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Category: Happy Job-Seekers (101)

  • Tech Salary Predictions for 2017

     

    With 19 offices across North America, Workbridge Associates has a few thousand records of recent job openings and placements in the tech industry. A big part of being in the recruitment industry is monitoring the trends in job openings and salaries. As we begin 2017, we wanted to take the opportunity and build our own predictions about salaries in the tech sector for the year.

    Our research is not only based on job openings, but on actual placements after all the negotiations and final compensations for candidates. This report contains information about full-time permanent salaries and does not include contract or freelance jobs. We took four years of data, ranging from 2013 to 2016, and divided it by experience and the cities in which we had enough data for. Here's what to expect in 2017: 

    A 3% or more increase in salary

    Based on our research, the average salary for a software engineer should increase to $107,745 or slightly over 3% compared to 2016.

    The Biggest Tech Salary Increases Happen In Tech Hubs

    Based on the forecast for 2017 by cities, New York will have the biggest salary increase by 4.5% with San Francisco not far behind with a 4% increase.

          Forecast on Tech Salaries Changes by the City

         

    City

    2013 - 2016 Change

    2017 Forecast

    Boston

    12.4%

    2.1%

    Chicago

    16.6%

    3.1%

    Los Angeles

    12.6%

    3.2%

    New York

    22.2%

    4.5%

    Orange County

    8.9%

    2.2%

    Philadelphia

    6.6%

    1.7%

    San Francisco

    20.1%

    4.0%

    San Jose

    14.0%

    3.0%

    Washington DC

    11.3%

    2.8%


    Expect a 3-3.5% increase regardless of experience

    On average, we can expect a 3-3.5% salary growth each year. If you're looking for a new opportunity in tech, contact a Workbridge office in a city near you!

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  • Busting the 4 Biggest Myths for Tech Job Seekers

    With over 400 highly specialized tech recruiting professionals across North America, our agency experts know firsthand how people think and act during the hiring process. Our 2016 research study debunks the biggest misperceptions for tech job seekers and offers helpful advice on how to navigate today’s competitive job market.

    Myth 1: “If I don’t have all the required skills, I shouldn’t bother applying for the job.”

    Advice from the experts: “Know where you stand and act accordingly. If you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront on your resume or cover letter as to why they should still consider you. Always apply to jobs even if you are not sure since you are applying to the company (not just the job). Other jobs may exist that will be a better fit. Also, job specs can be very fluid in tech and some companies can/will adjust requirements and provide training for the right person.”

    Myth 2: “If I’ve been a job hopper, potential employers will not consider for me for the position.”

    Advice from the experts: “It’s not the WHAT, it’s the WHY that counts most when explaining job hopping to a potential employer. There are many completely understandable reasons for leaving a job after a short period of time. Make sure to specify any of these acceptable reasons for leaving directly on the resume to avoid any negative stigmas.”

    Let us help you discover your dream job - Contact a Workbridge Associates in a city near you!

    Myth 3: “If the company has no job postings online, then they must not be hiring.”    

    Advice from the experts: “The elusiveness of the tech job market means that candidates should never rely on job boards alone. They should leverage their networks as much as possible and also work with a localized/specialized tech recruiter who uncovers these hidden jobs on a daily basis.”

    Check out which companies are hiring by applying to one of our many tech jobs online!

    Myth 4: “If I’m the leading candidate for a Perm position, I should be able to negotiate my starting offer as high as I’d like.”

    Advice from the experts: “As highly qualified as a tech candidate may be, there is and will always be competition. A candidate’s savvy negotiation and education on the marketplace (via salary reports) is expected from employers. But when candidates exhibit indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer, their well-intentioned actions could backfire on them.”

    Contact a local Workbridge Associates today and let us help you kick off 2017 on the right foot.

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  • Tech Salary Report: Where You Need to Live to Earn $200K+

    Over the past 27 years, Workbridge Associates has worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across North America to help find these tech professionals their dream jobs. While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, we have also placed many engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range. Based on placements done over the last three years, Workbridge pulled together a guide to tell you what you need to do to get there, with data about the highest paid salaries by location, experience, skill set, and more.

