|In this job searching tip, we’ll discuss how increasing your level of expertise can help you compete with cheap overseas labor. The whole trend towards outsourcing is scary to people in many industries. But the truth is some kinds of outsourcing are more effective than others, and by becoming more familiar with the weaknesses of the outsourcing model, you can better position yourself to compete with it. |
Outsourcing is most effective with work that many people know how to do. Lots of people know how to prepare tax returns, or could learn fairly quickly. Lots of people have an undergraduate computer science degree and can write a computer program. But outsourcing tends not to be as effective in areas where highly specialized knowledge is required. If you become familiar with a technology or area of expertise which the average person has not studied or worked in, you will become less of a common commodity.
It generally helps if the area of expertise is something new, because the newer it is, usually the fewer people there are who know it. An example of this would be the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation for the financial industry, which was enacted by Congress as a result of the corporate scandals like the Enron collapse. People who are familiar with this and approaches to helping financial institutions cope with its requirements are in high demand right now. Go to a job board and search for the highest paying jobs in your profession. You’ll probably notice that many of them require expertise that few people have.
This also brings up another point which is that being able to compete in a global economy requires that you integrate continual learning and improvement into your career. You need to figure out a way to constantly learn new things. You can do this partly by taking occasional classes, reading trade magazines, and attending conferences. Another way is to maximize a concept that H.R. professionals refer to as “job stretch,” that is, doing work that requires slightly more, rather than slightly less, expertise than you currently have. You can do this by volunteering to do new projects at work, suggesting to your manager to let you try an innovative way to do something, etc. A side effect of maximizing job stretch is that it makes you stand out as someone who goes the extra mile, and also helps make it less likely that an employer would want to lay you off.
About the Author
Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.
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