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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Outsourcing: It's not YOUR job

Any person who has worked in IT for very long is acutely aware of the term "outsourcing", or the act of contracting with another person or company to perform a particular task. This is often used synonymously with the term "off shoring", which means doing the same but in another country, typically where there are cheaper labor pools.

This practice not only occurs in IT-related departments or industries, just look at what has happened to the US furniture industry. For that matter, check the label in the shirt that you are wearing at this moment.

For many years, I was appalled at such a notion. How could a company sell out its employees by sending their jobs overseas? Then, I read a post on a discussion thread by a friend of mine in response to someone who had lost their job to an Indian firm.

The poor former employee stated how he had been there for 15 years, was a loyal employee, had children to feed, and how shocked and outraged he was. My friend's response:
"I'm sorry that you're unemployed now, but the job (position) was your company's job, not yours. It never was yours, and the company can give it to whomever it wants."

The cold, hard truth hit like an iron fist, and my friend was booed and hissed at by other subscribers for his post and he was branded insensitive. A little insensitive? Maybe. Truthful? Definitely. His words could not have been more honest.

If you take it a layer deeper, the reason for the former employees' misery was his own doing. He had grown complacent, and was not positioned for the sudden abruptness of his job loss. I'm sure he's working now, out of necessity if nothing else.

The lesson here is to prepare oneself. Should this ever happen to you, I want you to be in a position to shrug it off as you look to your other sources of cash flow for support.

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