Time to Pack Your Bags?
Job prospects for techies aren't evenly dispersed. Some sectors are doing better than others -- such as defense/aerospace, where bonuses increased by 19% and salaries by 2.2%. Some regions are doing better than others too. For example, in the West and South Central U.S., IT workers saw slight increases in their total compensation.
Such statistics might entice people to enter a new industry or move to another part of the country.
Adam Alexander, vice president at career consultancy MasteryWorks, says IT professionals are generally open to switching industries, but many are reluctant to move to new regions.
"Geography can be an impediment to career growth. Even with promotions, people will often turn them down if it means moving," he says. "I think it does hurt their careers."
While Alexander says staying put can be detrimental to career growth, he and others acknowledge that the decision to relocate is a personal matter.
"It's really around values and what's important to you," says Thuy Sindell, a leadership development coach at Mariposa Leadership. Some want to be close to their families or certain cities and are willing to forgo opportunities. Others put their careers ahead of other considerations and will move anywhere for a better position. Still others simply like the adventure of moving and seek jobs that let them experience new places.
Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, says the key is to be flexible. "Today's economy demands flexibility to a certain extent," he says. If you're not willing to move, you might have to be more flexible on, say, the industry you work in or your salary.
However, while flexibility is still important, Willmer says it's not as crucial as it was just several months ago, particularly for those who have in-demand skills, such as business intelligence expertise.
— Mary K. Pratt