Item 1: My eldest son is an IT consultant based in Palos Verdes, California. Like most pros who work in this sector; he is very comfortable using the best resources and tools available for the particular project. Wherever created, and as long as it was developed legitimately and honestly, if a new tool can do job in a better manner, he will use it. Son #2 lives in Japan. The organization he’s with thought that Japan was where he’d make the best contribution to their goals. Although he doesn’t yet speak Japanese fluently, my son is studying it, adapting to life in a country with very different attitudes and customs.
Item 2: Over the past months my client list has included a woman who moved from New York to Hong Kong to get a new job doing what she loves and another client in New Jersey who quit one company to join another at a more senior level based in Vancouver, Canada. I was asked to help an executive based in London as he decided to relocate to Sydney, Australia. Another client, this time in the TV broadcast sector, decided it was time to move forward in her career. To do so, she’s linking up with a new organization based in Florence, Italy.
Can you smell a trend?
These people represent, to a large degree, the way the world is evolving. A recent article in The New York Times, described this career shift, and evolution, particularly well. Called, “Shut Out at Home, American Graduates Find Work in China”, the piece describes the new reality for careerists who want upward mobility and employment that meets all their needs.
Item 3: I was recently contacted by a project manager who was seeking a move. She wanted to stay within the IT sector but had been unsuccessful for about six months. Every job she went after was being flooded with applications. Feeling unable to score a new job on her own, she asked if I could give her any advice, tips or tactics.
Based in Montana, she said her current assignment was boring, low paying, and likely to disappear after the next department budget was finalized. I asked about her background. It was clear that the woman had a good education, competent and conscientious. She seemed clear-headed about her job prospects in the western states, noting that she was prepared to move anywhere to get into a role that energized her, increased her compensation, and moved her into a more senior, challenging role.
This lady also represents, to a large degree, the way the world is evolving – but seen from another side.
Item 4: A guy I’ve known for decades recently relocated from Winnipeg, Canada to Cairo. Nearing retirement, he wanted one last great adventure before he left the company. He doesn’t speak the language, hadn’t traveled a lot in his life, and knew very little about life in the Middle East.
But he knows the company and how it works. And that was all the brass needed to offer him the opportunity to spearhead a new initiative overseas for two years. In their opinion, someone with a solid understanding of “how they do things,” their systems and procedures was exactly what was required to get things started. They’d deal with hiring locally once business was up and running. The near-retirement guy gets a great challenge and an adventure to cap off his career. He’ll be a strong mentor for the local hires.
Baby boomers aren’t moving aside as fast as was forecasted just a few years ago.
Regardless of industry, if one is in the IT world, they are going to feel this change increasingly as time passes. If you’re serious about a career, and “young” (physically or mentally), it’s time to broaden your horizons. If not, you may end up stuck in a job which is neither fulfilling or well paid. You can do better.