I just saw that the number of back-office IT jobs in both Europe and North America is supposed to go from 4 million today, down to 2 million in 2014. Lets face it, we are an eclectic gathering of eccentric people on many ends of the spectrum.
And yes the jobs are going places where the incomes can be a lot less. Five programmers must be better than one really good one, right?
So here is what I am recommending to stay afloat through this temporary rough patch (I give it a decade but no more than that). I have given this advice to some people and it has worked for them.
1. Never stop improving your skills. This is very, very crucial. Why would someone want to keep a Commodore 64 for their office computer? Learning will not just help you, you need use it in your current job. Now if you are Java programmer, you don’t want to learn C# because then other members of your team will not be able to follow your work but learn different libraries within Java.
2. Help others. The people that hoard their knowledge don’t make it very far and certainly will not keep their job. The only thing they have going for them is a very small area of expertise that others can easily learn or work around. If you share your knowledge people will need you for your sage advice and for your technical ability.
3. Be active in the community. Not just in your company but elsewhere (i.e. user groups, forums, conferences, blogs). From a networking perspective alone, there is much to gain from learning from peers. Learning things from people with different careers can also be very useful!
4. Become an expert. You need to become an expert in an area where no one in your group has much knowledge.
Of course, no job is bulletproof but this will make you last longer than most people in your organization. With the steps I provided here you should have no problem getting a job with another company.