Random Acts of IT Project Management

Project Management for Information Technology

Archive for the ‘Employment’ Category

Entrepreneurship and Ruling the World

Posted by iammarchhare on 4 September 2009

I came across Kate Phillips article on “Why Entrepreneurs Rule the World”, and I wanted to share it with you in parting.  It’s a little long (but not any longer than some of mine 🙂 ), but well worth a read.  An excerpt:

Once upon a time… the world was full of small business people and independent entrepreneurs. Every town had a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker.  A blacksmith, a barber, and a farmer (or two).  A shepherd, a weaver, and a preacher.  There were no factories, no corporations, and… no employees.

One thing is clear to me: no matter what rung of the ladder you are on, jobs are going out of style.  Fast.

For years now, the trend has been away from hiring employees and towards hiring independent contractors.  Why?  Huge savings in benefits, also huge savings in waste.  Rather than paying for people’s time, contracts allow employers to pay for the *result* they want.  Deliver this, we’ll pay you “X.”

We’ve put our faith and trust in the wrong places, counting on an employer or a company to sustain us, when we should have been developing our own value in the market place.  We can no longer count on jobs to sustain us, rescue us, or bail us out.  Employers are doing their best to keep their own head above water, do not count on them to rescue you.

In case you didn’t get the memo: Jobs are Dead.

…Two years ago I attended an orientation at my daughter’s high school.  One teacher spoke about “how we’re going to help your children prepare for the job market.”  They would learn to write resumes and cover letters, fill out applications and interview for jobs.

I inquired afterwards what was being done to prepare kids for a world in which jobs are going away.  What do the kids learn about businesses?  About self-employment options?  Is there a class teaching entrepreneurial skills?  Could I volunteer in such a class?

You could well imagine the response from the teachers.  Of course, no one has trained them to think this way either.  We’ve all been brainwashed into believing that there is a job “out there”.  There are opportunities “out there”.  However, it is up to each of us to take ahold of our destinies and our lives and move on in a new economy.

It is not an economy of our own making.  However, opportunities rarely are of one’s own making.  Rather, opportunities present themselves and we either jump on them or let them pass on by.

Me?  I’m moving!

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Posted in Consulting, Economy, Employment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

43 Things Actually Said in Job Interviews

Posted by iammarchhare on 20 August 2009

CareerBuilder on MSN published “You Said What?!”, which lists 43 things that real job applicants have said in a job interview.  Some of them just make you scratch your head, but others are real jaw droppers.

I guess I now know why there are professional agencies out there to coach people.

You may be a techie, but don’t underestimate the value of people skills.

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Making Extra Cash

Posted by iammarchhare on 18 August 2009

TechRepublic posted “10 ways techs can make extra cash” a while back.  There are some good ideas there, and even gives you sites that cater to specific categories.  Some of these can even help drive people to their own business.

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Paperless Health Care

Posted by iammarchhare on 7 July 2009

I came across this story on Yahoo! The AP reports about how difficult it is for hospitals to go paperless in “Paperless health care? 1 hospital’s long journey“. And yet, you know that is the direction we are headed. Project managers might as well face the fact that this is the area of largest growth for the next foreseeable future.

How can you prepare? Reading up on the latest in health technology might help. Learning more about government regulations in this area might help even more. Areas such as billing, medical transcriptions, etc., are all possible areas to look into as well. However, you notice the first thing the hospital in the article did was to update their drug prescription system. That seems to be the most logical area to start, and updating any skills in the area of prescriptions and/or pharmaceuticals might provide the most immediate benefit.

In project management, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in any one particular area, but you do need to be knowledgeable in the overall subject.

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The 5 Economic Storms

Posted by iammarchhare on 5 June 2009

It seems like the recent economic news is a continual rollercoaster ride!  Rosy predictions bring up hopes, which are dashed by some report or other.  What is the truth?

Well, if you believe as I do that a lot of the media grabs on to small things and hypes it, you will be on the lookout for someone who seems to have a clearer picture of what is really going on.  Maybe you will agree with them or not, but at least it is something more concrete than looking at a percentage of a percentage point difference and saying the recession is over.

Enter Martin D. Weiss, PhD, who wrote an article posted 11 May 2009 on the Money and Markets web site.  He lists “Five Economic Storms Raging NOW!”.  You know most of them, such as the one about big banks’ risk of failure, but do you know how bad it really is?  Let’s take the #1 and my favorite: Plunging Jobs:

Storm #1.
Plunging Jobs

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that job losses were running at a slightly slower pace than in the first quarter. So Wall Street cheered.

