Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 2/10/2012 | 33 comments

Andrew Froehlich
After two years of writing IT certification books and consulting for SMBs while in Asia, I'll soon be returning stateside and am looking to get back into enterprise IT. Simply put, I miss the big projects, big problems, and big solutions that can only be found in large IT shops. It's been over ten years since I last sought employment, so the editors of E2 and I thought it would be interesting to blog about my observations and experiences while I seek work in a Web 2.0 era. Here is what I've been seeing so far.

Hot jobs in specific IT fields
Fortunately, it would seem that IT as a whole has fared better than many other professions in the US job market. However, employment demand varies greatly depending of your area of expertise. According to a recent cio.com article, software developers by far are the number one most sought-after workers this year. This is especially true for mobile application developers. Datacenter, security, and network infrastructure professionals such as myself are also in demand. The current demand is likely due to the continued adoption of virtualization and cloud computing, which requires significant re-architecture of legacy networks, datacenter facilities, and the security posture protecting them.

Location, location, location
Almost as important as job skills, location seems to be critical to finding work in today's job market. While not everyone can (nor wants to) live in Silicon Valley, there are several cities and states that are hotbeds of IT activity, including Virginia, Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina, which are seeing tremendous IT growth despite an overall economic slowdown for the US. I've had IT managers tell me that unemployment for IT professionals in some of these areas is as low as one percent.

Staff vs. consultant
I've worn the IT staff hat as well as a consulting hat. I enjoy both, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each, and I haven't yet decided which is more appealing. From the limited amount of job-searching I've done so far, it would seem to me that consulting opportunities are easier to find compared to in-house staff positions. This tells me that businesses are still a bit skittish regarding the US economy as a whole. But at the same time, they are hiring more expensive external consultants to advance their IT initiatives for the next few years. It's common way for companies to hedge their bets, and it's been common practice for the industry over the past decade or so while economic conditions ebb and flow. It's also probable that in-house staff are staying put for a while until the overall economy shakes out.

Making contact using social networks
One last job search observation that I'd like to mention is in regard to the actual method of seeking employment. The last time I was looking for a job, I simply sent out mass-emails of my resume to human resource reps and headhunters in the hope of hearing something back. There was a great disconnect because as a job seeker, I never had any names or faces, and job hunting became a very lonely experience. Now that everyone is connected through social networking sites, especially LinkedIn and Twitter, it's easier than ever to find a degree of separation or two into just about any company. I really like the idea of contacting an HR representative directly and having a face and a name to go by. If you send direct messages to people instead of a "jobs@yourcompany.com" address, you typically receive some immediate feedback. Employment seekers no longer have to feel as though they're sending resumes into a black hole, never to be seen or heard from again.

So now the journey begins. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to find that perfect IT job in today's environment. I'll be keeping you updated about the status of my job search here on E2 -- I just hope that I'll only need to blog one or two more times before it's complete. If you're reading my 18th job search update blog, it's safe to assume that I'm struggling! If you're looking for a job, too, or you're hiring, share your experiences below.

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nasimson   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   3/7/2012 6:18:02 AM
The struggle
At first employers consider reference and then do they look into the resumes. Maintaining good contacts with people can lead to good references. IT specialists should apply where there is room for employment. Social networking sites specially Linkedin can provide a good platform for making contacts with different organizations. Mailing Resume to a company which you know about matters a lot rather than randomly sending mail to different companies.
eethtworkz   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 8:45:16 AM
Re: The Cloud is probably another good place...
Andrew,

I agree entirely.

Family always comes first.

Here's something which shows how the recession(& the Housing Crash) has made people do extremely amazing things here in the US...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/super-commuters-take-the-morning-plane-02232012.html

The thought that struck me most when I was reading that article was;Why on earth should these High-Level Professionals commute such long distances every week??? Can't they just video-conference instead???[I mean I can understand once or maybe even Twice a month,but such crazy commutes every week??? Its borderline crazy]

We might just have hit on another probable growth area here-Video-conferencing.

Regards

Ashish.
Andrew Froehlich   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 8:14:53 AM
Re: The Cloud is probably another good place...
 

@eethtworkz - I've considered Bangalore in the past and I can see from all the job openings that IT professionals are still in great demand there.  But at this point, I'm looking for something in the US where I can be closer to my family.  That's the main reason I'm leaving Asia in the first place.

 

 
User Ranking: Blogger
Andrew Froehlich   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 8:08:17 AM
Re: job survey
@vnewman - I'll post an update here in a week or two.  I've had a few interesting observations but I have yet to get to the States!  I arrive on March 5.
User Ranking: Blogger
sohaibmasood   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 8:07:57 AM
Re: IBM just fired 1000 people.
@David: I agree with you. It is not good to hear that one of the technology giants let 1000 people go. People look up to these companies and downsizing will only make things worse for job hunters. I just think IBM is going through troubles times and downsizing is the first thing that comes to the minds of the management in such cases. 
eethtworkz   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 7:32:42 AM
Healthcare is booming for sure..Here's another perspective.
Andrew,

Healthcare is going to boom for sure and consequently there will be plenty of Healthcare IT jobs atleast for the next 5-7 years.

This presentation brings another perspective on the Healthcare Boom.

http://oxfordclub.com/video/oxf/Healthcare0212.php?

Ashish.
eethtworkz   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 7:29:04 AM
Re: job survey
Broadway,

I have followed the Cleantech Industry(primarily for investments) but also as a Technology fan.

Unless we get a complete withdrawal of the Government from this sector(end all Subsidies & Tax-breaks-period).This has to be coupled with a total withdrawal of Tax-breaks for the Oil& Gas Industry too.[Looking at our Budget deficits today,we can't afford it anyways]

I won't know which company is good enough to stand on its own (without any Govt support);So No I don't think its on a sustainable growth trend.

Ashish.
eethtworkz   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 7:12:51 AM
The Cloud is probably another good place...
Andrew,

Any thoughts of heading over to India?

BI ,SAP,Mobile and Data Warehousing are skills that are in heavy demand there.

http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-tech-niche-talent-is-name-of-game-for-it-firms/20120229.htm

Its quite interesting that thanks primarily to the boom in IT in India,Bangalore(the Silicon Valley of India) is the best performing Real Estate market in that country.

Should tell you the number of people who are getting hired there(& demand for skilled IT Professionals Globally).

Ashish.
eethtworkz   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 7:09:16 AM
Re: IBM just fired 1000 people.
David,

For our sake(and all those in the IT Space who are looking for jobs-particularly fresh Grads);I hope you are right.

You are quite right that IBM represents just one company and events like HIMSS are more representative of the industry as a whole;still will be interesting to note,why IBM chose to let go of 1000 trained employees in US and Canada;especially if Business is "booming".

Ashish.
vnewman   Searching for a Job in Today's Enterprise   2/29/2012 2:40:31 AM
Re: job survey
@Andrew - can we get an update on your progress?
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