The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. (Rod Serling)
IBM consolidated all of the development work for one of its major initiatives in Bangalore. I can’t even find Bangalore on a map without taking a few minutes. At first I thought it was the capital of Maine. (My wife says to tell you this is supposed to be a joke.)
In my business, recruiting, some parts are being offshored. Sales companies are sending telemarketing offshore. Engineering is going to cheaper climes. Data entry is sent to other countries through our great telecommunications system. And many companies no longer have permanent offices or cubicles for large numbers of their “thought” workers. They work from home or on the road.
It is a fact of life. Manufacturers had to face the music decades ago. Now it is everyone else’s turn. The economics of a world economy are not going away. You need to assess your skills and job starkly. Can your job be sent to Vietnam or Indonesia? What do you offer that is superior to their college educated workforce?
David Foote defined three categories of “offshore-resistant” jobs in the computer field. They are enabler jobs, customer-facing jobs, and infrastructure jobs. I think he has the right idea, but he is an optimist. Some of the jobs he thinks are offshore resistant will go overseas.
In your field, what are the offshoring resistant jobs? Which jobs cannot even be moved to California or Alabama? A recent study showed that half of the outsourced jobs are outsourced within the USA. The jobs leave your company and stay in the country.
There is a larger reason than potential unemployment to figure it out. The jobs that are most difficult to offshore are the most likely to be stable. They are more likely to have constantly increasing salaries. As the baby boomers retire, those jobs cannot be filled by unskilled labor. While the workforce shrinks, competition for people who can do those critical jobs will increase. Compared to today’s wages, some people are going to be paid outrageously well.
In your field, what are the offshoring resistant jobs? Just knowing will change your career.
Something to do today
Invite your boss or his boss to lunch. Take the chance to ask him what jobs are most and least likely to be offshored. It is worth paying for his lunch to find out.
Later: Prepare to be a manager
You are underpaid, right?