How To Get the Job You Really, Really Want (Part 1)

A very good friend of mine is a brilliant fellow named Otis Collier. We have worked together on several occasions and are planning to do a VERY cool project together in the near-future, but more on that later. I wanted to share with you guys a job hunting strategy that he shared with me that was like… “Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Its like… so obvious and would work too.” But I digress, here is his plan, something I call “The Otis Collier Method” (Patent pending)

Step 1: Find a job that you want.

Step 2: Find out if the company has an employee referral program. (And who doesn’t these days?)

Step 3: Approach someone in the company and say, in so many words, how would you like to make a couple of bucks? All you have to do is forward my resume to your company recruiter. If I get hired, you get the employee referral bonus. If I do not get hired, its bad for me, but nothing happens to you. Its a no-risk way to earn extra cash with VERY little work.

How smart is that? I thought it was very smart. In fact, as soon as he shared that gem with me, the little hamster in my mind started running in a wheel. Does every company have an employee referral program? Hmm… The quickest (and easiest) way to find out is to go to the career section of the company I am interested in and look at their Career section. I am chomping on some Frosted Flakes as I brainstorm this, so let me look up the Kellogg’s website to show you what I mean.

Okay, so, if employee referral programs are mentioned on company career pages… Hmm… yup! There is a way I can search that on Google. For example…

Hmm… For that matter, I could do the same thing on a job board.

Okay as I look at the results I am getting, I am thinking that they are just too broad, so I refine my searches a bit more by adding more keywords like a job title or industry. For example…

Okay, so I say okay a lot, I’m still thinking.


Once you have confirmed the company you have an interest in has an employee referral program or you have found another company that does, contact an employee who works there. How? There are a lot of ways to do that, but I suggest researching Linkedin. Do you know how to do that? If not let me know and maybe I will write up something on that.

For now, happy hunting!


Top 10 Jobs that will (most likely and least likely) Be Outsourced

Nancy Folbre is an economic professor at the University of Massachusetts and by all-accounts, she is one smart cookie. Case in point, she did a report on “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the US Labor Market” that said (among other things) that “Employment growth is ‘polarizing’ into relatively high-skill, high-wage jobs and low-skill, low-wage jobs.” Oy! In other words, the more skilled you are, the more likely you are to keep working.

Okay, so no big revelation there. But consider something else she says in her report, “Key contributors to job polarization are the automation of routine work and the international integration of labor markets.” in other words… outsourcing.

This had me thinking on a few things. First, why are some jobs (or rather, so many jobs) outsourced? For short attention spans, here is the gist…

Reasons why jobs are outsourced:

  • It can be automated.
  • It does not require physical proximity or person-specific skills.
  • It is considerably cheaper to produce somewhere else.

Okay, so after thinking that, I began to wonder if there was a list of jobs somewhere that show you what occupations are most likely (and least likely) to be outsourced? I mean, if you had a list like that, it could go a long way towards helping you adjust your career. I mean, why knock yourself out getting a degree or training in a job that might be shipped to India one day? And if its hard now to get a job doing what I do, how much harder will it be to work later (even when the economy comes back) when nobody in the country needs my skills? Ugh!

Okay, so I looked around and I found out that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics put together some research that answered my questions. I decided to share the data here because… I can. So, there you go. Below are the top 10 results of jobs that will most likely, least likely be outsourced and the top 10 jobs that are in between. I have also included the actual report from the BLS below as well in case you want to go through it yourself. (Hey, if you are a US Citizen, your tax dollars paid for it! So go ahead and consume the data.)

Hope this helps!




  1. Computer Programmers
  2. Pharmacy Technicians
  3. Parts Salespersons
  4. Telephone Operators
  5. Billing and posting clerks and machine operators
  6. Computer Operators
  7. Data Entry Keyers
  8. Word Processors and Typists
  9. Tax Preparers
  10. Medical Transcriptionists


  1. Financial Managers
  2. Training and Development Managers
  3. Training and Development Specialists
  4. Meeting and Convention Planners
  5. Loan Counselors
  6. Health and Safety Engineers, except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors
  7. Mining and Geological Engineers, including Mining Safety Engineers
  8. Food Scientists and Technologists
  9. Sociologists
  10. Urban and Regional Planners


  1. Logisticians
  2. Database Administrators
  3. Operations Research Analysts
  4. Aerospace Engineers
  5. Computer Hardware Engineers
  6. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
  7. Microbiologists
  8. Chemists
  9. Historians
  10. Film and Video Editors

What are the chances that your job will be outsourced?

