2009 IT career survival guide: How to get a new job

There's at least one short-term benefit to making a move to a new job if you can: a higher salary

This year's Salary Survey shows at least one short-term benefit to making a move: Respondents who reported taking on a new job in the past year had an average total compensation change of 10.1 percent, compared with an average change of 3.5 percent for all respondents.

What's more, the last hired isn't necessarily the first fired during cutbacks anymore, says David Van De Voort, an IT workforce specialist at Mercer.

[ InfoWorld has put together a special package of stories to help tech workers through the current tough times. Among the highlights:
* Slideshow: Where IT jobs are headed
* Special report: 2009 IT career survival guide
* Special report: Where the tech jobs are overseas (and how to get one)
* Special report: Tech workers under fire
* Special report: IT and the financial crisis
* Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line blog and newsletter. ]

"Over the last five to 10 years, I've dealt with a lot of organizations that have had to cut back," he says. "For someone recently hired from the outside as a specialist earning $90,000 to $150,000, the likelihood of getting hit by a [layoff] is less than for someone who has been on the payroll for a long time." That's usually because the newer hires' skills have been validated more recently than those of longtime employees.

But before jumping ship, "any professional needs to smarten up about the scenarios that are going on in terms of how their business is being affected by the economic issues," says Gartner analyst Diane Morello. If the economy is healthy and consumers are spending money, "then jumping from one company to the next and assuming you're going to get something better might be applicable." But in an uncertain economy, she says, "the closer your industry is to the center of this, the less you can assume that jumping ship is going to be effective." (Read more about what the financial crisis could mean for IT pros.)

Next: Pack your bags for a geographic hot spot.

Read the other stories in this special report: 2009 IT career survival guide

This story, "2009 IT career survival guide: How to get a new job" was originally published by Computerworld.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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