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Nowadays, I find that a large chunk of traffic to my blog comes from H1 job market related information searches.

First of all, I love this feature by wordpress that lists the traffic source and the exact search phrases if it is through a search engine. I guess most blog providers do offer this facility. Seriously, hats off to them! It helps a blogger know what kind of information his visitors seek and what percentage of his visitors seek that information thereby enabling him trigger his forthcoming posts in that direction. I had also received a comment from a visitor seeking more information on the current state of the IT job market.

Now coming to the point, it is really interesting to see how attentive people are, to events in the US and how concerned they are about the scheme of things that may have effect on their American dream.

In March, I had written a post on the IT contract job market situation in the US as a result of the slowdown that I (like many others) have been noticing. The past few months have not been the best for IT job seekers in the US, be it contract or permanent. The reasons certainly track back to the mortgage meltdown and the consequent slowdown in the American economy. The slowdown has affected many companies across industries that have led them to cut down in projects/project allocation and overall spending which in turn has been having its effect on hiring.

From my experience in marketing consultants, the situation does not seem to have gotten better yet. Like I mentioned in my earlier posts, we can see an evident increase in companies that prefer hiring people with skills and experience in multiple technologies thereby saving the cost of hiring multiple people. Not many people are prepared for this kind of a demand; hence, consulting rates have gone down.

On the other hand, because the number of H1 visas processed has been increasing on a yearly basis, the supply of resources for any particular IT position is generally high.

In the meantime, we are also seeing positions going on hold or hiring being held up for unexplainable reasons (unexplainable by recruiters/ outsourced hiring companies). I am guessing the reasons could be as I mentioned earlier, scrapping of projects or cost cutting initiatives.

I would not like to inject any negative feelings or approach that may hinder one’s decision on what future course of action they would like to stick to, because my post is really not worth that much. But I would like to inform readers about the factors they might want to take into account for making an informed decision in considering coming to the US for a fulltime or contract job.

As I would prefer doing, writing down or just copy-pasting the following 10 questions and trying to answer them might be helpful –

  1. Why am I currently looking to move to the US? What could be the benefits as against staying back in India?
  2. What is my current area of expertise/ technology?
  3. Am I an expert? How can I differentiate myself against the hundreds of people in the same field of technology/expertise?
  4. In the present market situation, what are the basic and additional skills being asked for by companies who are hiring people in this technology?
  5. Which industries are hiring the most? Do I have experience in those industries? If not, in my area, are my chances good even if I don’t have industry specific experience?
  6. Can I consider coming on an H1/L1 from my current company and then move when the market is better?
  7. Does my intended profile require very good communication skills? Or does it ask for more technical certifications and versatility? Which should I focus more on? (Of course both are necessary for any kind of job, but the degree of compromise from the hirers may vary depending on the need and nature of the profile)
  8.  What is my flexibility with regard to rate, location, working hours?
  9. Do I know people who are in the US now, and are seeking jobs in the same area of technology as I am? Can I contact them for inputs?
  10. Do I have an alternative option or exit plan in case things don’t work out as planned (that is, I don’t end up with a job until a certain period of time)?

I have heard from experienced people that at least a couple of years ago, one didn’t really need to think too deep into how things would turn out during their job search in the US. The market was doing so well that there was a confidence that things would fall in place sooner or later.

I can say for certain that it is not that easy now.

I am sure answering the above questions carefully after good research can surely help one make a more informed decision and build confidence in oneself about his decision. One can check out popular job sites like dice, monster and careerbuilder and do a detailed analysis of the jobs pertaining to one’s area of interest. Getting first hand information from friends or relatives who already are in the US will also help a great deal.

Of course, there may be more questions that may need to be answered. I will surely add more if I can think of any. Meanwhile, people who find the above information useful (or not), please feel free to leave your thoughts, suggestions and opinions.

Good luck!

 

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