Friday, May 11, 2012

remain relevant (survival) - to your team or to global economy

When we feel job insecurity, we look around and see who's more secure, more relevant, more current, and more in-demand. We may find some colleagues more relevant to your team or to the company. Maybe they are local system experts. Maybe they have deep expertise in the base vendor product (Tibco, Murex, LotusNotes, WebLogic...). We may want to _specialize_ like them.

Resist!

Job security derives from skill relevance, but relevant to who? The industry, not the local team, which could disappear if entire team becomes obsolete and irrelevant. I have seen people (including myself) specializing in DNS, VB.NET, Swing, Perl, EJB, let alone home-grown systems such as SecDB. These guys are (extremely) relevant but for a limited time only.

Have a long-term perspective -- If you want job security through skill relevance, then invest in more permanent skills such as Math, algorithms, data structures, threading, SQL,...

Have a global perspective -- Job security is a serious, almost life-and-death issue. You probably should look beyond your local industry. What skills are truly relevant on the global arena? Some skill (say Murex) might be more relevant locally but less globally.

Avoid niche domains unless it helps boost your mainstream skills.

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About Me

New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin