I haven’t done a career post in awhile. I’ve been focused on my worldbuidling books and expanding my repetoire, but I’m still the Geek Job Guru, and it’s time I do a bit more of that.
So with 2017 stumbling along, from political chicanery to security issues to media scandals, let’s talk the career landscape so far. It’s . . . weird.
- The stock market is humming along, but in the midst of political chaos, assorted scandals, and growing social and economic issues. In short, I don’t trust it, and expect a soft landing at best, or a steep (but not radical) decline in the next year or two.
- Political uncertainty with our current administration can balloon out of control very quickly, especially in cases of military action or impeachment. It’s pretty hard to prepare for this, but you’ll want to. For instance, I have a few “economic emergency plans” in place just in case.
- With all of the above, I think some economic downturn is simply unavoidable. The question is how severe it will be and how long it will last.
Speaking of Economic Emergency Plans:
- As much as I like making Plan A work, it’s good to think ahead on your plan for an economic downturn both local, national, and global. This is because we might get one. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but it’s good to have a basic one so you don’t have to worry about it.
Where To Work
- As much as I love the Bay Area, our housing issues are starting to impact recruiting. I consider this place a good area to move, but urge caution and careful research. I think we’ve got another 2 or so years of this so if you move here – keep this in mind.
- Amazon’s big plan to make a new HQ is probably going to create a rush, but based on what they said, I wouldn’t expect it to be in a truly major area (Boston, Chicago, etc.). It’d be more a secondary or tertiary city. I also don’t consider it a guarantee of stimulating the economy.
- My usual recruiting pings seem to be coming from all over lately, I haven’t noticed any trends except “all over.”
- One big warning is that if you do move, treat it as permanent. You never know and I don’t trust current stability – make sure you’re in a place that can take economic downturns.
- The bloom is very much off the Tech Company rose after the endless waves of scandals. This doesn’t mean these aren’t good places to work or good options, and people are still investing in some strange ideas. I take it more that we’re seeing things come back to oft-painful reality.
- Side note on tech companies – considering the scandals we’ve seen from harassment to promoting propaganda, consider that there’s probably more to come by the odds. Adjust expectations appropriately.
- I’ve seen a increase in recruiters looking for people willing to move around for temporary assignments. I’m mixed on this idea since it can lead you all over the place, affect your lifestyle and social life, and perhaps even health. But it might be good as filler.
- After the issues with Equifax, you can believe security is going to be an issue in jobs. I’d suggest playing that up if you have the experience and keeping an eye out for opportunities. This is a place to build a permanent career – that hasn’t changed, it’s just more urgent.
- I’ve recently been introduced to a less-seen world of change control and training and business analysis. This is a fascinating area you may want to check out – because it’s omnipresent and it’s evolving. I’ve also noticed Analyst work is big for both starting careers and bringing them to a conclusion.
- I’m seeing more and more people doing side projects quite openly, like my books or Seventh Sanctum. If you have one and can make it public, go for it.
- As for what jobs people should do or train for – that’s something I’m honestly not sure of now. All I can say is do your research.
- There seems to be a lot of talent mismatch out there with people, companies, etc. This is actually a warning as desperate people may hire wrong. I think it may be getting worse.
- On top of the above, I’m seeing more specific recruitment attempts – at times incredibly specific in ridiculous ways. These jobs then stay open forever. Applying for them if you don’t fit enough is probably a waste of time.
- Recruiters are getting a lot more aggressive the last few months based on what I’ve seen. That may be good, but can be annoying, can lead to a bad mismatch. Also a few companies are outsourcing recruiting and these recruiters are kinda clueless.
- Pay rates seem very stagnant as of late, possibly regressing, at least based on personal experience. You may need to be aggressive – and I suspect this is part of further problems (above). People want to deal with mismatches cheap and fast.
The entire economy and job market seems to somehow be moving forward erratically while also being in a holding pattern. So if you have any input, I’d appreciate it.