    Based on experience, Workbridge has found that you can be the greatest developer with a Ph.D. in Engineering, but a $200K position may not exist in the geographic region you live in. As the report signifies, most of the job openings in the $200K range are located in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

    Apply to a job in one of our cities and get one step closer to the salary you're looking for.

    While it's still possible to reach the $200K level elsewhere, if you’re not open to relocating to a place where the pay is higher, you may be limiting yourself. For the full report and more details on how you can earn the highest salary, such as skills and experience level, read the full article by clicking below. 

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  • 4 Red Flags While Interviewing As a Contractor

    Are you an IT contactor? Have you ever experienced sitting in an interview and becoming noticeably less interested in the job because of something the hiring manager said? Interviewing as a contractor is different than interviewing for a permanent position. There are a lot more land mines to look out for.

    As a contractor, you think differently during your job search. Your job security is based on weeks or months, not years. Typically, you are not as interested in long-term career development at a company (unless it’s a contract-to-hire position.) You tend to want to focus more on the specific challenges and expectations of the project at hand. You greatly value your independence and will view the employer on a peer-to-peer basis (or service-provider-to-client) rather than an employee-boss relationship. As a contractor, you are a chameleon, fitting into different cultures and becoming a temporary team member. Sometimes, you are contracting with more than one company, so time is your chief currency in the job search.

    So whether you’ve been a contractor for years or are new to the game, here are some red flags you should always look out for from an employer when being interviewed for an IT contracting position:

    1. They’re vague about the contract length. Let’s say you ask the hiring manager how long the contract period will last. But he starts waffling, admitting that he is not exactly sure or gives you a wishy-washy response. This is a red flag. The reason why the employer is giving you such a vague response could be because he wants you to consume far more time than you actually want to commit to this engagement or, conversely, the employer may not provide a long enough engagement to make it worth it for you.

    Advice: Make sure that the hiring manager is specific and clear about both the estimated minimum and potential timeframes, so you can feel more secure about the engagement. If they don’t, maybe this isn’t the job you want to take.

    Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

    2. They disclose the specific contractor pay rates they are willing to pay. First, if the company you are interviewing for is working with a staffing firm, keep in mind that any questions relating to pay rates should generally be discussed with the agency and not the employer. It is the agency’s responsibility to address this. If the employer starts talking to you about money during the interview, this may be a potential red flag. If no agency is involved, it is still not in the hiring manager’s best interest to specify rates early on in the process, especially during the initial interview. If the hiring manager throws out the rate first, it may turn you off from the opportunity altogether if the rate is too low, and leaves no room to explore negotiations. On the other hand, if he or she discusses rates higher than what you expected, then you will probably hold the company to this rate, and if it turns out that they cannot afford you or try to negotiate lower, this will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    Advice: Be sure you are the first to provide your pay expectations during the interview. This will put you more in control of negotiations, and will not waste your or the hiring manager’s time if it isn’t the right fit.

    Check out these questions you need to ask before accepting a contract position.

    3. They discuss their overall budget in too much detail. As a talented IT contractor, you want to work for a company that has a solid and reasonable budget in place for staffing. However, if the employer starts discussing in detail what their entire budget is during your interview, this is generally not a good sign. It is always good to know that a company has a significant budget in place, as it will show that IT is an important initiative for the company, and they value your work as a contractor. But if they disclose too much, you may start to wonder why you’re not getting paid more, and it is just unprofessional on the company’s behalf. And, of course, if the employer discloses a budget number that is very low, you will obviously be concerned about the commitment to IT spend.

    Advice: Be cautious of committing to a company that is too open about their budget. Professional employers will often use adjectives, not numbers, to discuss their financial context. So during the interview, if you hear the budget for the department described as “solid," "healthy" or "strong," this is typically a company worth investing your time in.  

