Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 | Sigma Management Group

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Tech Job Cuts, Friday’s Payroll Report, and How to Change Industries 

semiconductor-devices-column_tcm1023-167189This Friday we will get the first look at the second quarter of U.S. GDP growth. The markets are ‘all eyes’ after Q1’s unexpected 2.9% drop. Already, several sectors are feeling the heat. CNBC.com is relaying information on 48,402 reported cuts from the tech industry. Most notably on this list are major semiconductor, consumer hardware, and telecommunication companies. Eyebrow raising is the lack of social media companies in the report; especially after Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen’s reserved comments in the Monetary Policy Report from two weeks ago.

So what does this mean for folks in the job market? Well first, it isn’t a need to panic. Technology skills are in demand more than ever before. Many people who come out of the tech sector are highly valued even if they weren’t developers or engineers. In fact, a background in technology is one of the most transferable skill sets in the modern economy. That being said, it is a solid reminder that in this day and age of market tumult and disruptive forces, Harvey Mackey’s timeless advice on networking is more important than ever. In his book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, he offers many reasons why networking, and building a robust base of contacts, can be the difference in a career that ends in the stratosphere, or one that barely makes it off the launch pad.

If you do find yourself out of a job, or you decide you want to change industries, here is some solid advice on how to make that transition. The key is preparation and knowledge. ESPECIALLY if you are going to be doing some networking or interviewing. Showing a breadth and depth  of subject matter knowledge on an industry which you weren’t in historically can make an excellent first impression. Even better is  if you can relate how your old industry relates to your desired industry from a macroeconomic standpoint (think synergistic product lines or supply-chain.) Also, Summer-time is an excellent part of the year to begin laying this groundwork. There are so many social events that can get you out there and start chopping it up with friends, family, extended family, and co-workers. Also, never forget the importance of volunteer work, as it offers an excellent opportunity to showcase your character and passions. I can’t tell you how many people I meet who have met future employers through contacts made through their non-profit endeavors.

So if this Friday’s jobs report comes with either good news or bad news, don’t despair. Prepare.

Joshua M. Jones

Sr. Consultant – Sigma Management Group



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