Tag Archives: job security

Will your company move your position offshore?

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. 

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. This was true even before the pandemic.

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 older generations 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.

6 things about your job search and job security that you can learn from India

People doing business in India have told me how difficult business there can be.  Basic utilities like electricity and water are very unreliable.  The legal system is subject to corruption.  Government regulation depends on your relationship with the bureaucrats, not the rules.  Business partners don’t want to offend you or lose face, so they agree to do things they can’t get done.  Bringing you bad news is avoided at all cost.  Labor costs are low, but people will switch jobs for the slightest increase in pay.  And it goes on and on depending on the city, industry, neighborhood, and your ancestors.

Indian businessmen do incredibly well in the US because they have practice overcoming complex problems. You can learn how to prosper in your job search and job by applying the few basic principles they live by.

These job security, success, and business principles are applicable to accountants, help desk techs, managers, and CEO’s. They especially matter if you are in a job search.  They will give you an incredible advantage in every company you apply at.

  1. Trust others but make sure they are actually accomplishing what they say they will do.  Even experienced partners occasionally screw up.  Have an alternative plan in case things don’t get done on time. Get commitments from recruiters, managers, friends, and anyone you talk to.  Follow up.
  2. Don’t rely on your relationship with one person, like the HR department.  Establish relationships 3 or 4 people deep.  If one leaves or fails, you need the others to keep going forward.
  3. Spend time cultivating people.  Get to know them.  Find out about them personally as well as from business.  It is amazing how often this will give you the leverage you need to succeed. Some of our greatest success as recruiters comes from being friendly, open and honest with the receptionist, as well as with HR and the hiring manager.
  4. Help others constantly.  Go out of your way to encourage, help, and promote others who are growing.  That help will often come back to save you in a crisis. Helping someone else get a job will improve your abilities and give you a strong supporter on the inside of their new company.
  5. Constantly focus on doing things quicker, cheaper, better, and with less people. This alone is the greatest job security guarantor in the USA.  And when you prove you can do it in your resume, you will always be a hot commodity on the job market.
  6. Take time to read, plan, and think.  Americans are terrible at this. Sit down with a sheet of paper and write for 15 minutes or an hour each day. Brainstorm things you can do for your job or job search.

In India it is essential to have multiple layers of preparation.  In America we get by without them.  Americans also often wonder why they got laid off and how they will survive when laid off.  Preparation, getting to know more people, and fearless execution will do more for your earning potential than anything else.

Something to do today

List where you only have one layer of protection.  Then list how you can improve that.


Next:   Interview follow up – get help

Why career plans don’t work

Career plans often fail because people don’t know what they really want.  Do you want security?  Challenges?  Thrill rides?

The hottest technology today is the Amazon Kindle Fire.  It is simply a small computer. Its rise was carefully planned.  The most significant pieces of the plan included a snazzy look, rugged portability, and simple secure paid download of books, movies and music. Amazon, the creator, has a plan to continue making money forever.

Now is the perfect time for Amazon’s hottest talent to abandon their jobs with the Kindle division.  Now is the time for Amazon’s best job-security conscious talent to move in and take over. Why?  Because the market will be saturated with Kindles.  The Kindle is becoming a commodity.  Prices are dropping.  Even the music distribution system has stronger competitors like Apple.  Kindle is no longer innovative genius.  It is now a cash cow. Cash cows are less exciting, but fairly secure for employment.

Kindle and other once hot products like Apple’s  iPod, iPad and iPhone are no longer what the bold innovators want to be working on.  They need a new challenge.  Kindle is now the perfect product for the long term managers. Of these 4 products, only some aspects of the software are cutting edge now.  All the rest is in maintenance mode.

Your career plan will be a rousing success if you focus on your personal growth curve.  Do you want to innovate and take outrageous chances for outrageous reward?  Do you really want technical challenge?  Is your goal to make enough money, but have a lot of free time for your skiing?

When you know what you want, you can plan your career successfully.  However, what you want will change time and time again.  So you need to be prepared to change your career plan as you see changes beginning in yourself. Your personal growth curve will tell you how fast you are getting to where you want to be in your career.

Career plans work.  They work when they are reviewed every year or more often.  They work when you review your real personal desires at the same time.  Career plans absolutely fail when you think you want what someone else has.  You have to want what you really want.

Permanent employment DOES exist

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty, not knowing what comes next.  (LeGuin)

Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.  (Ditka)

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. (London)

Here is what happened to me:

Our company made a record profit.  The industry was booming.  The company was sold for an unbelievable amount because its future was so bright.

95% of the employees were laid off by the end of the next month . We were in a boom no one thought was a bubble.  The bubble burst.  The company had to lay off almost everyone. I lasted until the end of the next month.

10 years later I was employed by a huge computer company.  The world was good.  This was a permanent job.  I had been there 9 years. I was safe.

Then I got a letter from a friend at corporate headquarters.  There were going to be layoffs in 3 months.  I asked my bosses. They denied it.  My contact said, “I read the memo.”  I quit for a new job one week before the layoffs were announced.

What has happened to permanent employment?

Permanent employment does exist.  It exists in your skills, networks and planning.

Union negotiations, trade laws and employment contracts are all useless against the tides of change.  Your guarantee of permanent employment comes only through your own efforts and flexibility.  Permanent is what YOU bring to the table.

Even people who have been in the same company for 20 years have switched careers 3, 5 or 10 times.  During my 9 years at EDS I had 4 very different job paths in 9 years.

Look at where you are.  Prepare for the changes that absolutely will come.  Learn new skills.  Pay for your own training if you have to.  Get certifications.  Pay for the tests yourself if your company won’t.  Get trade magazines for your specialty and industry.  Bring ideas to the table where you work.

The world is changing.  You can either benefit from the changes or lose everything you have.

Permanent success means constant change.  Make your job permanent, though your career changes.

Something To Do Today

List what you can do to become a “Permanent” employee.  Meaning you always have a job.