    4. They make promises about contract-to-perm conversions. As a contractor, you will most likely inquire about a potential conversion-to-permanent role. Either you are interested in converting to perm or even really looking for a permanent position, or you are not interested in a permanent position altogether. Regardless, if the hiring manager makes promises about contract-to-perm conversions during the interview process without even having hired you yet, this is a red flag. Their reasoning for doing so could be several different things but the most obvious is that the company is extremely eager to hire a contractor and will say anything to have you onboard. Either way, employers should not make any type of promises during the interview stage, especially considering they have not yet seen your performance and cannot make an accurate judgement of whether you will be a good fit for their company. It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to initially understand where you, as a contractor, stand. Do you eventually want a permanent position or not?

    Advice: During the interview, be clear and honest about your interest in becoming a permanent employee. Ensure that the hiring manager gives you a realistic timeline of when the job could convert, is honest about expectations, and explains that any conversion would be based on your performance during the contract period and is not guaranteed. This is a sign that this company has good principles, and is probably somewhere you would want to work in the long run. 

    Find a contract-to-perm position on the job board and apply now.

    Remember, as the contractor you have to select the opportunity you think best fits your needs and desires. You do not want to waste your time working for a company you are not happy at or one that doesn’t align with your values. You can avoid committing to an opportunity you might later regret by pinpointing red flags with the company or hiring manager during your interview process.

    Ready to start your tech job search? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you'll love:

  • 4 Job Search Errors You Need to Avoid

    There are a lot of articles on the World Wide Web that instruct potential job seekers on what they should do: how to conduct their search, format their resume, present themselves on interviews, and negotiate the right offer. Here, we discuss a different spin by discussing what potential seekers should NOT do in their efforts to find a new position.

    There are certain misconceptions that people have when starting the search for the right role and making the wrong decision can sometimes make the search all that much harder. First, I will discuss what not to do while starting your search. Next, I will cover what not to do when formatting your resume. This can be especially critical since this is typically your first ‘in’ with a potential hiring manager. Lastly, I will cover how to not conduct yourself during the interview process, and how to handle some hard-to-answer questions.

    Found a job? Not sure if it's the right one? Here are 5 ways to find out.

    Do NOT expect the Resume Boards to find your next position...

    In the technology field, there are more than enough positions open, which span various fields, niches, and locations. Many are under the impression that this means recruiters, HR, hiring managers, and others of the like are constantly checking the boards for talented resumes. While there is some truth to this, many positions get filled through networking and referrals. I’m sure every programmer, systems analyst, DevOps Engineer, DBA, etc. have gotten calls when posting their resume that are inappropriate for the basic requirements of what they are looking for (i.e. location, title, salary range, contract or permanent roles). This is because anyone has access to your profile and will try to make a square peg fit into a round hole.

    In order to find the next position, you must be proactive rather than reactive. Technology is a very different industry than most other industries. You should be sending your resume to companies that you find interesting (regardless of a job posting or not). You should also be connecting with people at those companies through social media that is profession-friendly (LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), this is the tech industry; be creative! You should also be connecting with recruiters that are specific to your location and know the local market or have inside information. Furthermore, since the tech industry is very collaborative and sharing in their training, you should check out local tech-specific meetings and advocacy groups for introductions to others within the tech industry. Get yourself out there, connect with people who likely have similar interests, and market yourself to the open industry…do NOT expect your resume online to do all the work!

    Do NOT make decisions for the individual considering your resume…

    The first step in most job searches is to update your resume. This can be a very daunting task for some, as ‘selling’ yourself on a piece of paper is nearly impossible. You should have a copy of your resume that you update for specific positions, and use your experience to relay your qualifications for the duties of that specific posting. However, many people ‘screen’ themselves out of even applying for a job based on some ‘requirements’ of the posting. Most hiring managers understand the difficulty of conveying a skill set on a resume (remember: they are people too, and have probably even looked for a job themselves). If you make the decision that you are unqualified based on a ‘job requirement’, you are essentially making the decision for the person who is considering your resume, and that decision is ‘no’.

