Job hunting 101

“Where the jobs are…does one wait for me?” I borrowed – and tweaked – the line from an old Connie Francis song, yet it’s a familiar refrain in conversations among IT professionals today. Amid layoffs, downsizing, company buyouts, and mergers and acquisitions, what is there for us? How do we cope? What do we do? How do we compete?

Finding the job opportunities in which we can learn and grow is becoming more difficult in these leaner times. I was laid off or downsized three times between 1994 and 1999. Each time, I looked for a new job in my community so I didn’t have to uproot my family and move to another region of the country. Each time, I found employers who were looking for my level of expertise and experience.

Was it easy? Absolutely not! The beginning salary level in each new job was equal to or less than that of the previous job. But my hard work, enthusiasm for learning new systems and skills, and my flexibility to rise to the challenges of a new job enabled me to move into positions that brought pay increases and more responsibilities over time.

IT professionals who remain rigid in their scope of work are being left on the curb. The future of technology is very bright with many opportunities. But we must grow and expand our expertise. We cannot cling to our mainframe loyalties.

Those who are positive about accepting the challenges of working with new ideas and with younger people in the IT profession can find the opportunities very rewarding. I have been a manager in past jobs, and I participate in the interviewing process in my current position. I see the faces that look defeated before we even begin to talk. I read resum