But it’s a joke, and the 539,000 additional Americans out of work aren’t laughing.

Nor are the 23 million people — 15.8 percent of the work force — who are officially unemployed … are struggling with lower paying part-time jobs … or have given up looking for work entirely.

Look. In December 2007, there were 138.1 million jobs in America. Now, there are only 132.4 million.

So even if you accept the government’s tally of the narrowest unemployment measure, 5.7 million jobs have been lost.

Plot those figures on a chart and the picture is absolutely unambiguous: Jobs in America are collapsing. Right here and now!

Where’s that “slightly slower pace of collapse” they’re raving about? You’d need a microscope to see it.

Check out the other 4 economic storms at the Money and Market site.

Frankly, the US is spending a lot of money for very little result.  Worse, we are leaving a debt to our grandchildren’s children.

Contrast this with what the Bible says a “good man” or righteous person does, which is leave an inheritance that will last to his children’s children (Pr 13:22)!

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What I Like About Being an IT PM

Posted by iammarchhare on 22 May 2009

The LinkedIn group Project Management Institute Group had a general news discussion about “Why do you like Project Management?”  That got me thinking.  Specifically, why do I like being an IT project manager?

BTW, if you aren’t a member of LinkedIn, consider this an unofficial unauthorized plug.  They have great pointers to other information and sometimes some lively discussions.  There are more groups than just the PMI one, but obviously that is where I hang out most often.

Anyhow, there are some core items that I enjoy that aren’t necessarily tied to PM.  I like giving customers what they need, for example.  Now, I’m not necessarily into giving them everything they want, but I do want to make sure what they get is what they need to do their job.  It needs to make their life easier, not harder and not more frustrating.  I want to give them the best service for the price.

Obviously, I could do the above by being a developer, a desktop specialist or a system engineer.  However, one thing that being a PM affords is the ability to learn more about both technology and the organization.  Since project management cuts across organizational lines, it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the folks in finance, marketing and other areas that I normally would not have the opportunity to even meet.  Being a PM gives me exposure to technologies that likewise I would not have the opportunity to learn about.  If I was still in either desktop/LAN support or development, then I would probably not get the same amount of exposure to either other departments of an organization or different technologies.

What do you like about being an IT PM?

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Consulting Maxims

Posted by iammarchhare on 21 May 2009

If you are reading this, then it is likely I’m either still on the road or recovering from the road trip.  However, this gives me an opportunity to point you to some backlogged bookmarks I’ve built up.

Many PMs are consultants, so TechRepublic’s article on “18 maxims of successful IT consulting” might be of interest to you.

And, if you are not a consultant … well, rethink that, will you?  As I’ve quoted before, we are all consultants in this economy.  Companies can let you go at any time with no reason.

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IT Jobs – Some Things to Think About

Posted by iammarchhare on 20 May 2009

I’m still on the road, but if you are laid off, thinking you might be laid off or just generally uneasy, you might want to read this article.  Technology Ladder posted an article by Kevin Fogarty that “Tech Employment [is] Down, Not Out”.

Fogarty points out that medical IT jobs. VOIP and IT security jobs are growing sectors.

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30 Days Outsourcing in India

Posted by iammarchhare on 6 May 2009

Have you ever wondered what happens on the other side of outsourcing?  This video is a bit long, but it really is an eye-opener.

I have traveled in Thailand before, but even given that some of this was a little bit of a shock.  Chris loses his job as a programmer, so he travels to India for 30 days to take an outsourcing job there.  He doesn’t know what he’s in for.

I guess I’ll have to give you the link to 30 Days Outsourcing in India on Guba, as it appears WordPress is not going to allow me to embed a video from that site.

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Obama Closing Up Tax Loopholes

Posted by iammarchhare on 5 May 2009

Today’s Bangkok Post reported that “Obama cracks down on US outsourcing”.  They report:

President Barack Obama Monday rolled out a plan aimed at saving $210 billion over the next 10 years by clamping down on tax havens and curbing US companies’ incentive to outsource jobs.

While the effect will not be immediate, it is sure to have an impact upon IT.

Sources:

AFP. (2009, May 5). Obama cracks down on US outsourcing. Bangkok Post. Retrieved from http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/142355/obama-cracks-down-on-tax-havens-outsourcing-companies

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