Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Dime a Dozen

When I got out of the Marines I was fortunate enough to get my foot in the door in the IT industry. The "tech boom" was just beginning to creep up and I pretty much rode the wave from job to job.
I started off installing network equipment and moving computers from desk to desk. It wasn't difficult work. I was interested in what happened after I installed the equipment, what happened beyond the wires.

Fast forward a decade and the boom, well boomed. I had at one time been able to go from contract to contract but at the end of one project it took me about six weeks to find a job (Maybe four). It pretty much scared me about the IT job scene. I was lucky, a coworker on the same project was never able to land a job, it took him a year and that's only because he went full time in the National Guard and went to Iraq.

Whenever I run into IT contractors I am always curious as what the job market is like back on the "beltway" (Northern VA/DC area), my old stomping grounds.

Turns out things are as bad, if not worse. I told some contractors the story of me not able to find a job for six weeks, that brought some good laughs from them. Six weeks is considered fortunate. They said that they all know someone who has been unemployed for over a year, some even two. All college educated people within the IT field.

Me, I'm a dime a dozen. A computer guy who can double click in all the right places? There's someone to fill my shoes at every corner.

Look at it this way. Everyday there are people getting out of the military with plenty of computer experience, every year colleges graduate kids with IT degrees, every year kids graduate from high school with skills that I only dream about. Then there are the IT tech schools and IT "boot camps" and add to that the ranks of unemployed IT people already looking for work. It's a jungle out there.

If I were to lose my job I would be in a bad situation, and I know it.

Thank God for little blessings.

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