We've often spoken on this blog about the need to be open to moving for your career, and that's something that's important. However, there's another side to that coin – there could be "geek career" places right in your vicinity that you don't know about yet.
Thirteen years ago when my IT career first started, I had my first experience with the online job search. It was a profound experience because, at the time, I could tell the the job search and the career world were changing. Looking back, I think I may have been on to something.
Those many years ago, I began noticing how the job search was changing. Being in IT, I had to deal with a lot of chaos and job changes – and thus learn about job searches, even if only to be safe. I watched my industry move online quickly, saw companies come and go, saw people adapt – and saw people fall behind.
Will the job search engine die off?
This question comes up occasionally, fueled by two things – the changes in job search technology and the fact that the importance of networking, which is often hammered on in good times, is pretty much repeated constantly in this economy. Add in the fact some job search engines aren't quite what they used to be, and I think it's a legitimate question.
The short answer is "no" in my mind. But WHAT search engines and tools survive is a different factor.
- Some general sites will survive on their merits. Craigslist, for instance is a tool I know most everyone uses.
- Specialty sites will do well. Dice.com is an excellent search site but is technically-biased, obviously. Some regional job search tools seem good, if varying in quality for obvious reasons.
- Companies will continue to post jobs online because its easy, cheap, and because many people target specific companies in their job searches. Also it lets aggregators like www.indeed.com and www.simplyhired.com get ahold of the posts.
- Building on #3, I think job search aggregators will be a big thing in the future – yanking data from many sites and sources.
- There is going to be a lot of experimentation in job search sites to make better tools to produce better connections. Having seen a few experimental sites, I haven't been too impressed with efforts so far (I come to look for jobs, not watch an arcane mathematical analysis).
There's a place for job search/posting tools out there – its simple, fast, and expected, and companies cannot count on networking to fill every position. But I think it's going to change into a mix of specialty sites, aggregators, and maybe some odd new tools.
For you, the careerist, you want to locate good job search sites, and review them reguarly to see if they're still useful. Make a project out of it and try out new ones reguarly just to stay on top.
– Steven Savage