How To Pick The Right Career (Part 2)

In part 1 of this series I showed you how to research government data to discern if the job you are qualified for (or studying to get a degree in) will be around later. In this post, I am doing more or less the same thing, but from a computer science perspective. In other words, if you are a Programmer, Software Developer, Software Engineer, Software Analyst, Hacker, whatever and you are considering a new certification; I suggest that you do a bit of research first before plopping down your hard-earned dollars. Let me share with you a couple of really cool resources. is a site that (among other things) plots job trends. Here is a quick note about what they say they do.

The US job index is based on an aggregation of job data from thousands of online sources. This includes jobs posted on corporate web sites, job boards, recruitment agencies, online classifieds and newspapers throughout the country.

Check out what they think are among the hottest IT Certifications these days. (See below) The obvious winner is “java.” If I were a programming whiz, I would get me some of that because according to these stats, Java is where its at.

Demand for Software Skills in usa

java,c#,c++,perl Jobs in usa

  • Graphjava monthly job percentages have decreased by 3.71% .
  • Graphc# monthly job percentages have decreased by 16.85% .
  • Graphc++ monthly job percentages have decreased by 20.00% .
  • Graphperl monthly job percentages have increased by 0.26% .

View the java,c#,c++,perl job trends in usa at


But I would be remiss if I relied too heavily on one resource, so let’s look at a couple of other things first. Namely, the Tiobe Programming Index. This is their claim to fame…

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. The popular search engines Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and YouTube are used to calculate the ratings. Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

According to their stats, Java is the most popular programming language with the C programming language becoming a close rival.


So, if Java is so popular, is it really worth getting a certification? I mean, what is the return on investment? Hmm… According to, the average salary of someone skilled in Java is $91,000.00 and even with the recession being how it is, jobs for people skilled in Java is trending upward. (See below)


Okay, so I am not an expert in information technology, but I would say that its a safe bet to put some of your eggs in the java basket. So what do you think of my logic? Make sense? Leave me a comment and let me know…

How to Make Money While You’re Out of Work

Last year I gave a job-hunting webinar that focused on the in-between time between full-time roles. As you get anxious for the next interview and as you try to stretch your unemployment benefits, you need some income and you need it NOW! So, with that in mind, I share various ways you can legally make money doing what you already know.

And just as a FYI, no “stay at home” get rich quick schemes were talked about during this webinar. I simply relayed my past experiences and gave my two-cents of advice. If you have 30 minutes to kill, take a listen. (And let me know what you think?)

How To Pick The Right Career (Part 1)

If someone were to ask me, “Jim, what is the right career for me?”

I would probably shrug my shoulders and say something like, “Umm… I don’t know. Probably the career that will be there next year and for years to come.”

What do I mean by that? Simply put, industries are hot one minute and then laying off the next. You can give your life to a particular trade and before you know it, you are replaced by some form of technology. How can you safeguard against that? Well, one way is to put your tax dollars to work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government agency that studies and measures what is going on in the world of labor. One of the studies it focuses on in particular is Occupational Projections. In other words, they see what has been hot and by using statistical data, they make their best guess on what will be hot later. Let me show you how it works.

Step 1: Click this link and A) select a search method. For our demo, I choose to search occupations by keyword. For giggles, I choose “recruiter.” With that done, B) I click “continue.”

Step 2: I get a list of occupations to refine my search further. I choose the first on the list – “Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists” and then I click the “Search” button. (See the *asterix?)

What is the right career for me?

Step 3: I review the data and make a judgement call. This is what the data is telling me.

  • In 2008, there were about 207,900 Recruiters employed and by 2018 there will be about 265,900 thousand Recruiters employed.
  • Between 2008 and 2018 there will be about a 27.9 percent increase in Recruiter jobs
  • In 2008, about 1.6 percent of Recruiters were self-employed
  • Between 2008 and 2018, there will be about 112,300 job openings for Recruiters
  • In 2008, the average annual wages for a Recruiter was $45,470.00 which was rated “High” when considering salaries of jobs overall in their survey
  • It also states that a Bachelor’s Degree is the most significant source of education or training for this role. (Although I would debate that.)

How to pick the right job

So there you have it! Do a search on the career you are currently in and then in careers you may have had a bit of curiosity for. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the average salary of the job I am considering fitting my lifestyle (or at the least, the lifestyle that I want)?
  • Will there be a significant number of jobs for me over the next few years?
  • If I ever wanted to make this job a self-employed business, what are the chances of that?
  • If a college degree is the most significant source of training, am I willing to devote time towards that goal?
  • BONUS QUESTION: If I am entering college now, am I studying (and spending my parents money) on something that may be difficult to get a job for later? What are the chances that I will get a high ROI on my degree?

I hope this gives you some good food for thought? I look forward to reading your comments below.

– Jim Stroud