I thought that this job I have had for the last two years would see me safe, at least for a while, since the company is keen to hire people that are looking for a long term position, and it likes to hire experienced people rather than trainees.
Well it wasn’t to be, and as from today I am on the scrap heap for the second time in six years.
A few months ago the company said that it was cutting costs to try and avoid redundancies. A few weeks ago we heard that probably our bonuses and 401K matching would be cut. A few days ago we heard rumours that some people would be losing their jobs. A few hours ago I was called into the bosses office and it was my turn…
I have always worked in the IT industry as an Analyst/Programmer working on IBM Midrange computers (AS400 . iSeries), and for the last 10 years with J.D Edwards World Software (now part of the Oracle group). Up to 3 years ago, JDE were trying to phase out the software I work with and trying to get companies to upgrade to the new version that they had created, however the new version has had lots of performance problems, and for most companies to convert it would cost over $1million, since they would have to rewrite all their locally developed programs. Many companies did not want to change over, or tried and found so many problems that they reverted back, and so when Oracle took over JDE they found that not only did they have a large user base that didn’t want to move from JDE World software, but they also found that this was the most profitable area of their business. In the last 3 years Oracle have rewritten the system to make it work better for the future, however most companies have been slow to upgrade to the new version so far, but they have at least said that this will be supported for the foreseeable future.
What I have in my favor is that in the last 10 years, with the threat of JDE withdrawing support for this system, many of the analyst/programmers who worked in AS400 computers have moved onto other platforms. Now that the system is here to stay for the long term, there are fewer of us to fit into the available positions.
With the economy in the state that it is though, few companies are looking to take on new employees or contractors, and this is the most dire job market I have ever seen. The last time I was made unemployed, I was working in Elkhart, Indiana, a small town which this month has been in the news as having lost the most jobs and having the highest rise in unemployment. Even President Obama was in Elkhart this week.
I updated my resume on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com today, and looked to see what jobs were open to me, and while there would usually be several in South Florida, there was absolutely nothing in the whole state of Florida, which is quite disturbing. However, jobs aren’t always listed, so I hope the recruiter who got me my last two positions down here can come up with something.
I also updated my profile on LinkedIn.com which is the professional equivalent of Facebook etc. I don’t know what good this will do, however in the last two or three years social networks have really taken off in a multitude of ways, so it’s worth trying.
Other than try to get another job in the same field that I have always worked in, I would love to change career, in fact I would love to be able to earn enough online to support myself, but I somehow can’t see that happening. I can however if I have the time, give it my best show and see if my efforts will make a difference. It would be great if I could somehow find a way to get paid for writing articles, or could get my web sites popular enough to earn a reasonable income. Watch this space…
Biggest problem is that there isn’t just me to support. If there was I could probably just about manage on unemployment benefit, however I have two daughters to support, and they go to private school, since the middle schools are awful. I would really not like to have to put them back into public school, as this would affect their whole lives, however I need to find the money to cover the school fees somehow. I am also paying into a fund which will help to pay their university fees, since by the time they start at university I will hopefully be ready to retire. I really don’t want to have to drop this either.
So please wish me luck, and if you are able to share this post, or our blog with your friends, I would be grateful.
Keep your fingers crossed that something comes along and soon…