    Now, this advice shouldn’t be taken too literally. I’m speaking to certain job requirements. Such as, if you have 5 years of experience and the posting calls for 7 years of experience, you should give yourself the shot. Perhaps you have had more diverse experience in those 5 years versus someone with the targeted 7 years. Additionally, if the role calls for 6-7 years of experience, and you only have 4-5/7 years, send in your application regardless! Most understand the room for potential and growth, which should be conveyed through your interview process.

    Do NOT make your resume a novel

    (no matter how much experience you have)…

    Any technical resume over 3 pages is not being read. Do NOT make your resume overly detailed. Especially in technology, most of the languages or systems you used 6 years ago may not be relevant to the current tech landscape. Technology is constantly evolving and those who work in the field need to do the same, and more importantly, show that evolution. This is directed towards those who would be considered senior in their career, of course, but you should not have to list every technology you’ve worked with since the beginning of your career. Instead, focus on those projects that are current, relevant, or that you’ve acquired on your own time (through mentorship, side projects, etc.).

    When you are targeting a specific role, if the posting calls for a requirement you possess, but most other roles don’t- make sure to put the skill on the resume for that role and move on. For example, if you are a Microsoft Web Developer, your C# experience should be applicable for 98% of the roles you are applying for. That VB.NET experience from 5 or 6 years ago may only be applicable for one posting. Additionally, if you have 4 years of JAVA and 3 years of C#, but want to work in a JAVA environment, tailor your resumes appropriately and apply for those positions. Most hiring managers will pass on those who ‘walk the line’, because it shows some experience in a couple of things, rather an expertise in one or two things. You should NOT just have one copy of your resume, there should be a couple variations.

    Do NOT get in your own way through your interview process…

    Phone screens are sometimes a necessary evil. While the industry is moving heavily towards first-round in-person interviews, there are still some companies, hiring managers, etc. that conduct phone screens as the initial point of contact. With this being the case, there are certain assumptions you should NOT be making. Within technology, there is a misconception that the recruiter or HR representative conducting the phone call may not be technical or may not really know how to ‘screen’ you. However, more and more technical positions call for someone to interface with people in the company, both who are technical and non-technical. These screens can be a great way to show your diversity and ability to work with different internal constituents. When speaking on the phone with a hiring manager, some assume there is no room for fault or difference. Make sure to conduct the interview in a conversational way, if they ask you a ‘how to’ question, and you get the feeling that isn’t what they are looking for, clarify it with them! Do NOT assume that there are only black and white, yes or no answers.

    A lot of people within technology are typically very good at what they do, but can have a hard time relaying this information in an appropriate way. For instance, one should never speak in absolutes and they should be very careful about the verbiage used. Recently, I had a candidate go to an in-person interview with a hiring manager for a local start-up. The candidate was a great fit for the role, and he was really excited about the position. When he met with the hiring manager, he was asked a question: “How would you rate your experience with ASP.NET”. Now, the candidate was a Web Developer with tons of ASP.NET (and he really knew his stuff), and he answered “Expert level”. Fatal mistake. The next question from the hiring manager was about some concepts of ASP.NET, and the candidate got all right but one. When the hiring manager was providing feedback, he said the candidate “shot himself in the foot”. He explained that while he was very interested in the candidate, his concern is that the candidate wasn’t an ‘expert’ and got a very simple (in his eyes) question wrong and that indicated a level of not only knowledge but naivetés that he could not justify. The candidate should have answered with “I’m very comfortable/confident with my experience, but I’m always learning”. This probably would have allowed for a more positive dialogue vs. the one that resulted.

    In addition to remembering what to do in your technical job search, remember what NOT do to!

    While there are very specific recommendations and information out there on what to do to get a job, there are also a lot of things NOT to do that are sometimes forgotten. These small, but sometimes costly, mistakes can be the difference between you landing the ‘right’ job and the ‘next’ job!

    For more job search advice, you should read:

  • How Taking a Contract-to-Hire Job Benefits You

    When job hunting, it’s common to see three types of jobs: salary, contract, and contract-to-hire. While it’s more common for people to choose salary jobs, there are some unexpected benefits that naturally align with contract work. When picking a new job, what is really important to you and how can a contract or contract-to-hire job help you meet those goals? Evan Gordon, Regional Director of Workbridge Philadelphia, raises some great points for anyone considering these types of roles. 

