29 Mar Is there really an IT talent crunch?
You’ve probably read my posts about the Talent Crunch – and about a potential IT talent shortage. My comments have been based on demographics, Manpower research, and anecdotal evidence as I ask for a show of hands when speaking to large groups.
But lately I’ve been reading articles that oppose the shortage theory. Most recently, I read Is There Really an IT Labor Shortage? on Baselinemag.com. It’s very interesting and worth reading.
To those who concur there is a shortage and to those who don’t, I agree with you both. That’s because it depends. It depends on where you are. In some regions and in some cities, good IT talent is hard to come by. And it depends on the specific skills you seek. I would also argue that the economy has something to do with it.
But either way we should:
• Encourage the best and brightest to enter the IT field.
• Give IT talent the tools they need to keep their skills up to date.
• Make sure we’re balancing demand and supply. Let’s not make too many kids pursue technology only to face a glut that causes schools and students to pull back from the profession.
What do you think? Is there a shortage?
You’ve reached the voice mail of…
It’s part of our every day lives. We `talk’ to it several times a day. It can be a tremendous help and it can make us crazy. I’m talking about voice-mail.
There was a good article on the Microsoft Small Business Center recently called 10 tips for effective voice-mail messages. I agree with everything Jeff Wuorio wrote but I’d like to highlight a few of my pet peeves:
• He asks us not to repeat what the system already knows. It makes me crazy when the caller takes up valuable time telling me the date and time he or she called. The vast majority of voice-mail systems give you that information each time you call in for a message.
• Jeff also advises us when preparing our outgoing messages to “use humor and offbeat material with caution.” I would strengthen that advice from use it with caution to don’t use it at all! Whether it is a business call or calling someone at home, I’m not really interested in listening to music, hearing poems, or trying to interpret your baby’s gurgling.
Now I’ll add a few of my own:
• Say your name, title, and company clearly. I hate it when I have to listen to a message over and over to understand who called.
• State your phone number slowly and clearly. How many times have you had to listen to a message a second time to get the number right?
I don’t think we could live without voice-mail at this point – we’ve all been spoiled. But I think we can make the experience better and more efficient by following Jeff Wuorio’s and my humble advice.
Love your computer
If you’re reading this you’re probably a computer lover. I am – and it turns out that Charlie Rose risked life and limb to protect his.
I read in USA Today today (I’ve always wanted to write that!) that he tripped while walking in NYC and decided to protect his brand new MacBook Air – and landed on his face. I think I feel that strongly about my MacBook Pro. I won’t test the theory but it is something to think about.
What would you protect? Your face or your computer?
To MBA or not to MBA?
I was recently interviewed for an article on MSNBC.com called MBA not always key to landing a plum job. The message in the article follows its title – an MBA is not a ticket to the C-Suite.
If you read what Eve wrote, you’ll see that I do have my MBA and I’m quite proud of it — but I got it after I’d climbed the corporate ladder about as far as I wanted. For me it was about learning new things, meeting fabulous people, completing a rather difficult task and improving my confidence.
So matriculate if that’s what you want. In fact I highly recommend it if you have the time (and money). But don’t expect miracles on the job.
In January and February, it was the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. This month, it’s basketball that could adversely affect productivity in offices all over the country.
In The (Overblown) Cost of March Madness on Forbes.com, it’s estimated that this productivity loss could amount to over $3.5 billion — yes, that’s billion with a `b!’ The article questions that huge number, but even if it is way off, productivity will be impacted.
Unlike the Super Bowl, the NCAA tournament games are played during the work day. And most will be available online for free. Oops. I probably shouldn’t have told you that, but if you’re a basketball fan, you knew it already, didn’t you?
But is it ethical to watch basketball games during work? And, do you run the risk of getting caught? I can’t resist repeating a quote from the Forbes.com article — a quote by Nancy Flynn, the Executive Director of the ePolicy Institute:
“Surf at your own risk.”
Take that vacation!
There is an article posted on Workforce Blogs titled Demanding That Workers Take a Vacation — or Else. The title caught my eye.
Turns out the post isn’t really taking about whether or not people should use up their earned vacation time — rather it’s about the CEO of Chrysler’s management style. But it did get me thinking about the importance of time away from work.
We all say we want work/life balance — or work/life integration. We all say we need a rest. We all say we need to get away for a while. But how many of us leave loads of vacation time on the table? Is anyone really so important that we can’t leave our jobs for a week or two?
In the long run, it’s better for your employer if you take the time you’ve earned. You’ll be happier and more productive when you’re actually in the office, and your family will likely be happier, too.
Spring is here. If you’re not taking a spring break, start planning your summer get-away now. It will do everyone some good!
Other columns by Melanie Holmes
• Melanie Holmes: Personal matters have no place in the office
• A fan of HR, but please nix the tower of babble!
• Melanie Holmes: Telecommuting: It takes discipline to work from home
• Melanie Holmes: Can’t resist the temptation of more “Celebrity” lessons
• Melanie Holmes: So many business meetings, so little time
Holmes began her career with Manpower 26 years ago as a temporary employee. In 2005, at the age of 55, she earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
This article previously appeared on the Manpower Web site and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.