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Change in tone...

 
Rancher
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I can't help but notice a change in tone in the job postings. When I first starting moderating here, people who had trouble getting work offers would say, "what do I need to do differently?"
Now that everyone thinks the economy is slowing down, many people are saying "what's wrong with the market?"
I doubt things have changed that much. I haven't been out there looking for work in a while, but I suspect that if you're having trouble getting work now, it probably would also have been so a year ago.
Getting a career started is always difficult in any profession!
Just a few thoughts to keep in mind.
Paul Krugman mentioned today in the NY Times, just a few months ago people were asserting that the "old economy is over" -- now that things are slowing down people assume prosperity is gone forever. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.
EB
 
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Eric:
Just got an interesting business letter the other day.
It says that the USA may just "worry itself" into a recession. With recession being defined as two consecuitive quarters of negative growth/contraction. They keep saying that the economy is going to bounce back in June/July and that overall the year will end in a positive note. Granted, not double digit growth, but growth nonetheless.
They compared numbers between now and the 90-91 recession and the numbers are alot better this time around.
Work here in Denver - at my job - has been mixed. We are still hiring Business Analysts like crazy - but the Java development work has ground to a standstill. Some of the big telcom's in Denver have canceled new development work. Especially true with Qwest & AT&T.
I've been on the bench for a month now - my previous Java project never got off the ground and has been postponed. Company wants me to do some C++ work for a few months - but even that has not been finalized.
Meanwhile, I am studying up on UML/XML in my spare time. Hope I don't have to jump ship. I just got out here in January.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
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John,
Just as long you don't have to pay back the relocation cost, then you should be okay.
-Peter
 
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I probably sound like a pessimist with most of my posts but the US economy is heading into a deep recession. People aren't following things closely enough or just don't want to believe it.
Corporate and consumer debt is sky high. The great economy we've had has been artificial, based on people going into huge debt. There is little room left for spending (borrowing). AT&T for example has something like $64 billion dollars in debt that it must pay interest on, money it's borrowed and bonds its issued to finance its expansion over the past few years. The average US household has $8,000 in credit card debt and 2nd mortgages have reduced available home equity to the lowest levels since 1982. As I look around in my own life, I've seen most people living beyond their means for years and years- since about 1995. This couldn't have lasted forever. The technology business has been built on a house of cards, especially the telecom companies- they are going to collapse just like the real estate market did 10 years ago.
Unemployment lags the beginning of an actual recession, I think the rate will go up to 7% by this time next year, and perhaps reach as high as 10% by the end of 2002.. Also, employment in software and programming will decline by a solid 1/4 over the next 3 years.
I hope I'm wrong but until all this debt is cleared away by massive bankruptcies, the economy will be negative or very anemic. This may take 3-4 years to clear up, just like the last recession which lingered for a long time.
 
John Coxey
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Peter:
- The company says I have to pay back relocation costs if I leave within the first year. My relo package hit around $5K. They even paid mileage (1800 mi) on the car for me to drive out, Colo plates/registration, cable t.v. hookup, Colo fishing license, 2 months of rent @ $400/month in Pa, and a bunch of other goodies. Not to mention the airfare/hotel/car rental for an entire week - just to come out and look for an apartment.
- I had asked the relo people at Hewlett-Packard and at EDS (I have contacts at both places) if this 1 year relo cost deal was normal. And both said yes, but that it was unusual for them to collect it after 6 months. Basically, they don't want someone leaving after after 1 or 2 days - and who just used the move for own personal reasons.
- The relo package was great. The pay is great. But right now we just don't have the Java work. Get paid the same whether I work or sit on bench.
- I haven't heard anything about layoffs yet. We just hired 4 or 5 business analysts last week. So who knows?
- March is going to be an interesting month ... so the story continues.
Johnny
(jpcoxey@aol.com)

 
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Come on Eric, what's next, are you going to tell me the stock market doesn't always go up? :-)
You're definately right, that "kids" today are pampered. I still remember the '90-'92 college hiring cycxle which was tough on people. I've also noticed that those who got into the computer industry the last few years, and got some outrageous salary back in '99 can't understand why they can't keep that salary or do better. (Red Herring did an artcile on a sales rep, about years exp, who made $160k base before the bubble burst!)
The computer industry is still hiring. Only two things have changed: (both, are obviously generalizations--your milage may vary)
1) They are no longer doing long term R&D projects, b/c managers don't want to take long term chances now.
2) Junior programmers, who need guidance, always used to have a harder time finding a job. This changed a few years back when companies would hire anyone with a pulse. This reversion back to reality is a shock for the kids who say their older friends and brothers who, just as junior as they are now, get 6 offers in a day just a year or two ago.

--Mark
hershey@vaultus.com
 
Peter Tran
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Mark,
1) Unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on which side you're standing), companies are still hiring anyone with a pulse.. These companies are the one who do have a current project, and are way understaff so they just want warm bodies to show management or the client that have enough resources.
2) Recent college graduates are still expecting sky-high salary for a CS/MIS degree. Reality hasn't set in yet, because there are a few people who do get these offers and these are the one we usually hear about more often than not.
-Peter
 
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