    1.       Strong work-life balance

    Contract work has a strong work-life balance built directly into its structure. Hours aren’t set at 9 to 5, but instead are project based. This leads to more flexibility. If you prefer to work at night, to spend more time with kids during the day, you have that option. 

    The other perk is that you are also paid for every hour you work, so if you do work long hours on a product launch or staying late to fix a problem, you are compensated for every hour. 

    Want a company that treasures work life balance? Check out these job listings.

     

    “A contractor's schedule is more project oriented. They have more flexibility.”

    - Evan Gordon

    2.       Try before you buy

    When you interview at a company, how do you really know that this job is the right fit for you? Do you get a sense of your team, the culture, or your boss from a 20-minute interview? While they are interviewing you, are you evaluating them or are you more worried about making yourself look good?

    As a contract-to-hire, you have the rare opportunity to learn all about a company before you commit to a full time position. How do you like working with your team? Is there a rich company culture? Do other people enjoy working there? How is your boss? These are all things you can decide for yourself, and if you choose another opportunity once your contract is over, there’s no stigma for leaving the job. 

     “You can only know what it’s like to work at a company if you experience it firsthand.”

    - Evan Gordon

    3. Building strong relationships in a short time

    The best job seeker is always networking and building relationships. What better way to stick in someone’s mind then working a project with them. As Evan Gordon says, “It’s a small world and everyone talks to each other.” By building a great reputation as a hard worker or team player you not only build up a reputation, but have several people who can vouch for your talents. 

    “It’s a small world. Everyone knows everyone.” - Evan Gordon

    4. Not just the same old routine

    After you’ve worked a job for about six months, you begin to feel comfortable in your responsibilities. At about a year, you have mastered the task and begin to make improvements; but as you stretch into two years or even five years, the same old routine can begin to get stale. You have to ask yourself, are you still learning? Is there room for growth?

    As a contractor, you are assigned to different projects. You could be building a virtual reality project one month, and working in the medical field the next. Tech has permeated almost every major industry and so contracts can run the gambit. As a contractor you have a choice, not an assignment. Learn, grow, and experiment, what more could you want from a career?

    Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

    “When people get bored, they leave.” - Evan Gordon

    These factors are only some of the reasons why a contract or contract-to-hire position could be your next exciting opportunity. As you search for a new job think about the following questions: What companies are tackling projects or issues that are important to you? What do you want to learn at your next job? What relationships will propel your career to the next level?

    Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:

  • 4 Surprising Paybacks You Get from Being a Mentor

    At first glance, mentorship seems a bit of a one-way street. With a closer look, it becomes clear that there are some surprising benefits for the mentor, as well as the mentee. Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates NYC, discovered four unexpected paybacks that will encourage you to consider mentorship yourself.

    1.      The satisfaction of watching someone evolve

    Looking back at their own experiences and evolution, many of the best in the tech industry grew up being a mentee. For those who were mentored most of their lives, it's only natural to want to give back in the same way. But as simple as mentoring sounds, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. The correct way is to be as open and able to share as much as your mentee is sharing with you, and to talk an honest journey together. Their success is theirs; however, the pride of seeing your mentee grow from the person you first took under your wing into an accomplished professional is yours to share.

        2.      Knowing in a small way you were a part of someone’s success

        There are only a few things money can buy in life, but being able to see firsthand - and knowing that in a small way you facilitated someone’s success - is certainly not one of them. It priceless. Mentoring provides an amazing feeling that hits you at the core of your heart and there is no other feeling like it.

    3.      A deep look into your own faults and weaknesses

    When you are mentoring someone, it allows you to discover the obstacles in your own game and what you can do to improve on yourself. Talking to someone about what they are doing or what they are going through also allows you to look at it from a different perspective. You might approach a similar situation in a new light. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to communicate a different learning experience in the future.

