiter who is willing to work late nights, early mornings, or even on the weekends is one who is truly committed to you. You should be in constant communication about any possible leads, including incongruities an opportunity has with things that are important to you. For example, if a job is in a different location or has a different payment structure than what you were expecting, a good recruiter should bring these issues to light. Your Tech Recruiter is Long Term Relationship This point of communication does not end once you have been placed either. A good recruiter will stay in touch, even after finding you a job, to ensure you are still satisfied with it. This allows him or her to stay up to date with your experiences and even recommend new opportunities to you that he thinks you would enjoy. That way if you ever become dissatisfied with your employment again, you have a relationship with someone who fully understands your experiences and can find you the next great job…

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Considering Software Developer Career Change Options? Read Our List of Similar IT Careers.

software developer career change options Dallas, Phoenix

Do you want to learn about software developer career change options? Are you considering a change? As the leading IT recruiter in Dallas, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, we often see IT types transition between a wide variety of positions.  It is not uncommon to see a Network Security Engineer who was a Software Engineer after starting in Product Development. If you’re currently a software developer, but you’re wondering career options to switch to something new, then this post might be helpful. In it, we explore career change options for software developers to consider.  We hope you enjoy it.

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Niche Programming Languages Give Software Developers an Edge in Productivity

software developer

The software developer is the wizard behind the curtain. Software developers are the ultimate designers that connect people to the latest technologies. The best software developers are creative and have the technical expertise to implement innovative ideas. Writing code is one-way developers create. Historically, program code was written in four different languages: Java, C#, C++ or SQL. However, a significant number of niche programming languages are beginning to blossom and provide solutions to common problems and increase productivity.  These niche programming languages are giving Dallas area software developers an edge in productivity.

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Dallas Tech Recruiter Explains Reskilling vs. Upskilling in Information Technology (IT)

tech recruiter

What’s the difference? The words sound similar but they possess significantly different meanings. Confusing one word for the other can make you look silly, or throw your boss into a panic if you say you want to reskill instead of upskill. “What? Do you want to change departments, or are you quitting?” “No, nothing like that! I just want to take a night course in Network Management so you can promote me.” “Oh! You want to upskill, not leave and start a completely different career… That’s a relief!” Hopefully, your boss isn’t that literal-minded, and just thought you were a bit dimwitted, rather than that you were abandoning the department.

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