One estimate for the numbers of jobs lost in the U.S. due to outsourcing has more than 3 million jobs eliminated between 2000 and 2015. If you take action, you can try to ensure that your IT job isn’t one of them.
If your employer is feeling the pain of this economic downturn, there are basic steps to take to convince them to cut corners elsewhere.
Consider the necessity of your job to the vital functions of the company, such as their creative or financial sectors. If these portions of the company aren’t areas with which you work, or are familiar, it’s time to change that. Since these are the money makers of the business, developing and maintaining skills related to them will make you much more useful to your employer.
Furthering your education, or emphasizing the MBA you have, will help you hedge your bets. Even if your company does decide to outsource, they will still require someone to manage their new IT teams remotely. If you stand out as highly educated and trained in all the latest aspects of your area of expertise, you will be the most obvious candidate for the job. In this vein, don’t limit yourself to one technology, such as Lotus Notes or Java, even if it is invaluable to your employer. Be versatile – the more bases you cover, the less your company is saving by losing you.
Try to step inside the shoes of your superior or superiors. How technically literate are they? Do you think they understand exactly what you do, or why it’s so important? If they don’t, you are that much more expendable. Don’t be afraid to “sell” yourself and your job to them, because otherwise they may not realize the value you bring to the business.
If you have noticed a trend in your specific job or industry in outsourcing, or if you get wind of your company giving consideration to outsourcing, actively campaign to save your job. What have you got to lose? Put together a well thought out and professional presentation that presents the case against outsourcing. Do not use emotional arguments; present facts that show how outsourcing would damage the company financially – this is obviously their main concern if they are cutting back on expenses by outsourcing work. Be sure to emphasize the benefits of being able to access and manage employees face to face, that there are communication and cultural issues when teams are widely geographically distributed, and that often “offshore specialists” only have one field of expertise.
Remember to keep a positive attitude, and remember why you entered the field in the first place. If you have a passion for your work, you strive to be the best, and you surround yourself with other employees with similar ideals, you will constantly improve and impress your boss, and an impressed boss won’t want to fire you if they can avoid it. If you are great at what you do, and love every minute, your job is much safer.