    4.      You learn what makes you uncomfortable

    A mentor is essentially a mirror of your own reflection and you learn what makes you feel good and what makes you frustrated in life. If you are approaching mentorship in the right way, you should be sharing equally in the benefits of the relationship, just as your mentee is.

    Mentoring someone not only makes a difference in someone's life, but takes you on your own journey of self-discovery. Take the time to mentor someone and you'll be surprised with what you learn about them as well as yourself.

    You might also be interested in:

    About the Author:

    Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates New York, is a serial mentor for you professionals in business. When she signed up for a job in the tech industry, she wanted to experience what it was like from the other side: to mentor. Since mentoring her first mentee, Sam has continued to be a mentor throughout her time at Workbridge Associates. She says that watching someone's growth and success will never get old and she continues to learn more about herself every day.

    Work with Sam to find tech talent or the next step in your tech career.

     

  • 5 Ways You Know You Found the Right Job

    How do you know when you’ve found “The One” in your career? When you’re looking for “the one” you have a checklist of things you want in a significant other. There are certain things you can compromise on, and those you need fulfilled to be happy. Like finding that perfect person, finding the right job has its own checklist as well. Have no fear, we’ve got 5 top areas that most tech professionals can match their desires up with in order know it’s the right offer and the right company:

    1. Personal Goals

    Even before you start your job search, sit down to think about your personal goals, values and what makes you happy. Once you access that, start looking for jobs and going on interviews, stop and ask yourself, “Does this company align with my values and goals?” It’s easy to get caught up in the red carpet treatment. When companies want to woo you, they’ll offer you all the good things: free lunches, dinners, drinks, etc. The celebrity treatment will eventually fade away, so don’t get caught up in all the flashy things. The right job will be lined up with your values and goals, which will make you happier in the long-run.

    Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

    2. Innovation

    Innovative companies will have new ideas they want to implement, or aggressive updates on current product offerings for continuous improvement.  You should feel excited about the project you’re going to be on, the new technologies you’ll be working with, and all the things you’re going to learn.  You probably don’t want to be a part of a stagnant company with an existing product that they do nothing but maintain; these aren’t going to be the type of companies that can adapt to a constantly changing environment.

    3. Mission and Outlook

    When you find the perfect person you often envision your life with them five or maybe ten years down the road. It’s the same with a job. You have to envision what the next few years will look like with this company. How are their stocks looking? (Or maybe they’re a startup and not publicly traded.) How much funding do they receive? All these questions can help you anticipate how the company will look in five or ten years. You want to make sure the company you’re working for is in a market where they can expand their product and grow. The right job will have a good outlook for you in the next few years, without worrying about the company heading in a different, more volatile direction. 

    4. Company Culture

    Seeing how your significant other interacts with family and friends can provide a window into whether it will be a lasting relationship. Similarly, knowing how a company treats their employees will give insight into what your office life will be like on a day-today basis. Furthermore, how people communicate and work together is crucial, since that’s the atmosphere you’ll ultimately need to communicate in and work with. Take a look at the environment and how the office is laid out; it can be a big factor in finding a place that not only fits your personality but your needs and desires as well. Do you need a collaborative, open workspace or a quiet, secluded area to concentrate? Another aspect to look for? Humility: a company with little ego is less likely to put their egos before the employees. The right job will allow you to voice your own opinions when needed.

    Want a company that treasures work life balance? Check out these job listings.

    5. Work-Life Balance

    Balance is everything in life. There’s work life and then there is life outside of work. The right company will give you the best of both worlds: the ability to live the life you want and be able to do the work you love. Sometimes those two can be one and the same. Many companies, especially tech companies or startups, require a lot of around the clock work, and that might be your cup of tea. Either way, the right job will align with how you want to live your life.

    Bonus key area, if you still don't know if it's the one? Growth.

    Finding the one – the job or love of your life – can have the same goal at the end of the day: both make you want to be a better person. The right job will enable you to grow professionally and personally.  You should be able to climb the corporate ladder, and not feel stuck in a bad relationship with your company. Growing and learning is important, so you should be able to find ways throughout your job experience to continuously evolve.

    Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:

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