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Communications of the ACM

ACM CareerNews

Staying Afloat in Today's Crowded Talent Pool


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President, North America for Korn/Ferry International Robert Damon

Korn/Ferry International

Bob Damon, president of North America for executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, explains how senior IT professionals can find new job opportunities amidst a crowded employment market. As Damon explains, it is up to IT professionals to take responsibility for their own career advancement and explore new options to differentiate themselves from their peers. Damon suggests that IT professionals remain as flexible as possible about how they use their skills and experience. In some cases, this may mean downplaying technical achievements in favor of business experience. They should also consider positions where they can out-perform their peers and exceed expectations, even if it means a pay decrease or less prestigious job title.

Even for the most talented candidates, potential employers are looking beyond core qualifications to creativity, flexibility and the ability to fit into a company's culture. Establishing yourself as a best-in-class executive, capable of easily adapting to and thriving during fluctuating economic cycles, will set you apart and enable you to land new opportunities. Flexibility means being open to interim positions or consulting projects. These will allow you to draw an income, keep your skills fresh and position yourself for prime roles once regular hiring levels return. So-called independent workers now comprise more than 30% of the American work force, according to some estimates. With many companies unable to hire full-time employees, they are turning to highly seasoned project or temporary professional workers.

From The Wall Street Journal

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