Career Central

A Brief Compendium of the IT Workplace

IT, Business Disaster Preparedness Lags

Although 69 percent of senior IT and business professionals believe a disaster or crisis is likely to interrupt their business workflow over the next two years, 60 percent have not increased their budgets in preparation, according to a study released Sept. 6 by infrastructure solutions provider Forsythe Technology, of Skokie, Ill.

"Its a complete change from where [companies] were a number of years ago, when nobody wanted to acknowledge that a disaster could occur. Now theyre much more aware of the likelihood and, in many cases, have very solid disaster recover plans, but they dont accommodate for workplace shortages," Mike Croy, director of business continuity for Forsythe Solutions Group, told eWeek.

The study found that while only 35 percent of companies were prepared to deploy more than 10 percent of their work force remotely, 30 percent said they needed 60 percent or more of their employee population present to maintain adequate business operations.

The study found these results troubling in the face of statistics outlined by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office that predict up to 30 percent of the population could be incapacitated in the event of an avian flu outbreak, affecting commerce and leading to reduced patronage and closure of public areas.

Technology Workers Grow Restless

Nearly 60 percent of tech workers are looking for new jobs, according to a survey released Aug. 30 by the Computing Technology Industry Association. CompTIA found that, of the 58 percent of 1,000 surveyed IT workers looking for new jobs, four out of five considered their search somewhat or very active.

Dissatisfaction with wages was noted as the primary reason for job hunting, with 73 percent looking for higher pay. Yet, beyond financial gains, nearly two-thirds said there was little opportunity for advancement in their current jobs, and 58 percent said they were looking for a new challenge. Theyre not job hoppers, however; nearly 60 percent had been with their current employers for more than three years, and 52 percent had been in their current job role for at least three years.

Dos and Donts for the Interview

A study released the week of Aug. 28 by staffing company Accountemps found that one of the most common mistakes made by candidates in job interviews is having little or no knowledge of the company, according to 47 percent of the senior executives surveyed.

While IT recruiters and managers still peg lack of preparation near the top of their lists of interview gaffes, they cited many others. Some of the worst offenses:

1. Late to the interview. Hiring managers said candidates arrive tardy all the time. Showing up on time conveys to potential employers that you will be equally punctual with deadlines.

2. Lack of enthusiasm means you dont care about your work. One of the most aggravating interview gaffes noted by IT recruiters is a lack of enthusiasm for the job.

3. Little to no company knowledge means you lack research skills. Do your homework or risk embarrassment. It shouldnt come as a surprise that companies are impressed when youve done your research on them before you walked in the door, and, as an IT professional, you should extend this knowledge to their technical systems.

4. Inappropriate dress translates to inappropriate work. It be--hooves candidates to find out the dress code of an office before they arrive. Many newer companies have a more casual atmosphere, and the once-required suit will cause an individual to stick out or make others uncomfortable.

5. Negativity. No matter how rough you had it after the dot-com bust, how inefficient your department is or how bitter you are that your career may not be where you imagined it would, do everything in your power to shut your yap about it in an interview.

—Compiled by Deborah Rothberg

Six Good Reasons to Jump Ship

Here are a few of the markers that restless IT pros use to decide if they should stay or go:

1. You know its not you Youve made the most of your job, but your workplace is unresponsive.

2. The change fits with your career path You have a long-term plan, and a job switch is a logical step.

3. A stagnant workplace Your company has stopped offering growth opportunities.

4. Youve made a bad move Youve changed jobs, and its a terrible fit.

5. The new employer makes an offer you cant refuse Some deals you cant pass up.

6. You want a culture change The culture has soured, or the company is no longer investing in the careers of its employees.

Source: eWEEK reporting